Any speculation that the final season of Game of Thrones burned out it’s fanbase went out the window last night with the premiere of the prequel series, House of the Dragon.
Samba TV, which measures streaming service and premium cable series viewership, reports that 2.6 million U.S. households watched the series debut last night making it the best premier of any streaming/premium cable series so far this year. And it’s expected that when HBO releases its numbers for both it’s cable channel and HBO Max, that those numbers will be even higher.
That’s because Samba TV only measures 3 million smart TV homes and not mobile devices. Previously their best debut was season 2 of Euphoria which pulled in 2.4 million viewers across all platforms. This also beats the day-and-date theatrical releases of Wonder Woman (2.2 million viewers the first weekend), Dune (1.9 million), Conjuring (1.6 million) and Many Saints of Newark (1 million), but those only debuted on HBO Max, not HBO. This is definitely a good sign for Warner Bros Discovery that the Game of Thrones franchise is still thriving even after the controversial finale.
Some viewers were put off by the violence, particularly the horrifying childbirth scene involving an emergency cesarean section to deliver the King’s child from the Queen’s womb, which the director explained to THR was intentional as it was meant to be a political statement on the dangers of forcing women to have children rather than allowing them to have abortions, or something like that.
“Aemma says, ‘The child bed is our battlefield.'” We felt that was an interesting way to explore the fact that for a woman in medieval times, giving birth was violence. It’s as dangerous as it gets. You have a 50/50 chance of making it. Many women didn’t. If given the choice, the father would choose the child over the mother as a cesarean would kill you. It was an extremely violent part of life.”
Apparently more uncomfortable birth scene will show up in the series, each with a different theme.
We have a number of births in the show and basically decided to give them different themes and explore them from different perspectives the same way I did for a bunch of battles on Thrones, where each time I tried to put a different spine in each so it wasn’t just doing the same thing as I don’t think putting a bunch of violence on screen for the sake of violence does any good in the world.”
Is this the Game of Thrones fantasy content you demanded?