House of the Dragon Makes History for HBO in Europe


House of the Dragon is doing numbers for HBO over in Europe. The new Game of Thrones series set some records for the brand as it became the most watched premiere in the channel's history. This is largely unsurprising considering the fact that Warner Bros. Discovery spent the most it's ever spent in marketing on House of the Dragon. New CEO David Zaslav touted the new project in a staff-wide email before the premiere last week. It seems that his confidence paid off this time as viewers are as enthused with the new series as the company is. Reviews of the Game of Thrones show have also been positive. It's no secret that Warner Bros. Discovery was banking on a fresh return to Westeros to bring some zip. Famously, the ending of the original HBO series led to a lot of fan frustration. House of the Dragon couldn't have gotten off to a better start in light of all of these hurdles. It will be interesting to see if it can keep up momentum as the fall begins and the landscape becomes more crowded.

"The entire HBO team have shepherded what looks to be the next big cultural moment. I had a chance to watch the premiere in Los Angeles with [HBO boss Casey Bloys] and the team and was blown away by the quality of the production, richness of the story, and power of the action," the CEO told the staff before the premiere. "It is something we should all be really proud of, and we cannot wait to share it with audiences worldwide. … We look forward to the start of this exciting new adventure, and to thrilling fans with the kind of buzzworthy cultural moments the Targaryen family is sure to deliver."

"We reached nearly 130 million people in the U.S. alone," he wrote. "It has also been exciting to see teams across the company work collaboratively with the HBO team in what has been an unprecedented cross-promotional campaign," Zaslav continued. "And we've done all of this in just a few short months, clearly showing what we can accomplish when our networks, streaming platforms, digital and social channels, all work collectively in support of one shared priority. We can really move the needle and I can't wait to see what we will do on future campaigns when we harness the full reach and unique opportunities we bring to the table."

HBO dropped a synopsis for the new series: "The reign of House Targaryen begins. House of the Dragon, the prequel to Game of Thrones, is coming to HBO and HBO Max on August 21. Based on George R.R. Martin's "Fire & Blood," the series, which is set 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones, tells the story of House Targaryen. Paddy Considine (HBO's The Third Day and The Outsider), Matt Smith (Doctor Who), Olivia Cooke, Emma D'Arcy, Steve Toussaint (It's a SinDoctor Who), Eve Best, Sonoya Mizuno, Fabien Frankel and Rhys Ifans to star. Additional cast members include Milly Alcock, Bethany Antonia, Phoebe Campbell, Emily Carey, Harry Collett, Ryan Corr, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jefferson Hall, David Horovitch, Wil Johnson, John Macmillan, Graham McTavish, Ewan Mitchell, Theo Nate, Matthew Needham, Bill Paterson, Phia Saban, Gavin Spokes, and Savannah Steyn." 

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