Released on 21 August 2022, House of the Dragon marked a return to the realms of Westeros three years after the world-dominating Game of Thrones concluded. At the time, debates raged as to whether or not viewers would be willing to return given the downfall of its predecessor and how it’d hold up against the much-hyped, most expensive show ever made with a near-immaculate IP attached: The Rings of Power.
A week or so after its release, House of the Dragon had brushed aside any fears on both fronts. A rousing return to form for the setting, it pulled in millions of viewers each week to HBO and associated channels, and resoundingly crushed the fantasy competition over at Prime Video in every regard. Now, having worked through the strikes thanks to the US actors’ , Season 2 is on the horizon.
Legacy, downfall, and revival
Before Season 1 hit TV, the debate revolved around giving Westeros another shot. Coming into Season 2, the feat achieved by House of the Dragon’s debut has led to great anticipation for its eventual release. In its prime, Game of Thrones was a record-breaker, with its eight million US viewers tuning in for the first episode of Season 5, an all-time high for HBO. That was snapped by the final episode of the season, which hit 8.11 million.
Still, Season 8 – and to less outcry, Season 7 – marked such a decline in writing quality that it impaired the anticipation for anything from Westeros to follow. Yet, many separate the opening run from the end, allowing the brand to hold firm. The evidence is everywhere for this, from Game of Thrones getaways to Northern Ireland, Croatia, and Iceland to the still popular range of online slot games.
Found at both top-rated new online casinos Canada has to offer, Game of Thrones 15 Lines, Game of Thrones 243 Ways, and Game of Thrones Power Stacks are mainstays at the two platforms with scores of over 4.75 out of 5. Even with this element still in play, House of the Dragon needed to be good to wash away memories of the final two seasons. Given its 10.2 million viewers for the second episode, it’s fair to say that it succeeded.
The Dance of Dragons begins
The thunderous finish to the first season will be picking up again in the early summer of 2024. During a press event, network chief Casey Bloys confirmed the release window and showed off the first trailer for reporters in attendance. For now, the details shown in the trailer are being kept under embargo, but it won’t be long before audiences are given a teaser of a few seconds before the first one or two-minute-long reveal trailers.
Showing that the story will pick up right where it left off and seemingly follow the beats of the source material – Fire and Blood – the first episode is titled A Son for a Son. It plays on the long-running rivalry between Aemond and Lucerys, which came to a particularly brutal conclusion beyond the will of the two dragon riders, and hints at Daemon (played by Matt Smith) exacting an act of revenge similar to – but not quite the same as – that of the book.