It looks like a three-year pause didn’t shake the Game of Thrones fandom. Years after the finale of the popular fantasy series, the first of several promised GOT prequels debuted Sunday night. And House of the Dragon is shaping up to be huge.

The premiere drew nearly 10 million viewers across linear and HBO Max platforms. That makes it the largest ever premiere audience for a new HBO series. 

“It was wonderful to see millions of ‘Game of Thrones’ fans return with us to Westeros last night. ‘House of the Dragon’ features an incredibly talented cast and crew who poured their heart and soul into the production, and we’re ecstatic with viewers’ positive response,” said Casey Bloys, Chief Content Officer at HBO & HBO Max. “We look forward to sharing with audiences what else George, Ryan, and Miguel have in store for them this season.” 

HBO expects the 10 million figure to climb fairly significantly, too. (Typically, Sunday night viewership for a HBO series will represent just 20%-40% of the show’s total audience.)

House of the Dragon went big online too. The series trended #1 on Twitter for 14 hours straight, and also made #1 on Google Trends.

Based on George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood, House of the Dragon explores a pivotal time for House Targaryen, 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones. The series stars Paddy Considine, Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke, Emma D’Arcy, Steve Toussaint, Eve Best, Fabien Frankel, Sonoya Mizuno, and Rhys Ifans, among others.

New episodes of House of the Dragon debut weekly at 9pm on Sundays on HBO and HBO Max.

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