House of the Dragon dueling trailers set viewership records for Max

Not only were the "Green" and "Black" trailers for House of the Dragon season 2 watched a whole lot, they inspired a record amount of discussion for a Max show.
House of the Dragon season 2
House of the Dragon season 2 /

The second season of House of the Dragon is upon us. The new episodes will chronicle the war between two factions of the Targaryen dynasty. Some support the claim of Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D'Arcy) to the Iron Throne — this faction is known as the "Blacks" — while others support the claim of her younger half-brother Aegon II Targaryen; his supporters are known as the "Greens." The other week, HBO took advantage of this divide by releasing two different trailers, one about the Blacks...

...and the other focusing on the Greens:

It was a fun marketing idea that paid off. As HBO and Max told ADWEEK, the trailers brought in more than 80 million global video views over their first 72 hours of availability. That makes them the best-performing trailer for any original series since streaming platform Max launched in 2020.

Making trailers like this was a bit of a risk, in part because while the terms "Blacks" and "Greens" show up all the time in George R.R. Martin's book Fire & Blood, they haven't been used on the show very much. “It was really about how were we going to create a platform that would be accessible for more casual fans of the series or even newcomers, but also for book fans who were going to understand the vernacular of green and black,” said HBO and Max executive Steven Cardwell. “It was definitely an idea from the books that we wanted to create an opportunity for fans to cosign.”

The trailers inspired more than 280,500 posts on social media, so the "All Must Choose" gimmick definitely got people talking. (That said, on YouTube, the Black trailer has over 10 million views and the Green trailer is approaching nine million, so there is a slight enthusiasm gap.) “The allegiances might change, or people’s opinions might change over this series, and that was important to us,” Cardwell said. “We didn’t want to guide anyone or make anyone think one way or the other. We wanted to present both sides of the story, make an argument and let the fans choose.”

"We’re just so lucky to work on IP like this that’s so rich and nuanced and operates in this gray space where it’s not just white hats and black hats. It’s not Team Edward and Team Jacob. It allows us to be creative and talk to fans in a way that’s authentic, and I think ultimately is a good mirror of the show itself."

Another tricky thing about the trailers was that the marketing team had to be careful about which shots it used, both because the new episodes are still being worked on and because they didn't want to reveal spoilers. That said, Cardwell promises that the marketing will leave some "breadcrumbs" for fans who know what to look for. “I’ve worked on this IP for a long time, and I’m always surprised by this level of fandom. They are so incredible, and sometimes a creative spark is all you need to ignite the realm.”

House of the Dragon to be available through Max on MovieStar+ in Spain

Warner Bros. Discovery, which owns HBO and operates Max, wants to make sure that as many people as possible are able to watch the new season of House of the Dragon when it premieres on Sunday, June 16. To that end, the Max streaming service will be available to users of the Movistar+ service in Spain as of May 21. In a press release shared by The Hollywood Reporter, the companies highlighted the premiere of House of the Dragon season 2 as one of the biggest things coming to Max in the near future.

Of course, there are also other things to watch on Max, including shows like Succession and The Last of Us as well as movies like Dune. “This summer, Max will be the only place to watch every minute of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games,” WBD added. And later this year there will be new shows like The Sympathiser and The Penguin.

But House of the Dragon does seem like the big-ticket item. We'll see how it fares come mid-June!

aegon. Why King Aegon Targaryen will be the best character in House of the Dragon season 2. dark. Next

To stay up to date on everything fantasy, science fiction, and WiC, follow our all-encompassing Facebook page and Twitter account, sign up for our exclusive newsletter and check out our YouTube channel.