‘House of the Dragon’ Ratings Fall Far Short of Expectations in Season One

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HBO game of thrones prequel series Dragon House struggled to find its narrative foundation throughout the first five episodes, but that may just be part of the reason it’s struggling to attract viewers. A TV Series Finale article analyzed viewership data for the new show, and things aren’t exactly rosy.

Dragon House, HBO

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The show debuted with 2.170 million viewers, which might seem like a lot, but it’s a far cry from the glory days when game of thrones was the hot topic at the office water cooler. This flagship epic also debuted to a similar number – 2.22 million viewers – and gained over 10 million more during its run. However, Dragon House rotates in the opposite direction.

The show saw a pretty steep drop in viewership with the third episode of the season, losing 22.7% of its viewership to a total of 1.75 million, not including HBO Max. It has managed to gradually increase with the last two episodes, nestling uncomfortably in the 1.829 million range.

Nielsen ratings for House of the Dragon, HBO

Nielsen ratings for House of the Dragon, HBO

The bitter taste of season eight of game of thrones may have had a lot to do with HBO failing to attract its previous audience. This season started with over 17 million total viewers and ended with a total of 13.6 million US viewers who wanted to see how things ended. Many felt let down by the narrative mess that unfolded.

Another theory is that OBTAINED the fever has subsided significantly since 2019, with many feeling the story was over. Adapting the source material to create a prequel series may have been noble, but as many fans have pointed out, “all roads lead to Bran the Broken.”

Lady Alicent and Princess Rhaenyra in House of the Dragon, HBO

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This is a toxic cocktail that goes against HBO’s favor and could have been avoided if the showrunners had invested a lot of money and resources in the first half of the season, in order to create a narrative more exciting and compelling. As it is, Dragon House worked its way through the first five episodes, only gaining some much-needed steam in the fifth episode.

Many fans of the series have also read the original novels by author George RR Martin, only to find that the showrunners ran out of material before. game of thrones’ the story was complete. To date, Martin has dragged his feet on the latest novel, which means longtime fans are still waiting for the story to officially end.

The Night King raises the dead in Game of Thrones, HBO

The Night King raises the dead in Game of Thrones, HBO

What began as a monumental, groundbreaking iconography of pop culture has since crumbled into an incohesive stupor, and audiences know it. By himself, Dragon House is not a terrible sight, but when placed next to game of thrones, it’s a huge disappointment. It seems everyone, including George RR Martin, has lost faith in the property.

When this happens, the public follows suit. After all, why tune in week after week to watch a show no one really believes in? Sure, there’s a chance the showrunners could pull a rabbit out of a hat before the first season is over, but if they fail, HBO is unlikely to spend tons of money on a second.

Rhaenys and Corlys in the House of the Dragon

Rhaenys and Corlys in House of the Dragon, HBO

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The current odds of Dragon House are extremely unstable and see viewership numbers drop lower than the original season of game of thrones is a damn bad omen. In the current state of things, the public of Dragon House seems to have hit a plateau, falling well below expectations for a franchise of this caliber.

Rhaenyra is crowned heir to the throne in House of the Dragon, HBO

Rhaenyra is crowned heir to the throne in House of the Dragon, HBO

what exactly is killing Dragon House? Is it the memory of OBTAINED season eight, the disappointing narrative or franchise fatigue? Let us know in the comments below.

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Raymond I. Langston