House of the Dragon is off to a fiery start on HBO. According to Deadline, the Game of Thrones spinoff/prequel drew nearly 10 million viewers for the premiere, which debuted last night on Aug. 21. This broke a record, as Thrones usually does, making the debut the largest audience for any new original series in the history of pay cable.
Game of Thrones used to seemingly break records with each episode’s release, as the series finale reached 19.3 million viewers, an astronomical number that’s yet to be replicated in linear viewing. According to IMDb, the show holds the second most Emmy wins of all time, with 59, only behind Saturday Night Live. The House of the Dragon premiere is following in their footsteps, also marking the largest series launch on HBO Max across the U.S., Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. According to Deadline, HBO calls the series an unprecedented level of concurrent streams on the platform, noting that Sunday night viewership for their shows typically represents just 20% — 40% of the total viewership.
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It’s no surprise that the House of the Dragon premiere dwarfed the debut of Game of Thrones by 350%, as Thrones’ success is the reason fans are tuning into the streaming service. Social media is also a significant part of the House of the Dragon hype, as fans discuss their reactions to episodes during and after an episode concludes. Yesterday, the show was the longest trending topic on Twitter, ranking No. 1 for 14 straight hours and trending No. 1 on Google. Although only one episode has been released so far, it seems like House of the Dragon is bringing back all the Game of Thrones hype that fans so dearly missed.
HBO Couldn’t Be Happier With House of the Dragon’s Debut
Warner Bros. Television Distribution
HBO has a lot riding on House of the Dragon, including a $200 million budget through the first season. However, they seemed happy with the results after the numbers came in, with 9.986 million viewers tuning in. According to the Deadline report, Casey Bloys, Chief Content Officer for HBO and HBO Max, was “ecstatic” about the House of the Dragon premiere.
“It was 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’ response. We look forward to sharing with audiences what else George, Ryan, and Miguel have in store for them this season.”
With nine episodes to go in the first season, there should still be plenty of fantasy drama that ensues. Nevertheless, House of the Dragon is looking to be what Game of Thrones was in its prime — must-see, immensely popular television.
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