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House Of The Dragon Is HBO's Biggest New Series Premiere Ever

You'll be stunned to hear that the latest Game of Thrones series is a massive success for HBO.

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When Game of Thrones was still airing on HBO, it was a juggernaut for the cable network, even as fans began to turn on it in later seasons. It's no surprise, then, that Game of Thrones spin-off House of the Dragon is huge as well.

House of the Dragon's premiere drew in 9.98 million viewers combined across traditional linear television and HBO Max streaming on Sunday night. HBO says that this is both the largest audience for a new original series in HBO's history and the largest series launch on HBO Max.

"It was wonderful to see millions of Game of Thrones fans return with us to Westeros last night," said Casey Bloys, Chief Content Officer for HBO and HBO Max. "House of the Dragon features an incredibly talented cast and crew who poured their heart and soul into the production, and we're ecstatic with viewers' positive response. We look forward to sharing with audiences what else [author George R.R. Martin and showrunners Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik] have in store for them this season."

The approach of the spin-off's premiere also gave the original series a bump, HBO says, with the series seeing a 90% bump over June and almost 50% over July.

It's worth noting that while HBO calls this the premiere of an original series, it's an original series that is a spin-off of their most successful show ever, with countless familiar names of places, people, and concepts for audiences to latch onto. It's the most successful original series that viewers are extremely familiar with, in other words.

HBO's press release also touts the many positive reviews of the premiere, which call the show "flat-out stunning" and "as captivating as any season of Game of Thrones." GameSpot's review, by Entertainment Editor Mason Downey, writes that "the sets, costumes, and production design are extremely strong," with violence "executed with some great practical and digital effects," but says that "strong visuals and capable performances are hardly enough of a selling point for the show."

As with Game of Thrones before it, House of the Dragon's new episodes will premiere each week at 9 p.m. EST on HBO, and to stream on HBO Max.

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