‘House of the Dragon’ Averaging 29 Million Viewers Per Episode, Audience Rises 3% in Week 5 (EXCLUSIVE)

Viewership of “House of the Dragon” has hit a steady pace.

The fifth episode of the “Game of Thrones” prequel drew 3% more U.S. viewers than Episode 4, Variety has learned exclusively. Additionally, Season 1 is now averaging 29 million viewers per episode across its first five episodes. That’s a massive audience for any premium cable series, and a very promising sign that it’s going the way of its predecessor: “Game of Thrones” averaged more than 44 million viewers per episode for its eighth and final season in 2019.

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The “House of the Dragon” Episode 5 statistics combine Nielsen’s measurement of Sunday’s four cable airings with the number of streaming viewers across HBO Max and other HBO platforms. When isolating linear viewership, according to Nielsen, 2.576 million people tuned into the episode on HBO itself, a 4% increase when compared to last week’s 2.474 million cable viewers.

No specific Episode 5 total-viewer tally across all platforms has been disclosed by HBO and HBO Max, though Variety has confirmed viewership was up 3% compared to the prior week’s episode.

Overall, linear and streaming data both imply that “House of the Dragon,” now halfway through its first season, has found its core audience. Episode 1 was watched by nearly 10 million people across all platforms when it debuted — HBO’s biggest series premiere ever — while Episode 2 reached 10.2 million. Streaming data was unavailable for Episode 3, though its Labor Day weekend debut was met with a drop of 1 million in cable viewership. However, as Variety reported exclusively, Episode 4’s viewership picked up by 5% across all by platforms, and with Episode 5’s 3% jump, it appears that the series has now hit a retention rate that is likely to remain stable as Season 1 continues.

At the same time, “House of the Dragon” will see a narrative and casting shift after this episode, as Episode 6 will mark a major time jump. The younger actors, such as Milly Alcock as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen and Emily Carey as Lady Alicent Hightower, will trade their roles over to older actors Emma D’Arcy and Olivia Cooke, respectively.

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