House Of The Dragon Episode 10 Is HBO's Most-Viewed Finale Since Game Of Thrones

When you play the Game of Thrones, you either win the ratings or you die. According to the network's parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery (via Variety), "House of the Dragon" has now officially become the highest-rated HBO season finale since the series finale of "Game of Thrones" back in 2019.

9.3 million viewers reportedly tuned in to see the Dance of the Dragons in "The Black Queen," the tenth and final episode of "House of the Dragon" season 1. This number includes both HBO viewers and streaming viewers watching the finale on HBO Max. It's still slightly below the 10.2 million viewers of the second episode, and well below the 19.8 million viewers of the "Game of Thrones" series finale. By comparison, the first season of "Game of Thrones" ended with 3.9 million viewers, but of course, it was still building popularity and didn't have the benefit of being an established TV franchise and pop-culture juggernaut.

Considering the fact that "Game of Thrones" was actually beating "House of the Dragon" in the streaming ratings this season — despite having concluded three years ago — it's a good sign for the latter show that its viewership hasn't slipped that much in the last ten weeks. People are still watching "House of the Dragon," and with good reason. Despite having its issues, such as disjointed time jumps and scenes that were too dark (a complaint that showrunner Ryan Condal has now addressed), "House of the Dragon" managed to be just as engrossing as "Game of Thrones" in terms of its plot and the political machinations of its characters.

The Dance of the Dragons

This section touches on light spoilers for the "House of the Dragon" season 1 finale.

While Warner Bros. Discovery could theoretically report any number they want for the "House of the Dragon" season finale, Variety notes that the show's streaming viewership per third-party Nielsen data also increased or held steady across its first six weeks. It jumped up from 327 million minutes streamed in the show's first week to 741 and 781 million minutes in its second and third week, then leveled off with 1.02 billion, 960 million, and 1.01 billion minutes in its fourth, fifth, and sixth week, respectively.

Personally, I was just happy to see the Sea Snake, Lord Corlys Velaryon (Steve Toussaint), return in the finale, as I think his unceremonious exit mid-season and all the offscreen talk we've heard of him since then has been one of the more glaring examples of the show's time jumps deflating the drama and investment with certain plotlines and characters. "House of the Dragon" is based on the George R.R. Martin book "Fire & Blood," and this season has been all about setting up the Targaryen civil war of succession, or the Dance of the Dragons.

The finale involved an actual dragon dance of sorts, as we saw what looks to be the Westerosi version of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand (the event that set off World War I). Next season promises to bring all-out war, and in the meantime, you can catch up on all ten episodes of "House of the Dragon" season 1 on HBO Max.