Starting tomorrow, we can watch The Rings of Power, the most expensive series in history .
But you will need to subscribe to Amazon Prime Video. Like you have to subscribe to HBO Max or Crave to see The House of the Dragon, a very modest series compared to the other, since the production budget for the first 10 episodes is barely 200 million US dollars. When you have like Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, a personal fortune of 200 billion, you don't produce “small cheap series” like that. The first season of his latest toy, The Rings of Power, cost $465 million, not including a quarter of a billion to buy the rights to Tolkien's work.
Fans of the genre surely know that The House of the Dragonis made from the same flour as The Iron Throne, which is set approximately two centuries earlier. As for Bezos' series, The Rings of Power, the characters live in a time of peace in Middle-earth, a few millennia before the appearance of Frodo Baggins, the main character of the Lord of Rings.
In either case, we are immersed in fanciful and imaginary worlds that have nothing to do with reality.
NUDITY, SEX AND VIOLENCE
But what is so attractive about this kind of series? Even if fans of the Iron Throne deny it, nudity, sex and violence were the first charms of this series already 11 years old. Violence is less and less denounced on television, but it has never been so present.
The worldwide success of the South Korean series The Squid Gamedemonstrates the irresistible appeal that violence has for most viewers. Until recent years, Quebec series were among the most peaceful and measured in the world. Little by little, Quebec broadcasters and producers have noticed that violence is “paying”, so much so that they no longer deprive themselves of it.
Is the real world, the one in which we live, you and me, so detestable that we have to escape from it as often as we can and get lost in these imaginary worlds created by millions from books by Tolkien and George R. R. Martin?
It is not for nothing that Internet giants such as Meta (Facebook), Apple or Microsoft will spend dozens of billions to create and make explorable a new digital world that has been dubbed “metaverse”.
Getting lost these days requires expensive apps and headphones, but eventually we'll get cheaper access to these unusual immersive digital environments and grandiose virtual shows. It's just a matter of time.
Before we can see the elves and dwarves of Rings of Power, the beautiful Princess Rhaenyra and the evil Prince Daemon Targaryen from House of the Dragon, we have to content ourselves with seeing them on our television screens.
Given the huge – almost scandalous – investments that we make to produce similar series, we can expect that subscriptions to Prime Video, HBO and most video-on-demand platforms are becoming more and more expensive. How much longer will these series lull us into forgetting the rising monthly cost of subscriptions to video-on-demand services?