Roughly 13.7 million live viewers tuned in to watch Drogon burn down the Iron Throne for no reason in the finale of Game of Thrones in 2019. Three years later, the first of hopefully many spin-offs, House of the Dragon, premiered and proved that people remain just as hungry to watch people fight over a throne made out of several hundred sticks with pointy ends.
After much anticipation, House of the Dragon delivered its first episode and it's safe to say people tuned in to see if it was worth all the hype. Although the show's quality is subjective - for what it's worth, the consensus is House of the Dragon is off to an excellent start - the numbers don't lie.
HBO claims that the Game of Thrones spinoff posted historic numbers as nearly 10 million viewers (9.986 million, to be exact) watching House of the Dragon on both the cable networks and HBO Max in the United States. In addition to this, HBO revealed that the premiere of House of the Dragon brought renewed interest in the original series as the streaming numbers of Game of Thrones spiked during the months of July and August.
Audiences still haven't forgiven David Benioff and D. B. Weiss for what they did to the last two to three seasons of Game of Thrones. To make matters worse, George R.R. Martin went out and admitted that he had little to nothing to do with Game of Thrones anymore except for creating the source material. But, the good news is that Martin is more heavily involved this time around.
House of the Dragon credits Martin as one of its executive producers and creators, implying that everything we're about to see in House of the Dragon, as well as its still-unconfirmed second season, will have the blessing of the author.
With such high numbers for its premiere, it will be interesting to see if House of the Dragon can keep it up for the rest of the season. House of the Dragon will run through October 23, putting it in contention with another high-budget fantasy epic. The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power will premiere on Amazon Prime Video on September 2 with a new episode rolling out every week until October 14. Fans may also watch the first two episodes in theaters ahead of their streaming launch.
Regardless of how things will turn out, one thing is for sure - Christmas has come early for all the fantasy fans out there.