'House of the Dragon' Is HBO's Biggest New Series Premiere Ever

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House of the Dragon is off to a flying start. HBO's Game of Thrones prequel -- set 200 years before Daenerys Targaryen's quest for the Iron Throne -- scored nearly 10 million viewers in its Sunday night debut, making it the most highly-rated original new series premiere in the history of HBO. 

Officially, the cable network reported 9.986 million viewers across both linear and HBO Max streaming platforms in the United States on Sunday night -- even as the streaming app crashed on Amazon Fire TV devices, leaving a portion of potential viewers in the dark. 

A press release from HBO indicates that Sunday's viewership is expected to make up just a small portion -- 20 to 40 percent -- of the show's total gross audience. 

While a direct comparison would be impossible to nail down -- due in part to shifting landscapes in streaming and evolving fandoms -- the Hollywood Reporterand Variety both note that Game of Thrones' first season premiered to 4.2 million viewers in 2011, while its eighth and final season premiere was watched by a record-setting 17.9 million people in 2019.

House of the Dragon brings to life George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood. The all-new series details the battle of succession as Daenerys' ancestors in House Targaryen attempt to assert their place on the Iron Throne. 

Members of the ensemble cast, including Emily Carey, Eve Best, Fabien Frankel, Matt Smith, Milly Alcock, Paddy Considine and Steve Toussaint, recap the in-fighting in episode one and tease where things go from here, as season 1 gets deep into the political maneuvering that follows in interviews with ET. 

Get the whole story here.

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