October 1, 2022

House of the Dragon is exactly the kind of megahit HBO hoped it would be, fueling Game of Thrones nostalgia while the show was still good. And the numbers reflect that.

According to Diversity, House of Dragons ratings have been slowly but surely holding up, and now the show is averaging 29 million viewers per episode in these first five episodes. What does it mean in context?

Those are monstrous numbers for any premium cable show, and compared to previous series, those 29 million are more than triple the 9.3 million viewers that HBO said the first season of Game of Thrones averaged when it aired. Of course, that was a decade ago, with fewer places to watch, and the series just kept expanding. But even taking that into account, 29 million isn’t that far off from the 46 million Game of Thrones averaged in Season 8, its final season.

Here’s how Game of Thrones has fared over time with its average viewership:

  • Season 1 – 9.3 million
  • Season 2 – 11.6 million
  • Season three – 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 got a free pass to skip all the way to nearly season 7 of Game of Thrones, apparently fueled by being in the same universe and a deep hunger for fans who want more, namely, they want the world to be interesting and good again, for unlike those last few seasons of the main show which are not adapted from the books.

We don’t know exactly what HBO has planned for Dragon House, though at least one more season seems likely. There’s a very specific, heavy ending for this cast of characters from the source material, but there’s also been talk of turning the show into a Targaryen anthology, following the demented family through other time periods, in other centuries.

And, obviously, HBO still has many more spin-off shows in the works, although which ones will make it to final production remains unclear, as HBO has shown a willingness to kill anything they don’t believe in, like the Valyria Old Show that was canceled before House of the Dragon took its place. Most interesting is the concept of a sequel series led by Jon Snow, presented by Kit Harrington himself, as it is the only proposed project that would actually happen after the original series aired.

But yeah, House of Dragon’s big ratings here probably means more seasons and more Thrones spin-offs. Stay with us.

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