AceShowbiz - "House of the Dragon" ended its first season with a strong finale. The "Game of Thrones" spin-off series brought 9.3 million viewers for its first season finale on Sunday night, October 23, marking "the biggest finale night for an HBO series since the conclusion" of "GoT" in May 2019.
The finale's viewership was impressive considering that the episode had strong competitors. It was up against NFL's "Sunday Night Football" game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Miami Dolphins on NBC and the final game of baseball's American League Championship Series between the New York Yankees and Houston Astros on TBS.
"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," Casey Bloys, chairman and CEO, HBO and HBO Max, said in a statement. "Congrats to George, Ryan, Miguel and the whole 'House of the Dragon' team on an incredible first season."
HBO revealed that "House of the Dragon", which is set almost 200 years before the events of its predecessor and centers on the Targaryen family, is averaging 29 million viewers per episode across all U.S. platforms. Season 7 of "Game of Thrones", meanwhile, averaged 32.7 million viewers per episode with its final and eighth season averaging 46 million viewers.
"House of the Dragon" has been renewed for a sophomore season and co-creator Ryan Condal teased in a recent interview that the upcoming season would be "complex." Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, he said, "I'm really interested in picking up with all of those characters that we spent all of this time introducing, particularly Rhaenyra and Alicent's families, and seeing what happens now that we've flipped the chessboard over and spilled the pieces on the ground. How do all those react? That's the story that we tell in season 2 and beyond."
While season 1 mainly focused on four main characters, Rhaenyra, Alicent, Viserys and Daemon, Ryan shared that season 2 "does fall into that ensemble piece where you're following multiple characters." He added, "They're not all in the same place, but this is still very much a story of Alicent 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."