Speed Reads

a dance with dragons

House of the Dragon season finale was HBO's biggest since Game of Thrones

House of the Dragon's debut season went out with a bang on HBO. 

The network said Sunday's season finale of House of the Dragon drew 9.3 million viewers across all platforms, marking the "biggest finale night for an HBO series" since Game of Thrones ended in May 2019. 

"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," HBO CEO Casey Bloys said

This puts a bow on a successful freshman outing for the first Game of Thrones spinoff, which is set about 200 years before the original series. Prior to the premiere, some were uncertain what the appetite for a Thrones successor would be, especially because the original's ending was controversial. Would fans who were disappointed in how Thrones wrapped up still tune back in? 

But the answer ended up being a resounding yes. House of the Dragon'first episode drew 9.9 million viewers when it aired in August, the biggest audience for a series premiere in HBO history, and it looks like most of those viewers stuck around to the end. HBO also said the series has been averaging 29 million viewers in the U.S, "tracking closely behind the average audience" for Thrones' seventh season. 

The fan reception of House of the Dragon has also been quite positive, and a second season will begin filming in early 2023, meaning it will likely air sometime in 2024.

Beyond that, though, House of the Dragon's success gives HBO the green light to proceed with many more Thrones spinoffs that have been in early stages of development, including a sequel series that will see Kit Harington return as Jon Snow. Clearly, the game is just beginning.