Latest House of the Dragon ratings prove the Game of Thrones franchise is back on its feet

House of the Dragon
(Image credit: HBO)

HBO must have been feeling a little nervous before House of the Dragon rolled out. The Game of Thrones prequel came off the back of a divisive final season of the mainline series – and there was every chance the audience’s watch could have ended after a widely criticized finale.

New ratings released to Variety, however, show that House of the Dragon continues to be a smash hit with viewers. The fifth episode – which featured Game of Thrones hallmarks including betrayals, deaths, and dramatic weddings – was up 4% week-on-week from its previous episode. 

On top of that upwards trend, the entire first season is now averaging 29 million viewers across all HBO platforms. That’s a drop on Game of Thrones’ 44 million heyday, but still a considerable number in the age of streaming.

Despite its successes, there’s every chance that number could take a slight hit with the imminent recasting of Rhaenyra and Alicent. The two leads, played by Milly Alcock and Emily Carey in the first five episodes, will be replaced by Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke respectively after House of the Dragon’s 10-year time skip in its upcoming sixth episode.

The new episode already has a trailer that teases what to expect from the new duo, as well as a whole assortment of major new players in King’s Landing. The first clip from the episode has also been released and shows Rhaenyra going through a major life event.

Dive deep into House of the Dragon's family history with our guide to the Targaryen family tree.

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.