House of the Dragon season 1 concludes with strong ratings

King's Landing Red Keep, Harwin Strong (Ryan Corr), 1x06 (1)

The first season of House of the Dragon came to a strong finish with roughly 9.3 millions viewers across all platforms.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, this turnout is slightly lower than that of earlier episodes in the season, but it’s hardly a fumble. Each episode of House of the Dragon has averaged 29 million viewers, which, for context, is higher than the viewership for all but two of Game of Thrones‘ seasons.

“We’re so thrilled to see House of the Dragon catch fire with Game of Thrones fans around the world, as well as new viewers who are discovering the world of Westeros for the first time,” Casey Bloys, the chairman and CEO of HBO and HBO Max said in a statement. “Congrats to George, Ryan, Miguel and the whole House of the Dragon team on an incredible first season.”

27 Comments

  1. I’m so glad that I got to be part of the Westeros world once more. I too am looking forward to the next season with great interest.

  2. my big complaint over HOD? The ladies need makeup~
    yes they do. This larger than life race of humans are supposed to be exotic. More flashing, a glorious mane of flowing platinum hair, explosive personalities, vigor & vitality.
    Why the washed out faces then? So blah to look like ghosts when features can be embellished…. who decided they needed no makeup, no lively, erotic or sensual looks?

  3. ollie,

    That would be so cringe and shit 😂 excess amounts of make up just make people look unrealistic in a time based in medieval england. Ladies don’t need makeup to look beautiful lol. That there is some primitive 1950’s mentality right there. Very strange. LOL

  4. HOTD average viewership is between Season 6 and Season 7 of the original show.

    Which is amazing for a new show, with new characters and new story.

    Shows the power of Game of Thrones brand.

    S2 had the chance to be on the level of Season 7 of Game of Thrones.

  5. Lol,

    You don’t know that queens and ladies of court wore makeup during Medieval days? Just look at some paintings! The peasant, while not wearing expensive makeup, did use dyes and have brightly colored garments. The notion that Medieval worlds were grays, browns, and washed out colors is absurd. Maidens were beautiful and that meant all kinds of lip, cheeks and eye colors with paint even on their skin to make it pure white.

  6. mau,

    Shows the power of good writing! Compare this to the clusterf*ck Power of the Rings.. .or whatever Amazon’s billion dollar disaster is called. They spent $$$ for CGI, but felt anybody could write I guess. Then proceeded to trample all over Tolkien fantasy.
    Same with Wheel of Time… no bother with hiring writers who understood the story… instead felt it was fun (I guess?) to change all the racial backgrounds of the characters, story arcs, etc.

    Writing matters. Writing is a high value talent to film making. Fantasy screenplays must honor the lore. Somebody needs to tell Amazon the writers are more important than producers POV.

    HOD succeeds because it has GRRM involved, and brought in writers who stay faithful to the lore enough and values them enough that their role in the process isn’t compromised. Producers must be better experienced in HBO world to know what parts of film making you cannot assume, as Amazon does that their marketing team is supreme and can fix and control everything, because, you know, people are stupid.

  7. mau: S2 had the chance to be on the level of Season 7 of Game of Thrones.

    Hopefully you’re referring to the ratings and not the writing 🤢

  8. ollie:
    Lol,

    You don’t know that queens and ladies of court wore makeup during Medieval days?Just look at some paintings!The peasant, while not wearing expensive makeup, did use dyes and have brightly colored garments.The notion that Medieval worlds were grays, browns, and washed out colors is absurd. Maidens were beautiful and that meant all kinds of lip, cheeks and eye colors with paint even on their skin to make it pure white.

    I personally don’t think the makeup is important one way or the other. It’s a fictional universe with dragons in it. It’s not like this show is trying to be 100% historically accurate.

  9. Mr Derp,

    Season 7 was a bottom tier season for me, but the writing was still miles ahead of most shows, including the first season of House of the Dragon. We would be lucky if the writing of season 2 is just as good.

  10. ollie,

    I think people overestimate how involved Martin was with this project. He was probably more involved than the later seasons of GOT, but just barely. Regardless, his involvement, or lack thereof, was never going to make or break the show. As you said, the writing is most important, much more important than faithfulness to the source material, which I don’t consider to be important at all. Although House of the Dragon stumbled a little in their writing, I agree that it’s still much better than Rings of Power and Wheel of Time.

  11. Idk I think Hotd season 1 has some big writing, framing and premise issues that will probably hurt in the long term, especially once people look beyond the dragons and visuals.

  12. GoT is my favorite show of all time but I’d say overall the later seasons had several storylines that were far worse than anything HoD did this season.

    – sand snakes
    – Arya vs waif
    – Argo and Sansa vs littlefinger
    – euron in general being a blink 182 member
    -s8 pacing

    HoD season 1 pitfalls are not as bad as the “garbage” above.

  13. mau,

    I’m trying to keep things vague without spoiling, but there are inconsistencies in the writing (like how we spend episodes being told that Alicent needs to put her son on the throne because her kids are threats to Rhaenyra’s rule, only to dump that in the green council because of Viserys’s prophecy talk on his deathbed), and the council scene for the greens was wasted because the writers didn’t hammer in character motivations. Anyway these are just some.

