Despite the massive changes to the show, House of the Dragon’s viewership continues to rise. As the first spinoff to HBO’s massively successful fantasy series, Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon takes place 200 years before the events of its predecessor and chronicles the beginnings of the momentous Targaryen war of succession known as the Dance of the Dragons. The prequel show has earned rave reviews from critics, and since its premiere one month ago, there is clearly a massive audience interested in House of the Dragon despite the backlash to Game of Thrones season 8.
A record-breaking audience for an HBO series debut tuned into the House of the Dragon premiere last month and as a result, the show was promptly renewed for a second season. Since then, the show’s viewership has been steadily increasing. However, episode 6 began with 10-year time jump and saw the show’s younger stars, Milly Alcock and Emily Carey, replaced by Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke, creating some concern about how House of the Dragon’s core audience might react.
Now, the first numbers are in to gauge audiences’ reactions to these major changes. Variety reports that House of the Dragon episode 6 saw a 3 percent increase in viewership from the previous episode. The figure was determined through a combination of cable viewership on HBO and viewers across HBO Max and other streaming platforms.
Considering episode 6’s significant time jump and the requisite recastings, this increase in viewership comes at a key week for House of the Dragon. However, these numbers shouldn’t be too surprising considering the show’s recent trends. Episode 4 saw a 5 percent increase in viewership, followed by a 3 percent jump for episode 5. Furthermore, a report revealed that House of the Dragon is averaging 29 million viewers per episode. There is little question that the Game of Thrones prequel is one of the biggest shows in the world right now.
Still, House of the Dragon episode 6’s increase in viewership proves that Rhaenyra and Alicent’s recastings were nothing to worry about. Because Alcock and Carey quickly become fan-favorites over the first five episodes, there were some concerns about their eventual departures and the detrimental effect they could have on the show. There was certainly a lot of buzz on social media as viewers said goodbye to the young stars. If their strong performances in episode 6 hadn’t already done so, the continued increase in viewership should dispel any remaining concerns about D’Arcy and Cooke carrying House of the Dragon for many seasons of success. Audiences so far seem ready for the long haul.