‘House of the Dragon’ marks biggest HBO finale since ‘Game of Thrones’

‘House of the Dragon’ marks biggest HBO finale since ‘Game of Thrones’

It seems the only thing bigger than House of the Dragon is its predecessor.

Nick Romano

By Nick Romano October 24, 2022 at 05: 30 PM EDT

The ratings for House of the Dragon‘s season 1 finale are in and — spoiler alert — people watched it.

HBO saw its biggest season finale episode since the days of Game of Thrones, the Home Box Office network announced on Monday. A press release cites “a combination of Nielsen and first party data” in stating 9.3 million viewers watched “The Black Queen,” the 10th episode of the prequel show’s debut season. That’s across all platforms, including streaming and linear TV.

The only bigger finale episode of any HBO series is House of the Dragon‘s predecessor. Back in May of 2019, HBO reported 19.3 million viewers watched the Game of Thrones series finale episode, “The Iron Throne,” across all platforms.

House of the Dragon first broke an HBO record with its premiere, which became the network’s highest-viewed series premiere of any original show. HBO reports that all episodes of the show are now averaging 29 million viewers in the U.S., “more than tripling their average debut night audience with strong catch-up viewing.” By comparison, the average audience for Game of Thrones season 7 was 32.8 million per episode.

Outside the U.S., House of the Dragon is the most-viewed ever in Latin America, Europe, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, and Taiwan on an HBO streaming service.

House of the Dragon

Prince Daemon Targaryen (Matt Smith) and his dragon Caraxes never make idle threats.

| Credit: HBO

“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,” said Casey Bloys, Chairman and CEO of HBO and HBO Max, in a statement. Bloys congratulated series co-creators George R.R. Martin, Ryan Condal, co-showrunner Miguel Sapochnik, “and the whole House of the Dragon team on an incredible first season.”

Set 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon season 1 dramatized the rising action that leads Westeros to the Dance of the Dragons, a civil war that erupts within the once-thriving Targaryen empire. Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy) is the chosen heir to the ascend the Iron Throne, but upon the death of her father King Viserys (Paddy Considine), a plot years in the making is set into motion to put her half-brother Aegon II (Tom Glynn-Carney) in the seat of power.

The show also stars Olivia Cooke, Rhys Ifans, Matt Smith, Fabien Frankel, and Sonoya Mizuno.

Season 2 has already been greenlit. Condal is now taking on the role of sole showrunner, while Sapochnik will now only be involved as an executive producer moving forward. Alan Taylor, a veteran Game of Thrones director, is stepping in to executive produce and direct episodes of season 2 and beyond.

Season 2 “does fall into that ensemble piece where you’re following multiple characters,” Condal told EW in an interview. “They’re not all in the same place, but this is still very much a story of Alicent [Cooke] and Rhaenyra and their families pitted against each other. We’re not gonna suddenly pull away from telling their stories. It’s just the nature of this thing, in season 2, it really opens up the world in a big way and the sprawl grows quite a bit.”

Subscribe to EW’s West of Westeros podcast, which goes behind the making of House of the Dragon and the growing Game of Thrones universe.

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