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George R.R. Martin is not hiding his competitive spirit when it comes to HBO’s “Game of Thrones” prequel series “House of the Dragon” facing off against Amazon Prime Video’s “The Lords of the Rings: The Rings of Power” later this year.  “Dragon” is launching its inaugural season on Aug. 21, followed by the Sept. 2 launch of “Rings” on Prime Video. Both series will be overlapping with new episodes. While Martin is thrilled that television viewers are getting more epic fantasy projects, he still wants “Dragon” to beat “Rings.”

“I know a lot of articles, the minute the dates were announced, it’s: ‘Oh, the battle for fantasy supremacy. It’s ‘Rings of Power’ versus ‘House of Dragon,’ who will win?’ I don’t know why they always have to do that,” Martin told The Independent at the Santa Fe Literary Festival. “I hope both shows succeed. I’m competitive enough. I hope we succeed more. If they win six Emmys, and I hope they do, I hope we win seven. But nonetheless, it’s good for fantasy. I love fantasy. I love science fiction. I want more shows on television.”

Speaking about “The Rings of Power,” Martin added, “It’s kind of a weird deal, as you know. Amazon bought Tolkien, but they didn’t actually get any of the books. They didn’t get ‘Lord of the Rings,l they didn’t get ‘The Hobbit,’ they didn’t even get ‘The Silmarillion.’ I don’t think they got ‘Farmer Giles of Ham’ or ‘Leaf by Niggle,’ but they got the appendices, I guess, and they’re constructing a Second Age story about that. There’s a lot of myth about that, so it’ll be interesting to see what they did.”

“House of the Dragon” is set 200 years before the events of “Game of Thrones” and stars Paddy Considine (as King Viserys I), Emmy D’Arcy (as Princess Rhaenrya, Viserys’ first child and his heir apparent), Matt Smith (as Prince Daemon, Viserys’ younger brother), Rhys Ifans (as Ser Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King), Olivia Cooke (as Lady Alicent Hightower, Otto’s daughter), Fabien Frankel (as Ser Criston Cole, a knight with eyes for Rhaenrya), Steve Toussaint (as Lord Corlys Velaryon a.k.a. The Sea Snake), Eve Best (as Princess Rhaenys Velaryon) and Sonoya Mizuno (as Mysaria, confidante to Daemon Targaryen).

As Variety exclusively reported last month, “House of the Dragon” cost HBO under $20 million per episode to produce its 10-episode first season. For comparison, “Game of Thrones” cost HBO around $100 million per season. Its per-episode price tag began at roughly $6 million in Season 1 and rose to $15 million for the show’s eighth and final season.