It’s official! Game of Thrones has secured its franchise potential after Sunday’s prequel premiere. Announced this morning, HBO confirmed that House of the Dragon will get a second season.
After extensive speculation about the future of GoT and the prequel’s role in securing the success of the franchise, this news comes as decisive proof that the fans are in the driver’s seat. At first, lingering resentments about the original show’s conclusion cast some initial doubts on how a return to Westeros would play out. However, HBO’s swift renewal is the long-awaited confirmation that GoT is not going anywhere.
A Fiery Premiere
On Sunday, House of the Dragon brought fans back to the beautiful and brutal world of GoT. The premiere’s immediate success stemmed from both its familiarity and its innovation. The former returned viewers to the magic of GoT in its prime, and the latter heralded a gripping new story of power, fire, and blood. Fans immediately latched onto the main players (Rhaenyra, Alicent, Daemon), finding new favorite personalities and catching onto hidden details.
Right off the bat, the premiere’s impact was recorded in its impressive viewing numbers. According to The Hollywood Reporter, HotD amassed 10 million viewers on Sunday – a new record for an HBO series opener. That number is also “on par with the premiere of Game of Thrones Season Six” back in 2016. Additionally, in the days since, the viewership numbers have doubled, reaching 20 million.
Clearly, these prominent premiere ratings and the generally positive social media buzz were enough to assuage HBO that the prequel endeavor has resecured the fanbase. Plus, adding to fans’ hopes for a new climactic, satisfying saga is the fact that the direction of this story has already been fully tracked out by George R.R. Martin in Fire & Blood. In other words, House of the Dragon is set to avoid the curse of terrible TV endings.
Paving The Way
Undoubtedly, this expedited renewal of House of the Dragon is the franchise push that will positively affect the production of the numerous other spin-offs waiting in the wings. As of now, there are seven such projects in development. Four of which are live-action (including the Jon Snow spin-off), and the other three are animated endeavors.
Even though it’s tempting to prognosticate far into the franchise future, House of the Dragon has just begun! There is much to celebrate in the here and now as we strap in for some epic, dragon-filled TV drama. As Francesca Orsi, EVP of HBO Programming commented:
We are beyond proud of what the entire House of the Dragon team has accomplished with season one…Our phenomenal cast and crew undertook a massive challenge and exceeded all expectations, delivering a show that has already established itself as must-see-TV.
Moving forward, HBO’s early success in reinstating GoT‘s television prestige heightens the spotlight on Amazon’s $1 billion dollar project: The Rings of Power. Debuting September 2nd, this upcoming Amazon Studios project is another example of a media giant trying to capsize on a fantasy franchise to secure its streaming future. Ultimately, for all us book nerds, these are each welcome endeavors, bringing us plenty of exciting fantasy content as the summer comes to a close.
Finally, make sure to check back at Bookstr every week for a round-up of hilarious HotD Tweets and other related fandom content. Dracarys!