House Of The Dragon Just Broke Yet Another HBO Record

The House of the Dragon racked in more than nine million viewers on Sunday night, marking HBO's biggest night since Game of Thrones ended in 2019.

By Charlene Badasie | Published

The House of the Dragon finale ended its first season with huge ratings for HBO. The popular fantasy drama attracted over nine million viewers for the final episode, making it the biggest night for the network since Game of Thrones ended in 2019. The numbers are even more impressive since the show was competing with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Miami Dolphins NFL game and Major League Baseball’s playoff between the Houston Astros and the New York Yankees.

Speaking about the House of the Dragon finale, Chairman and CEO of HBO and HBO Max, said Casey Bloys said the network is thrilled to see the series catch fire with Game of Thrones fans around the world. The company is also glad that the show managed to attract new viewers who are discovering the world of Westeros for the first time. “Congrats to George, Ryan, Miguel, and the whole House of the Dragon team on an incredible first season,” he said in a statement via Deadline.

Every episode of House of the Dragon, including the finale, is currently averaging 29 million viewers in the United States. That’s more than triple their average debut-night audience with strong catch-up viewing. Outside the U.S, the series surpassed the eighth season of Game of Thrones, making it the most-viewed HBO title ever in Latin America, Europe, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

The show is available in 39 Latin American countries, 21 territories across Europe and in Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Written by Ryan Condal, House of the Dragon is set 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones and tells the story of House Targaryen which concludes in the season finale. The first season portrays the events leading to the civil war of succession, known as the Dance of the Dragons which will be explored in the rest of the series.

The second installment will begin shooting in early 2023, Condal tells Variety. But it’s unclear if the new season will premiere next year too. Unlike Game of Thrones, Condal, who is now the only showrunner after Miguel Sapochnik departed after completing production on the House of the Dragon finale, has the benefit of knowing exactly how George R.R Martin wanted the saga to end.

The story already concluded in 2018’s Fire & Blood which is written as a history book, drawn from sometimes conflicting accounts by maesters who have, as Condal ruefully notes, “their own agendas.” This element has given Condal and his writing team the creative license to stray from how events were recorded in the source material – a conceit he used a few times in the House of the Dragon finale. Titled “The Black Queen,” the episode sees Rhaenyra learn that King Viserys is dead – and that Queen Alicent and Otto Hightower have usurped her claim and placed Prince Aegon on the Iron Throne.

house of the dragon finale
Rhaenyra Targaryen in the House of the Dragon finale

The shock of the news leads Rhaenyra to miscarry a stillborn baby. Later in the House of the Dragon finale, Rhaenyra’s uncle-husband, Daemon abruptly chokes her when she mentions the Song of Ice and Fire, not realizing that Viserys never told him about it. Corlys Velaryon finally returns from his long naval battle among the Stepstones to proclaim his house allied with Rhaenyra and the Blacks in her effort to regain the Iron Throne from the Greens.