House of the Dragon, the spinoff/prequel to Game of Thrones, premiered on HBO Max (and Disney+ Hotstar in India) on Sunday. Given Game of Thrones’ immense popularity, many were apprehensive if the new show would be able to replicate the original’s success. But if figures released by HBO are anything to go by, it seems House of the Dragon has eclipsed its predecessor and left it behind in the dust. Also read: House of the Dragon director defends episode 1’s disturbing scene
HBO, which aired Game of Thrones from 2011-19, is now streaming House of the Dragon through its streaming service HBO Max. As per its recent report, the first episode of House of the Dragon, which began streaming on August 21, was watched by 9.986 million people in the United States alone. This figure includes viewers on both TV and OTT. This makes it the largest series premiere in the history of the company.
What is interesting is how far ahead the number is of the viewership figure of Game of Thrones’ first episode. The pilot of GoT aired on HBO on April 17, 2011, and was watched by around 2.2 million people, as per HBO figures. However, it must be noted that GoT grew in popularity as seasons progressed. The series finale, which aired on May 19, 2019, was watched by 13.61 million people as per figures from Nielsen Media Research. It will be interesting to see if House of the Dragon can pass that figure.
“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’ positive response,” Casey Bloys, Chief Content Officer at HBO and HBO Max, said in a statement.
House of the Dragon is based on Fire & Blood by George RR Martin, a companion book to his Song of Ice and Fire series, on which Game of Thrones was based. Set nearly two centuries before the events of GoT, it follows the famous Dance of the Dragons civil war in the Targaryen dynasty.
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