House Of The Dragon Season 2 Ratings Take Serious Dip

By Douglas Helm | Updated

House of the Dragon is back for Season 2, though the series didn’t bring in quite as many viewers the second time around. The second season premiere drew in 7.8 million viewers across all platforms Sunday night, which is down 22 percent from the first season premiere in 2022. That’s a fairly significant dip, especially considering the big marketing push from HBO leading up to the premiere (they literally put a giant inflatable dragon on the Empire State Building).

Great Ratings, But Not Compared To Season 1

House of the Dragon

That being said, the House of the Dragon Season 2 premiere did have some dragon-sized footprints to fill, considering the first season premiere set the record for the most-watched series opener in HBO history with a whopping 10 million views.

The return of one of HBO’s most popular franchises and the promise of more Westeros scheming and dragons undoubtedly would have attracted many curious viewers for at least one episode, so it’s not entirely surprising that some of those viewers might not have been interested enough to return to the series.

Still, the first-night average for most episodes in Season 1 was around 9 million to 9.5 million, so there’s still some room for improvement. 

Perspective Is Everything

House of the Dragon

7.8 million viewers is still a ton of people, especially compared to other hit HBO series. To put it in perspective, the acclaimed and multiple Emmy-award-winning final season of Succession averaged 8.7 million per episode with weeks of streaming accounted for, while the House of the Dragon Season 2 premiere nearly reached that number in one night. It’s safe to say that this is still one of the most-watched shows out there and that there’s still going to be plenty tuning in to see weekly battles between the greens and the blacks.

The Numbers Stand To Climb

House of the Dragon

It also helps that the House of the Dragon Season 2 premiere is getting tons of praise from critics and audiences alike, with a gruesome cliffhanger ending that will undoubtedly get people interested in watching before the second episode hits HBO and Max this weekend. Still, it will have some catching up to do if it wants to surpass its first season average of 29 million cross-platform viewers per episode. But, if the series can continue to maintain its high level of quality, it wouldn’t be surprising to see it achieve some impressive streaming feats.

Dance Of Dragons

House of the Dragon

House of the Dragon Season 2 continues to follow the history laid out in George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood novel, which chronicles the fall of House Targaryen and the brutal war of succession known as the Dance of Dragons. In the center of this conflict are the once heir-apparent to the Iron Throne, Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy), and Queen Alicent Hightower (Olivia Cooke), who helped her son usurp the throne from Rhaenyra. Season 1 ended with one of Alicent’s sons accidentally triggering an act of war.

Plenty Of Reasons To Stick Around

House of the Dragon

If you enjoyed House of the Dragon Season 1, you’ll take comfort in the fact that the Season 2 premiere continues to give us good reason to return to Westeros. You can catch the first episode of Season 2 and all of Season 1 on Max now. New episodes will air on Sundays.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter