At this point, it may be old news, but Game of Thrones is the biggest show on television. The finale, which aired on Sunday, only confirmed this.
The most recent episode, which was entitled “The Dragon and the Wolf”, was viewed an astonishing 16.5 million times, based only on those who tuned into HBO live while the episode was airing, and those who streamed it that night. Considering that every other episode this season, of which there were only six, logged an average of about 31 million viewers total, this number is likely to skyrocket once live views, time-shifted views, on-demand orders, and stream numbers are tallied. It cannot be understated that 16.5 million is quite the record breaking number; to put that into perspective, if you took the countries with the top ten lowest populations, including Liechtenstein, American Samoa, Monaco, and Palau, you would not have half the number of people who watched Game of Thrones.
Domestically alone, the finale was viewed about 12.10 million times, which is a significant increase from the previous episode, “Beyond the Wall”, which logged about 10.24 million views. That roughly calculates to a 13% increase. The fact that a show this far in its run is still shattering its own records is surely something the showrunners did not foresee when they began writing the show. (In fact, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the showrunners, have claimed that they didn’t expect to even make it to the Red Wedding, an event which surely helped the show rise to the level of prestige it now holds.)
At this point, Game of Thrones has surpassed The Sopranos as the most watched HBO series of all time, and it has usurped AMC’s The Walking Dead, which was at one time the unquestioned, and seemingly infallible, giant of television. It will be interesting to see how the final view tally shapes up after all has been accounted for, and whether or not the show continues to smash its own records when it returns in an estimated 18 months.
What do you think? Is Game of Thrones rightfully the most watched show on television, or is it over-hyped trash?