With “Game of Thrones” as its predecessor, HBO’s “House of the Dragon” had some fairly huge shoes to fill. HBO’s greatest series premiere in its history happened because it appears that fans of the high fantasy series were at least fascinated enough to sit in and watch the first episode of the series.

The first episode of the prequel series debuted on Sunday night to 9.986 million viewers across linear and HBO Max platforms, according to data released on Monday by Warner Bros. Discovery. According to the production firm, this new original series’ audience is the biggest in HBO’s history.

According to the firm, 20% to 40% of an HBO series’ overall audience often tunes in on Sunday nights. The fact that so many ‘Game of Thrones’ fans joined us in Westeros last night was great, according to Casey Bloys, chief content officer for HBO and HBO Max.

“House of the Dragon,” Set About 200 Years Before “Game of Thrones,”

"House of the Dragon," Set About 200 Years Before "Game of Thrones,"
Image Source: Showbiz Cheat Sheet

About 200 years before the events depicted in “Game of Thrones,” “House of the Dragon” depicts the tale of the Targaryen civil war. It is based on the book “Fire and Blood” by George R.R. Martin. This book in Martin’s “Song of Ice and Fire” series has an omniscient narrator who records the histories based on gathered reports of events, in contrast to Martin’s other books in the series. There are various versions of the events, and these stories occasionally conflict with one another.

For “House of the Dragon,” which debuted on HBO and HBO, the stakes are great. David Zaslav, the newly appointed CEO, is aiming to remove some fat as Max. At the freshly merged corporation, cost-cutting initiatives such as hiring cuts and the removal of material from HBO Max.

In an effort to reduce costs, Warner Bros. Discovery is trying to combine its streaming services, which will be costly and time-consuming.

“House of the Dragon,” the second instalment in the Game of Thrones series, has a lot to prove and uphold. Many “Game of Thrones” fans were disappointed with the last season since the showrunners went beyond what author George R. R. Martin had originally planned to do with the material. Martin has not yet completed the plot in his books.

As of Monday afternoon, “House of the Dragon” had 413 reviews and an 83% “Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes. As a point of reference, the 2011 premiere of “Game of Thrones” had a 90% “Fresh” rating. In actuality, every season—aside from the last—had a rating of at least 90%. Eighth season ratings were 55%.

Analysts, investors, and most crucially, executives at Warner Bros. Discovery, will be closely monitoring “House of the Dragon’s” viewership metrics in the coming weeks to see if it can maintain momentum over the 10-episode season.