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House of the Dragon's first episode is the biggest TV series premiere in HBO history

Stewart Perrie

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House of the Dragon's first episode is the biggest TV series premiere in HBO history

House of the Dragon has officially become the most watched series premiere in HBO history.

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A whopping 10 million people in the US tuned into watch the first episode of the stunning new TV show from the brain of George R.R. Martin.

There was a hell of a lot of hype for the Game of Thrones prequel, so it's no surprise to see it attract loads of viewers.

For comparison, the first episode of Game of Thrones attracted 2.22 million viewers.

Casey Bloys, Chief Content Officer at HBO and HBO Max, said in a statement: "It was wonderful to see millions of Game of Thrones fans return with us to Westeros last night. 

"House of the Dragon features an incredibly talented cast and crew who poured their heart and soul into the production, and we're ecstatic with viewers' positive response.

"We look forward to sharing with audiences what else George, Ryan, and Miguel have in store for them this season."

But it wasn't just a sell-out in the US.

Credit: HBO
Credit: HBO

House of the Dragon was also the biggest series launch on HBO Max in Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, according to Entertainment Weekly.

It certainly was a memorable opening episode that had thrills, spills, chills and moments we'd rather forget.

Some viewers even said there should be a trigger warning at the start of the episode because of the horrifying birth scene.

As blood spilled during the royal tournament to mark the birth of a new prince, the Queen Aemma (Sian Brooke) was battling her way through the bloody agony of childbirth.

The crowd roars when they are told the Targaryen Queen is in the midst of bringing forth a new king, but the maesters soon summon King Viserys (Paddy Considine) to break the bad news: he must choose between the life of his unborn son and see his wife killed in front of him, or lose both.

Considine praised the work of co-star Sian Brooke. Credit: HBO/Sky
Considine praised the work of co-star Sian Brooke. Credit: HBO/Sky

A rather shell shocked looking birth attendant explains to King Viserys about a new procedure they are aware of at the Citadel, and goes on to explain a caesarean delivery.

Knowing Aemma would not survive, the king gives a grim nod to cut the infant from the Queen's womb, despite her being alive, awake, and fully conscious.

Viewers were stunned as Queen Aemma is pinned down by the midwives while the king clings to her hand as she writhes in pain.

Through blood-curdling screams and blood, their son is born and it was all worth it.

Or was it? Nope, because in the brutal style of Game of Thrones, we see the Queen and a smaller, wrapped body - the baby - upon the funeral pyre.

Pretty savage.

Featured Image Credit: HBO

Topics: TV and Film, Game of Thrones

Stewart Perrie
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