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The Surprising Connection Between Amazon's Rings Of Power And HBO's Game Of Thrones

While the entire genre of fantasy fiction owes a huge debt to J.R.R. Tolkien, the creation of Amazon's first foray into Middle-earth, "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power," might be a by-product of the success of "Game of Thrones." HBO's adaptation of George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" book series was the ultimate fantasy saga of the 2010s, inspiring networks and streaming services to acquire the rights to popular genre IPs. Without "Game of Thrones," shows such as "The Witcher" and "The Wheel of Time" might not exist.

Of course, comparisons between the aforementioned franchises were always inevitable considering that Amazon's "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" debuted shortly after the premiere of "House of the Dragon" on HBO. Even Martin knows that viewers will pit the shows against each other in a battle of fantasy warfare, but he hopes that people can enjoy both shows on their own accord. "I hope both shows succeed. I'm competitive enough. I hope we succeed more," he told The Independent. "If they win six Emmys, and I hope they do, I hope we win seven."

At the end of the day, the "Lord of the Rings" and "Game of Thrones" franchises are unique entities that bring their own spins to fantasy fare. However, that doesn't mean they don't share some common elements that enable perfectly understandable comparisons to be made.

This actor has appeared on Game of Thrones and The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power

Robert Aramayo is the force that binds together "The Lord of the Rings" and "Game of Thrones" franchises. The 29-year-old English actor has developed a knack for playing popular characters on fantasy series — or, to be more specific, playing the younger versions of beloved, established characters.

Aramayo rose to fame by portraying a young Ned Stark during the sixth season of "Game of Thrones." He appeared in a series of flashback sequences that shed some light on Jon Snow's family history and did an admirable job of honoring the legacy of Sean Bean, who played the House of Stark leader during his middle-aged years.

On "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power," the Englishman plays a younger version of Elrond, the legendary half-elven character who's appeared in every onscreen "Lord of the Rings" project to date. The character, who was brought to by Hugo Weaving in "Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit," will have a key role to play on the Amazon series, which was what attracted Aramayo to the fantasy project in the first place.

The main difference between Game of Thrones and The Rings of Power

The Elrond we meet on "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" is slightly different from the wise and storied warrior we see in Peter Jackson's Middle-earth-set movies. Here, he's not quite the strong, stubborn, commanding leader that he went on to become. For a start, he's relatively uninterested in attending council meetings and concerning himself with political matters. Additionally, he's not on the best terms with some of the elves' allies, though he is able to use his charm and cunning to get what he wants during moments of political persuasion.

While speaking to Variety, Robert Aramayo revealed that bringing young Elrond to fruition was exciting as it meant exploring uncharted territory in some ways. Furthermore, he doesn't think that "Game of Thrones" and "The Rings of Power" are anything alike, with the exception of being fantasy series that he worked on. "They're very, very different shows. My job on [Game of Thrones] and my job on [The Rings of Power] were very different," he said.

According to the actor, "Games of Thrones" allowed him to draw upon material that was already there for inspiration. However, since the First and Second Ages of Middle-earth are open to interpretation in many ways, "Rings of Power" allowed him to essentially build a character from scratch.