Amazon Studios Head Explains Why The Rings of Power Will Never Be Game of Thrones

Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power and Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon may be two fantasy/drama TV series airing at the same time – but anyone who watches both knows they are far from being the same. While House of the Dragon follows Game of Thrones' footsteps (an explicitly adult-rated HBO Series), Rings of Power has kept things on the more widely-accessible plane of being something akin to a PG-13 movie. In a new interview, Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke addresses why The Rings of Power will never be like Game of Thrones – nor should it endeavor to.

As Salke explains it, the theme of people unifying behind the light to fight together against unimaginable darkness isn't just a main theme of Tolkien's work – it's kind of a metaphor for what Amazon hopes to achieve with this series: 

"There's so much darkness in the world. Leaning into light was the other thing that was really appealing to everybody – bringing something to our global customer base that is hopeful and has light and that a family can watch," Salke explained to Variety

She went on to express something a lot of hardcore Tolkien fans hoped to hear: namely that the studio recognizes how the beloved author and creator preferred to stick to the cleaner side of the fence: 

"So many people have grown up with this literature, and we wanted this series to pay it forward for new generations of Tolkien lovers," Salke said. "The line we've been using is 'If you're old enough to read the books, you're old enough to watch the show.' We knew from the beginning that this was not our Game of Thrones."

(Photo: HBO/Amazon)

Not only does Salke confirm that Amazon had the goal to honor the tone of Tolkien's world, she also says that the studio was all too aware that the fans were watching and waiting for how Amazon would approach things: "The fans spoke up from the minute the deal was closed, saying, 'Please don't try to insert sex and a level of provocative violence,' things that don't feel true to the stories that Tolkien wanted to tell."

There has admittedly been some criticism that The Rings of Power seems almost prude and tame in an era where franchises like Game of Thornes are the most popular content on TV. However, while House of the Dragon may cause new buzz every week with its sex scandals and gruesome deaths, The Rings of Power seems to be doing just fine building its audience across more than an adult demographic. 


The Rings of Power streams new episodes Fridays on Prime Video.