Photo: The Digital Fix
House of the Dragon has achieved Game of Thrones status. (As it should.)
According to HBO, House of the Dragon drew 9.986 million viewers on linear platforms and HBO Max in the United States for its first episode, which aired Sunday on HBO and HBO Max.
As such, the Game of Thrones prequel has the biggest series premiere on HBO, overtaking Game of Thrones – the main series, which drew 2.2 million viewers for its 2011 pilot episode.
House of the Dragon currently has the largest HBO Max series launch in the United States, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
“It is wonderful to see millions of Game of Thrones fans return with us to Westeros last night. House of the Dragon features an incredibly talented cast and crew who poured their heart and soul into the production, and we’re ecstatic with viewers’ positive response,” said Chief Content Officer at HBO and HBO Max, Casey Bloys, in a statement.
“We look forward to sharing with audiences what else George, Ryan, and Miguel have in store for them this season.”
Game of Thrones creator and author George R.R. Martin is the co-creator of House of the Dragon along with Ryan Condal, who is also the co-producer of the show alongside Miguel Sapochnik.
A TV and streaming analytics firm called Samba TV previously released its own predictions for House of the Dragon’s performance, saying the series will have the biggest TV premiere of any premium cable and streaming show in the world in 2022.
The organization’s members said 2.6 million American families watched the show during its premiere – the first six hours of spectators, which took place between 9pm. and 3 a.m. ET on traditional TV viewing and streaming.
“HBO has once again tapped into the magic of Game of Thrones with its spinoff series, House of the Dragon,” said a statement from Samba TV.
“Diehard GoT fans eagerly anticipated more from the franchise, and they turned out in force for House of the Dragon, with the HBO program generating the biggest single-day premium cable or streaming viewership premiere in 2022. More than doubling the initial same-day viewership of Netflix’s season 4 premiere of Stranger Things, the Game of Thrones prequel recaptured the fire of HBO’s original masterpiece in a big way.
“The next challenge, and the real opportunity for HBO in the coming weeks, is to expand viewership beyond the passionate built-in fan base. Just as Stranger Things’ most recent season 4, Volume 2 drop surpassed its Volume 1 audience, HBO must look to innovative marketing that drives incremental audience growth to break through today’s saturated content marketplace.”
Game of Thrones Prequel Still Has a Long Way
House of the Dragon’s performance is still newborn compared to the Game of Thrones ratings in its prime. The main series saw steep growth in its audience through time, thanks to word of mouth and good critical reviews.
When HBO released the show’s finale in 2019, the episode drew 19.3 million viewers – covering both traditional and streaming numbers.
However, seeing the developments now, a season 2 renewal for House of the Dragon may be underway.
While the show’s concept has given creators confidence, reports said Warner Bros. Discovery executives were assessing the performance of the fantasy drama before formally nodding on more episodes. And it is off to quite a good start.
House of the Dragon is set shortly before and during the Dance of the Dragons, a civil war between the Targaryen lineage hundreds of years prior to HBO’s Game of Thrones timeline.