    Their premise also seems to only focus on the question of “can women become queens”, when the whole Dance is beyond that and far larger in themes and scope.

    I fear this might go the way of Dany 2.0, especially since the writers insist on presenting Rhaenyra as the perfect queen (without showing us why she is a good candidate). At least Dany had a ruling arc in Essos. Meanwhile, we’ve seen Rhaenyra rule nothing (not even managing Dragonstone), make no political plays to bring houses to her side (besides waste two marriage alliances on the Velaryons instead of championing Baela as heir to Driftmark).

    In their effort to “correct” how women were portrayed on GoT, I worry the writers dug themselves into a hole and created another set of issues that’s going to bite them in the long run. Cat, Cersei and Dany had way more authority than Alicent and Rhaenyra (a queen consort and a princess).

    I am trying to keep things vague, since I don’t know if you are spoiled regarding the whole Dance story.

  14. You might be reading into things more than necessary. I think it’s more straightforward.
    We can see Rhaenyra style of leading even without already having the throne… over her whole life, and that is more than many kings or queens get to prepare.
    Alcient always wanted her son on the throne to protect him. Hearing Viserys prophecy doesn’t counter that, it reinforces it without feeling as much guilt toward her old friend.

    Of course the dance of dragons is going to delve into many areas of Targareyan rule…the good, bad & ugly… but it needs to have a spark and that is given in the dueling for the throne between rightful heir and the usurper trying to use sexism to prevent it.
    A queen ruler was a thing before Viserys. He ended it.
    Ambitious men do what they do and find whatever excuse might fly. Nothing unusual or unexpected there.

    Again, pretty straightforward and the writing doesn’t strike me as misleading, confounding or flawed. People are acting as we’d expect based on the character arc given… that’s more than so many horrible shows out there today.

  15. I’m processing my reaction to the season. “Childbirth” was the first word that came to my mind. Sadness was the next word. Even though GOT was tragic, I felt even sadder watching the second half of HotD season. We never got to see anyone triumph in HotD. I wasn’t really rooting for anyone. Everything just got sadder and sadder for me. All of the scenes were well acted and special effects were well done.

    I just thought of Jaime’s scene in the tent threatening to launch Edmure’s baby on a catapult so he could get back to Cersei. I thought HotD was missing some of those types of moments where I could appreciate the devotion of a character even when he was threatening horrible things. Matt Smith has some of that potential, but I didn’t feel as attached to Matt as I did with Jaime.

    I’m still processing. I was more attached to Milly Alcock. That was partly because Emma D’Arcy showed the pains of childbirth at the beginning of her arc and end, and you could see it in her face the whole time. Milly still had the optimisim of her youth, and she had a different energy than Emma. In GOT, we were able to fall in love with the characters and actors as they aged. There were only a few that were replaced by other actors.

    That’s all for now. I will continue to gather my thoughts…

  16. Some really good points. I’ve been trying to articulate why the 1st season of GOT grabbed you more. I know it was the characters, but you’ve found a way to identify some reasons.
    I loved HOD, but they were being careful. Given the weight on their shoulders (love for GOP, & hate for its ending), I could see why they’d focus on the quality of the show and set up ‘the Dance’. It was overall subdued. The meanies were not as mean, and the lovable characters were not as lovable.
    But I like D’Arcy better, her acting was more realistic and skilled.

  17. Flayed Potatoes,

    Oh I agree. The huge problem is that they removed ambition and agency from female characters who now don’t want power at all and they are just anti war activists.

  18. Flayed Potatoes,

    mau,

    As much as I actually loved HotD overall, one of my main subtle worries is that the producers are trying too hard to “fix” something that doesn’t need to be fixed or appease to public for what GoT supposedly didn’t work. And when the authors start restricting themselves with some “real life” reflection, I believe they start to walk on very thin ice then. I’ve always been of opinion “Write the story YOU want to tell” but I feel HotD producers are maybe trying too hard to write a story FOR audience.

    I actually think women were overall very strong in GoT, stronger than in many other stories. And even a female character dying or losing through the story doesn’t mean they weren’t strong as characters. After all, many male characters died or lost through the story as well. I would take GoT female characters over any female character who for example just exists to be paired up with some male protagonist and doesn’t have a story of her own. So if HoTD producers are trying to “fix” something regarding GoT women… they may be trying to fix something that doesn’t need fixing.

  19. Good reflections. I felt the undertones of seeking to fix GOT throughout. But do believe this season was such a success, they should feel it’s ok to relax.
    I want the return of the stronger emotions and hateful characters that we experienced in GOT… just not without this better writing team with source material being respected.
    I hope their temerity resolves by S2 and the story reaches its own heights and pitfalls without fear of backlash.

  20. ollie: I’ve been trying to articulate why the 1st season of GOT grabbed you more.

    It’s pretty simple for me. There was way more at stake in GoT than HotD, there was an abundance of multi-dimensional likeable characters, and there was a wide variety of storylines.

    HotD is much more narrow in it’s focus and the characters aren’t particularly likeable.

    I’ll still tune in for season 2, but my opinion on this show hasn’t really changed from episode 1 through 10. It’s basically like GoT without any compelling characters. It’s a bunch of rich people complaining about the good life not being good enough. It’s hard to root for anyone, IMO.

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