House of the Dragon pulls in huge ratings with nearly 10 million viewers for the premiere!

Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith), Iron Throne 1x01

We’ve all been wondering if the new Targaryen dragons of House of the Dragon would land with a splash or a thud, after the controversial finale of Game of Thrones left fans swearing off Westeros for good. Would audiences tune in for a show containing no beloved GoT characters? We now have the answer: hell yeah they will! And in record-setting numbers, it turns out.

The Hollywood Reporter broke the news today that the series premiere brought in “nearly 10 million viewers across all platforms in the United States” per HBO, making it the biggest series premiere in HBO history.

THR notes that HOTD has also brought in the largest single-night HBO audience since the Game of Thrones finale drew 19.3 million viewers in May 2019.

Where does that put HOTD really? Can we compare a new show to the original? We can’t compare the first episode to GoT‘s first episode ratings back in 2011 (2.22 million same-day viewers, per Nielsen), because of course GoT built the fanbase up and we expect much better than 2011 ratings for HOTD. Perhaps a more noteworthy ratings milestone would would be Season 7’s premiere “Dragonstone,” which at the time broke GoT‘s ratings record by achieving just over 10 million viewers for its overnight figures. Additional viewings and DVR numbers did increase those numbers, however.

We can expect more detailed ratings news over the next few days, as the show rolls out internationally and on more platforms. It’ll be fun to see what the final figure is on the premiere! Either way- it’s a hit! That season two order should be official any minute now.

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Sue the Fury
Susan Miller, Editor in Chief of WatchersOnTheWall.com

15 Comments

  1. Too soon to say if it’s a hit. The first test is to see how many are still on board for Episode 2.

  2. This is, of course, very US-centric. Ignoring all foreign viewerships, which are (potentially) much bigger but maybe less lucrative. GoT was such a (financial) success because it was popular the world over.

    HotD aims at the same global target audience. What Europe, Latin America, Australia/Oceania (huge markets) think is also important to the HBO bosses.

    I have to confess I’m holding off my HBO Max subscription for a few days. By my reckoning, HotD S1E10 will be released on Oct 24, so I can watch the whole season for two instead of three monthly subscriptions (8.99€) if I start a bit late.

  3. talvikorppi: This is, of course, very US-centric. Ignoring all foreign viewerships, which are (potentially) much bigger

    yeah that’s in the article.

  4. Very relieved to see this. I expect more will tune in now due to word of mouth. I’m happy for the showrunners as well, I know they’ve put a lot into this and no doubt they wondered if people would come back.

  5. I mean, it was pretty much guaranteed that the first episode would be a hit, numbers-wise. The real test will be whether it can keep up solid numbers in the wars – er, I mean, weeks, to come.

  6. mau,

    Wait and see how many turn in all season(s). GOT viewership started low and built. HOTD viewership came in off GOT’s coattails. 1 episode does not ratings make.

  7. It’s the top streaming premiere for a complete season so far this year on any service. Beat Stranger Things 4 first premiere, but not the part II premiere. That’s probably the most meaningful benchmark, though the upcoming Rings of Power show is the most obvious direct comparison. I hesitate to call it a “competitor” as I’m sure plenty of people will watch both shows and they don’t air at the same time, with Rings of Power coming out on Fridays.

  8. Ryan,

    This speaks about the power of GoT brand that Benioff and Weiss built.

    But keeping this audience is on Condal and Sapochnik now. D&D gave them this massive start.

  9. Adam,

    Hard to know how they’ll factor this in, but “Rings of Power” is rated TV 14 in the US. We plan to watch it with our 13yo whose seen the LotR movies and similarly rated Marvel shows. I’m sure we aren’t the only ones who’ll watch that as a family. Releasing on Fridays makes that even easier. Not so with HotD.

  10. Jenstar Runner,

    I am also going to watch both. But since I live in Europe it’s very difficult to see it when it airs because that’s 3 AM in the morning on a Monday. I have to work on Monday. And I don’t want to wait to long to watch it to avoid spoilers.
    Rings of Power has better hours, on Saturday morning I have all the time in the world since I don’t have to work and I don’t have kids who seek my attention.

  11. Joy C:

    I am also going to watch both. But since I live in Europe it’s very difficult to see it when it airs because that’s 3 AM in the morning on a Monday. I have to work on Monday. And I don’t want to wait to long to watch it to avoid spoilers.

    Can’t you stream it on demand once it’s been aired? I always managed to watch Game of Thrones before I encountered any spoilers. It’s on at 0200 in the UK, but I often watched it when I got up in the morning, or at lunchtime.

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