Let it be known: The allure of known intellectual property remains strong in these United States. Audiences can’t resist the opportunity to go back and poke around in the past of a recently concluded blockbuster fantasy franchise. So put any worries that a decline in quality or even the slow-motion implosion of HBO Max would spoil the appetite for more of those miserable monarchs of Westeros. Misery loves company, after all, and company loves House Of The Dragon.
More than 10 million people watched the premiere of HBO’s pricey House Of The Dragon, a Game Of Thrones prequel that doesn’t even frickin’ feature Jamie Lannister. But not even an absence of Lannisters could keep people from learning how the Targaryens lost their hold of the Seven Kingdoms. Per Deadline, 10.2 million watched the second episode of House Of The Dragon, a 2% increase.
The growing popularity of “Targaryens: Origins” was even more pronounced in its second week. HBO reports that more than 25 million people watched the premiere in its first week, a massive audience for that quick shot of a big farting butt in the series premiere.
Moreover, the strength of House Of The Dragon inspired viewers to check out those 4K updates of its progenitor, Game Of Thrones. Last week, the original series saw an increase of more than 30%, making it the second most watched series on HBO Max behind House Of The Dragon.
Will it hold? Last night’s episode certainly made an impression, with viewers discussing the creatively bland decision to recycle Game Of Thrones’ iconic theme for this spin-off, tying the show even closer to its predecessor. As A.V. Club News Editor Drew Gillis put it:
One can’t help but feel like they’re playing it safe, recycling the well-known elements of ice and fire that fans expect. The theme song is hardly the biggest issue, but it does seem to be symptomatic of the type of thinking going on […] Game Of Thrones became Game Of Thrones because it was willing to take risks and subvert expectations. If House Of The Dragon wants the same, they may start having to sing a different song.
However, what can we say? HBO made this show to salvage interest in Game Of Thrones, and they have already green-lit a second season. HBO played it safe, and it seems to be working so far. The real question is, how long can they milk these dragons? And before anyone asks, according to Meet The Parents logic, dragons can be milked.