‘House of the Dragon’ Season 2 Premiere Hits 7.8 Million Viewers, Max’s Biggest Single-Day Audience to Date

HBO’s “Game of Thrones” spin-off series kicked off the civil war between Queen Rhaenyra’s Team Black and King Aegon’s Team Green

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Olivia Cooke and Fabien Frankel in "House of the Dragon" Season 2 Episode 1 (Ollie Upton/HBO)

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“House of the Dragon” Season 2 kicked off to a promising start.

The premiere episode, titled “A Son for A Son,” drew 7.8 million viewers across platforms — including HBO and Max — on Sunday night, according to Nielsen and internal viewing figures from Warner Bros. Discovery.

The debut led Max to bring in its largest single-day audience to date, with anticipation for the new season also boosting viewership for the inaugural season of “House of the Dragon.” It tallied 1 million viewers in the week leading up to the Season 2 drop, marking the show’s biggest audience in over 19 months, when it first premiered.

However, viewership for the Season 2 launch was down 21.9% from the Season 1 premiere, which scored 9.986 million viewers in August 2022 and ranked as the largest audience for any new original series in the history of HBO. It was also down 16.1% from the Season 1 finale, which tallied 9.3 million viewers.

When the Season 1 finale of “House of the Dragon” aired in October 2022, it ranked as the biggest finale audience since the 2019 series finale of “Game of Thrones,” which scored a whopping 19.3 million viewers.

The Season 2 launch also broke records globally, with Sunday viewing in Latin America growing 30% as compared to the Season 1 premiere — the biggest launch for Max in the region. In Europe, the show scored its biggest audience to date for Warner Bros. Discovery’s streaming services.

For reference, the series premiere of “The Last of Us” brought in 4.7 million viewers in January 2023 and grew to 8.2 million viewers by its Season 1 finale, while the debut of “True Detective: Night Country” — the fourth installment of the anthology series — scored just over 2 million viewers in January 2024 and grew to  3.2 million viewers by its finale.

Based on George R.R. Martin’s “Fire & Blood” book series, “House of the Dragon” takes place 200 years before the events of “Game of Thrones” and focuses on House Targaryen. The Season 2 debut picked up with Westeros on the brink of civil war as Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D’Arcy) and King Aegon II Targaryen (Tom Glynn-Carney) strategize the growing conflict between rival factions Team Black and Team Green.

D’Arcy and Glynn-Carney lead Season 2 alongside Olivia Cooke, Matt Smith, Rhys Ifans, Steve Toussaint, Eve Best, Fabien Frankel, Matthew Needham, Sonoya Mizuno, Ewan Mitchell, Harry Collett, Bethany Antonia, Phoebe Campbell, Phia Saban and Jefferson Hall. 

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