HBO drama series ‘House of the Dragon’ drew roughly 10 million viewers in its debut, a firm marker in the so-called ‘streaming wars’ ahead of the release of another fantasy epic, Amazon Prime’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ prequel – Copyright AFP Patrick T. FALLON
HBO announced Friday that the “House of the Dragon” fantasy drama would return for a second season, after the “Game of Thrones” prequel debuted to nearly 10 million US viewers.
Set years earlier in the same universe of George R.R. Martin’s books, “House of the Dragon” depicts the glory days of the ancestors of popular “Thrones” characters, such as Daenerys Targaryen.
It is based on his book, “Fire and Blood.”
HBO’s return to Westeros, and its prequel show’s addictive blend of scheming dynasties, gory violence and arguably gratuitous sex, has boasted solid numbers and drawn generally warm praise from critics.
The show’s premiere drew 9.98 million viewers in the United States, making it “the largest audience for any new original series in the history of HBO,” the television network’s owner, WarnerMedia, said in a statement earlier this week.
“Game of Thrones” ran for eight seasons between 2011 and 2019, and other spin-offs are in the works.
Some analysts noted that that title drew a whopping 17.4 million viewers to the debut of its final season.
Still, the “House of the Dragon” premiere represents a success for newly merged Warner Bros Discovery, which is under intense scrutiny as it tries to navigate the rapidly changing entertainment landscape dominated by the so-called “streaming wars.”
On September 2, fierce competition will arrive in the form of “The Rings of Power,” another swords-and-dragons-themed epic of the small screen, this time taking place in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth, and created by retail giant Amazon’s own streaming platform Prime Video.