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‘Game of Thrones’ ended with a thud But ‘House of the Dragon’ has caught fire

None of the successes HBO has produced have been as successful as “Game of Thrones.” However, “Game of Thrones” came to a disappointing finish in 2019 after critics and viewers disapproved of the fantasy series’ tepid ending (Bran Stark on the Iron Throne? C’mon!).

So what should HBO do? Of course, produce more “Game of Thrones.”

Enter “House of the Dragon,” a prequel that centers on the Targaryen family and takes place nearly 200 years before the events of its predecessor. Although the program may not have seemed like much of a risk before its August premiere, a poor showing might have destroyed the “Game of Thrones” brand faster than a Stark at a royal wedding.

Fortunately, the show opened to HBO records and is currently averaging 29 million viewers per episode across all US platforms, according to the network, which is owned by Warner Bros. Discovery, along with CNN. To put that figure into perspective, “Game of Thrones”‘ seventh season had an episode average of 32.7 million viewers, while its eighth and final season had an episode average of 46 million people.

Since then, the series has not slowed down.

Since episode three, “Dragon” has increased week over week, according to Variety. This includes a 3% boost for the crucial episode six, in which the plot advances by a decade and a number of characters—including the heroine, Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen—are recast.

Parrot Analytics, a company that conducts entertainment market analysis, claims that the global demand for the show’s premiere was 64 times greater than the demand for the typical show globally. (Demand) is a metric used by Parrot to gauge a program’s popularity on social media and through downloads. Demand reached its peak the next day after the seventh episode aired at about 138 times. These figures indicate that between the premiere and its peak, global demand increased by 114%.
That achievement occurs despite fierce competition. At 9 p.m. ET, NBC’s “Sunday Night Football,” one of television’s most popular programs, will be up against “Dragon.” It’s difficult to draw a crowd during NFL games, but “Dragon” manages to do it every week, much like its predecessor. (It helps that watching “Game of Thrones” is very similar to watching sports, only there are more dragons.)
In addition, fantasy fans currently have a wide variety of options to pick from, including “Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power,” Amazon Prime’s major investment in the Lord of the Rings IP, as well as Marvel, DC, and Star Trek episodes. Oh, and don’t forget about the Star Wars: “Andor” Disney+ series, which takes place in a galaxy far, far away.

As “Dragon” nears its conclusion in a few weeks, its early success offers even more opportunities for the Game of Thrones brand, which has persisted in popularity despite leaving a bitter aftertaste over its conclusion.

This is wonderful news for HBO and Warner Bros. Discovery because they will use the brand on several platforms, including traditional TV and the streaming service HBO Max, which is perhaps the most significant part of the company’s broad portfolio.

And for that reason, a second season of the show has already been ordered. In Westeros, there is still a great deal of fire.

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