House of the Dragon Episode 5 Dominates Ratings as Series Continues to Climb

There's no stopping the power of dragons. House of the Dragon, a prequel series to Game of Thrones, has been a dominant force for HBO and HBO Max since premiering last month. The first episode of the new series broke records, becoming the most-watched series premiere in HBO history. After five weeks, the hype surrounding House of the Dragon has shown no signs of slowing down. In fact, viewership actually increased for the fifth episode of the show.

According to a new report from Variety, viewership for House of the Dragon's fifth episode rose 3% from episode four. That number is a combination of the same-night ratings on HBO through Nielsen and the streaming views on HBO Max and other HBO platforms from Sunday night. The traditional HBO telecast saw 2.576 million viewers tune in to the new episode, which was itself a 4% increase from last week.

Streaming throughout the week has made House of the Dragon an even bigger juggernaut for HBO. So far, House of the Dragon Season 1 has averaged 29 million viewers per episode. There has been almost no drop-off in overall audience since the premiere.

Next week's episode of House of the Dragon will be its most important yet, as the series finally introduces the long-awaited time jump, which will see new actors take over two of its main characters. Emma D'Arcy is replacing Milly Alcock in the role of Rhaenyra Targaryen, while Olivia Cooke takes over the role of Alicent Hightower from Emily Carey.

Following her final appearance in episode five, Carey spoke with Variety about passing the role of Alicent on to Cooke in the coming episode.

"It's very strange, having this much this much freedom and this much ownership of a role, and then not even being able to read the rest of the scripts, because it was so top secret," Carey explained. "I am incredibly excited to see Olivia and Emma [D'Arcy, who plays the adult Rhaenyra] do their thing. They are both the loveliest people ever, and I've admired Olivia as work for years and years. So to be able to hand off a role to her of all people fills me with so much joy and pride."

"I just can't wait to see the episodes and actually watch the show with the viewer, and not be cringing at myself," she added. "I can actually take it in from an audience's perspective, which is quite nice."

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New episodes of House of the Dragon air on HBO and HBO Max every Sunday night.