The Game of Thrones prequel show debuted on Sunday. Overnight, the episode garnered almost 10 million views – an HBO record for a season premiere. Nearly a week later, it's still pulling in numbers, achieving over 20 million views across all linear, on-demand, and HBO Max platforms. This is according to HBO, which arrived at the number via both Nielsen ratings and first party data.
A statement by Francesca Orsi, HBO Programming’s executive vice president reads:
We are beyond proud of what the entire HOUSE OF THE DRAGON team has accomplished with season one. Our phenomenal cast and crew undertook a massive challenge and exceeded all expectations, delivering a show that has already established itself as must-see-TV. A huge thank you to George, Ryan, and Miguel for leading us on this journey. We couldn’t be more excited to continue bringing to life the epic saga of House Targaryen with season two.
Given HBO’s massive financial investment in the series – each of the show’s 10 episodes cost about $20 million to make – this announcement hardly comes as a surprise. But, we're not complaining either. It's more than welcome news to lovers of the A Song of Ice and Fire universe, especially since George R. R. Martin, who wrote the books, is heavily involved.
House of the Dragon is set almost 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones. Much like Game of Thrones, it is based on a novel by Martin, specifically, Fire and Blood. The show will chronicle the Targaryen civil war, Dance of the Dragon, between two contenders for the Iron Throne that threatened to tear the kingdom apart and began the decline of House Targaryen.
The show features an ensemble cast, including Paddy Considine from Peaky Blinders as King Viserys, Matt Smith from Doctor Who as Prince Daemon, Olivia Cooke from Ready Player One as Alicent Hightower, Steve Toussaint from Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time as Lord Corlys Velaryon, and Emma D’Arcy from Wanderlust as Rhaenyra.
May House of the Dragon pave the path for more Game of Thrones spin-offs. Earlier this year, it was reported that Kit Harrington was returning for a Jon Snow sequel. Also, Martin is believed to be working with HBO on multiple shows set in the same universe. If we're lucky, we'll get to see at least one more show set in the growing Game of Thrones universe before the second season of House of the Dragon arrives.