House of the Dragon is exactly the kind of megahit HBO was hoping it would be, riding high off Game of Thrones nostalgia, back when the series was still good. And the numbers are reflecting that.
According to Variety, viewership for House of the Dragon keeps increasingly slowly but surely, and now, the show is averaging 29 million viewers an episode across these first five episodes. What does that mean in context?
Those are monster figures for any premium cable show, and stacked against its predecessor series, that 29 million is more than triple the 9.3 million viewers HBO said that season 1 of Game of Thrones averaged when it aired. Of course, that was a decade ago, with fewer places to watch, and the series just spooling up. But even taking that into consideration, 29 million is not all that far away from the 46 million that Game of Thrones averaged in season 8, its final season.
Here is how Game of Thrones progressed over time with its average viewership:
- Season 1 – 9.3 million
- Season 2 – 11.6 million
- Season 3 – 14.4 million
- Season 4 – 19.1 million
- Season 5 – 20.2 million
- Season 6 – 25.7 million
- Season 7 – 32.8 million
- Season 8 – 46 million
So, House of the Dragon has gotten a free pass to skip ahead all the way to almost season 7 numbers of Game of Thrones, obviously boosted by being in the same universe and a deep hunger for fans who want more, and namely, want the world to be interesting and good again, unlike those last few non-book-adapted seasons of the main show.
We do not know exactly what HBO has planned for House of the Dragon, though at least one more season seems likely. There is a very specific, hard ending for this cast of characters from the source material, but there has also been some talk about the show turning into a Targaryen anthology, following the demented family through other points in time, in other centuries.
And, obviously, HBO still has a lot more spin-off shows in the works, though which ones make it to final production remains unclear, as HBO has shown a willingness to kill anything they don’t have faith in, like the Old Valyria show that was axed before House of the Dragon took its place. Most curious is the concept of a Jon Snow-led sequel show, pitched by Kit Harrington himself, as that’s the only project proposed that would actually take place after the run of the original series.
But yes, House of the Dragon’s big viewership here likely means more seasons, and more Thrones spin-offs. Stay tuned.
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