Westeros returned to HBO last night with the “House of the Dragon” premiere — and bringing audiences with it.
House of the Dragon drew 9.99 million viewers across HBO and HBO Max after its one-episode premiere Sunday, according to Warner Bros. Discovery. This viewership tally includes the linear broadcast, as well as HBO Max’s broadcast during the night of the premiere.
HBO said House of the Dragon has attracted the largest number of viewers in pay-TV history, including content that debuted before the broadcast era, as well as HBO shows that have since appeared on the defunct digital platforms HBO Now and HBO Go. Plus their successor HBO Max.
“Game of Thrones” has remained HBO’s biggest hit of all time since its conclusion in 2019, and as a prequel series, “House of the Dragon” is arguably the project that has gotten the most marketing and fanfare from the network since then. As a result, the series premiere of “Heirs of the Dragons” outperformed the premiere of “Game of Thrones,” which drew 4.2 million viewers in 2011. While it may be unfair to compare “House of the Dragon” to the heights that preceded it, the finale Arrived — “Game of Thrones” has been watched by a record-breaking 17.9 million people with its eighth and final season premiere — there’s another more recent series on HBO worth including in the conversation.
Sam Levinson’s “Euphoria” wasn’t HBO’s biggest show of 2022 just yet: It became the second most-watched series of all time on the network after “Game of Thrones” in February thanks to the continuation of its second season. And while viewership increased from start to finish of the season – a rare and impressive feat – the premiere of the episode was watched by 2.4 million people, 76% less than “House of the Dragon.”
“House of the Dragon” is based on the 2018 novel “Fire & Blood” by George R.R. Martin. The series is set 200 years before the events of “Game of Thrones” and tells the story of House Targaryen. Notable cast members include Paddy Considine, Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke, Emma Darcy, Steve Toussaint, Eve Best, Fabian Frankel, Sonoya Mizuno and Rhys Evans. Martin co-created the series with Ryan Condall, who serves as co-show director with director Miguel Saposhnik. Martin, Kondal and Saposhnik all executive produce along with Sarah Hess, Jocelyn Diaz, Vince Gerardes, and Ron Schmidt.
“It was great to see millions of Game of Thrones fans return with us to Westeros last night,” said Casey Bloys, chief content officer for HBO and HBO Max. “House of the Dragon” has an incredibly talented cast and crew who put their hearts and souls into the production, and we are thrilled with the positive response from viewers. We look forward to sharing what George, Ryan and Miguel have in store for them with the fans this season.”