Emma D'Arcy as Rhaeynyra Targaryen in House of the Dragon.

HBO Max Dropped the Ball on Its Biggest TV Premiere of the Year

After a nearly two-year wait, House of the Dragon season 2 finally premiered on HBO and Max on June 16. However, the premiere was disrupted for some viewers due to an issue with the sound.

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The issues only occurred for those who chose to stream the first episode on Max, garnering the unpopular streamer further criticism. Recently, viewers have begun protesting the streamer due to the poor decisions of Warner Bros. and CEO David Zaslav. A campaign managed to get #DontStreamOnMax trending as social media users shared all the reasons they don’t utilize the streaming service, including Max’s infamous decision to cancel Our Flag Means Death and other LGBTQ+ shows. The streamer has also been accused of refusing to promote its content and support its creative talent.

On top of that, viewers are now unimpressed that the streamer seemingly didn’t prepare for its biggest TV show premiere of the year, resulting in some technical issues.

Does House of the Dragon season 2’s premiere have sound?

Shortly after House of the Dragon season 2 episode 1 premiered on Max, several Reddit threads and X (formerly Twitter) posts surfaced, with viewers complaining that the episode had no sound. While some of the users weren’t sure if the problem was with their system or the streamer, it quickly became apparent that it was a wider issue, as numerous commenters reported the same problem.

However, the issue wasn’t as severe as it initially seemed. When viewers started the episode, they immediately panicked upon realizing the opening recap was silent. If they continued watching, though, the sound kicked in as soon as the actual episode started. According to social media users, everything except for the episode was soundless.

So, the recap, preview of the next episode, and commentary from the showrunner and actors were all silent. Some users even reported that the ads were soundless. Although the actual episode wasn’t affected, the initial silent recap caused unnecessary panic for numerous viewers. Additionally, many viewers probably would have liked to watch the season 1 recap and season 2 previews with sound.

Many users who reported the issue watched the episode through Amazon Prime with the Max add-on. It’s unclear if the problem was limited to Prime or occurred on the actual Max app, so it seems both Prime and Max dropped the ball on the House of the Dragon premiere. Countless users expressed their frustration about the glitch and disbelief that this was what they got after a two-year wait. Some users joked that “somebody’s getting fired,” while others shared solutions they found for the issue.

So far, Max has not publicly addressed the sound issues with House of the Dragon, making it unclear if the issue will be resolved by next week’s episode.

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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.