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Harry Potter vs Game of Thrones

I think George R. R. Martin was sitting in a movie theatre years ago, watching a Harry Potter film and thinking... "Heck, I could do better than this. Heck, it could even be R rated, and people would gobble it up."

And he was partially right.

Except he miscalculated something.

You see J. K. Rowling, the author of Harry Potter, had known for quite some time she was going to write 7 Harry Potter books in order to complete the storyline. Some, not all, of the books got progressively bigger. But the length of the books were reasonable and everything was plotted out ahead of time, and thus she was able to release books on a schedule that matched and suited the film schedule.

George R. R. Martin however, who is very long winded and has difficulty sticking to any kind of publishing schedule, probably will not publish the 6th and 7th books until 2018 and 2024 respectively. It is currently taking him about 5-6 years to publish 1 book.

Is he a chronic procrastinator? Maybe.

Maybe his ego is the problem. As a white male American, ego can be a huge problem. (It certainly is a problem for Donald Trump. Totally off topic.)

Perhaps he was looking at J. K. Rowling, a white female British author, and thought "If she can do it, I can do better." And he didn't have a clue how long it would take him to write books.

And it is true that Game of Thrones is stylistically and plot-wise better. Harry Potter has the more likeable characters, but suffers from a repetitive good wizards vs dark wizards trope.

As a financial success it is questionable which series has made more money... Harry Potter has toy sales... a huge abundance of toy sales and paraphernalia. Lets just check which series has made more so far.

...

"All told, Rowling created a $15 billion brand. While her net worth is a fraction of that, as it is estimated to be just less than $1 billion, that's still enough to make her the world's richest author. While Rowling's last Harry Potter book was released in 2007, she continues to earn royalties from book sales."

In contrast Game of Thrones popularity earns about $1.1+ billion per year. So when it is done it will have earned approx. $8.8+ billion in revenue. So that much money is certainly a lot, but it is nowhere near what the Harry Potter franchise has made.

And with more films coming out, the new Magical Creatures series, the Harry Potter franchise will continue to make money. The newest film made $812 million at the box office alone.

Game of Thrones meanwhile is working on five possible spinoff series. Which, if successful, could make HBO another $5.5 billion. Maybe. Hard to predict success rates and profits.

So HBO might eventually make $14.3 billion. Maybe. If. No guarantees.

By the time it does Harry Potter/Magical Creatures might be in the $16 to $20+ billion range.

So it is not a contest, but if it was then J. K. Rowling is definitely winning.

Notes

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2 is currently filming and is expected to be released in 2018.

The 8th and final season of Game of Thrones is expected to be released in Summer 2018, after which fans will have to wait for the prequel spinoffs.

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