It looks like the Targaryens still has some fire left in them. HBO has just announced that the premiere episode of the hotly anticipated Game of Thrones prequel series House of the Dragon has shattered the network’s premiere episode rating record. The premiere episode brought in 9.986 million viewers across HBO‘s linear platform and HBO Max‘s streaming service in the United States during the night of its premiere this past Sunday.
House of the Dragon is a series inspired by the book Fire & Blood by A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin. The book tells the history of the infamous Targaryen house, which ruled Westeros with blood, fire, and vengeance for centuries. By the time of the events of Game of Thrones, the Targaryen family name had been all but extinguished, with only two exiled heirs alive to keep the bloodline alive. One of these spared Targaryens, Daenerys, would come to play a fateful role in the series, showing us precisely, and quite literally, what it means to rule with blood and fire. And that was just a glimpse into the intensity brought to Westeros by the white-blond, fiery dynastic line. So who knows what chaos House of the Dragon will bring, especially considering the series will cover a period of civil war fought within the fractious family of dragon-riding royals.
It also seems that House of the Dragon has reignited viewers’ passion for the original series. Game of Thrones just wrapped its strongest week on HBO Max to date. Additionally, Game of Thrones has seen a seven-week stretch of growth in engagement leading to the premiere of the prequel series. In fact, the weekly streaming average for Game of Thrones in August so far is nearly 90% above June’s streaming and nearly 50% above the ratings for the month of July.
Of the record-shattering ratings for House of the Dragon, Casey Bloys, the Chief Content Officer of both HBO and HBO Max said,“[i]t 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’ positive response.”
House of the Dragon has also earned glowing reviews from critics, with many praising the new series for its intense fantasy elements and stunning visuals. Collider‘s own Therese Lacson reviewed the show, stating, “The courtroom politics and the intrigue of shifting dynamics are enough to keep you hooked.”
George R.R. Martin serves as co-creator and executive producer on the series. Ryan Condal serves alongside Martin as co-creator and executive producer. Condal also serves as co-showrunner alongside Miguel Sapochnik, who is an executive producer and director on the series. Other executive producers include Sara Hess, Jocelyn Diaz, Vince Gerardis, and Ron Schmidt. House of the Dragon stars Matt Smith, Milly Alcock, and Emma D’Arcy among others.
New episodes of House of the Dragon will debut each week at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on HBO. Each new episode will be also available to stream on HBO Max. The season finale will air on October 23, 2022.