'House of the Dragon' on HBO: Linear ratings drop with Episode 3, but HBO Max sees significant 27% gain

This is the first time that 'Game of Thrones' prequel has seen a viewership drop on HBO

'House of the Dragon' on HBO: Linear ratings drop with Episode 3, but HBO Max sees significant 27% gain
Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen in 'House of the Dragon' (HBO)
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HBO’s ‘House of the Dragon’ opened to a bumper response and broke the viewership record at HBO Max with 10 million viewers on its first night. The show beat its own record with Episode 2 and saw an even higher number of people tuning in to watch it. The show has received a lot of love from critics and audiences and continues to dominate the weekly TV ratings. However, after a solid start, the HBO series has seen the first drop in viewership after the action-packed Episode 3.

According to the reports, Episode 3, titled ‘The Second of His Name,’ aired on HBO on Sunday, September 4, 2022, experiences a 28% drop in viewership from Episode 2. Citing data from Nielsen, Variety reported that a total of 2.5 million people watched the third episode of ‘House of the Dragon’ on HBO, which is a significant drop from last week’s 3.5 million. However, it is worth noticing that Nielsen has only included the traditional TV viewership and doesn’t feature the millions of people that would have tuned in to watch the episode via HBO Max.

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Daniel Scott-Smith as Craghas Drahar, aka Crab Feeder, in 'House of the Dragon' (HBO)
Daniel Scott-Smith as Craghas Drahar, aka Crab Feeder, in 'House of the Dragon' (HBO)

On the other hand, another report from Deadline revealed that there was an increase in viewers who chose HBO Max to watch the latest ‘HOTD’ episode. As per the report, there was a 27% increase in viewers for Episode 3 on the streaming platform compared to Episode 2 which premiered last week. The report also suggests that 16 million viewers have already seen the third episode and continue to enjoy a lot of attention from the fans. Deadline noted that these numbers are based on a combination of Nielsen and the first-party data.

The third episode of ‘House of the Dragon’ received positive reviews from everywhere and currently holds a rating of 9.0 on IMDb. The latest chapter in the Taragaryen saga took a three-year time jump and saw King Viserys getting married to Alicent Hightower. They have already welcomed a son, Prince Aegon, and another baby is on its way. However, Princess Rhaenyra, the king’s first child and the heir to the throne, feels that she has been ignored since her father’s second marriage and continues to drag herself away from the talks of marriage.

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A still from 'House of the Dragon' Episode 3 (HBO)
A still from 'House of the Dragon' Episode 3 (HBO)

On the other hand, Prince Daemon Targaryen has reached the Stepstones to end the reign of the Crab Feeder. But King Viserys managed to make him even more frustrated when he sent a message saying that some aid is on its way for the people of Free Cities and the battle should stop. Daemon was infuriated by the message and decided to take matter into his hands. On the battlefield, he acted like he was ending the battle by waving the white flag and getting down to his knees. However, he pierced through the army of the Crab Feeder alone and killed the antagonist by cutting his body in half.

Things are going to get even more intense as Prince Daemon returns to King’s Landing after the brutal battle and talks to his brother about the massacre that took place at the Stepstones.

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'House of the Dragon' returns to HBO with a new episode every Sunday at 9 pm EST.

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