House of the Dragon ratings drop for season 2 launch

olivia cooke, rhys ifans, house of the dragon, season 2
House of the Dragon ratings drop for s2 premiereSky

Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon returned for its season two premiere on the weekend, but not as many viewers tuned in when compared to season one.

Deadline has reported that, according to Warner Bros Discovery, the fantasy series was watched by 7.8 million US viewers on Sunday, June 16 across channel HBO and streaming service Max.

While the media giant claimed that it has been the best day ever for Max, the numbers are down from the 10 million US viewers who watched the season one premiere on its first day.

emma d'arcy, house of the dragon, season 2

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The publication states that viewers have spent the week before the premiere re-watching season one to catch up, so it's possible the the combination of season two's (lower-rated) premiere and season one catch-ups on the Sunday led to breaking the record for Max.

These numbers don't tell the whole story, of course. Seven-day viewership is also important, and other territories won't necessarily follow the same decline as the US. In fact, Deadline claims that Latin America has seen a 30% increase in viewership for the season two premiere.

The second season has done well with critics, receiving over 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. Digital Spy's own review said: "We're here to reassure you that this Game of Thrones spin-off is no one-trick pony – season two is shaping up to be every bit as enthralling.

"...However, we're still waiting for Rhaenyra to get off the back foot and truly step into her power, which is our only hang-up from what we've seen so far."

olivia cooke, rhys ifans, house of the dragon, season 2

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Although the season has only just begun airing, the stars have already been teasing a lot of "chaos" to come in the finale, while a third season has also been officially greenlit.

House of the Dragon season 2 premieres on Monday, June 17 on Sky Atlantic and NOW in the UK. In the US, it airs on HBO and streams on Max.

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