The numbers are in, and people watched in record numbers to learn the final fate of the Iron Throne in the Game of Thrones finale last night. HBO released the viewership numbers today, and the Game of Thrones finale was the most watched episode of any show in the pay channel’s history.
The final episode of Game of Thrones brought in 19.3 million viewers across all platforms, including real time, HBO Go, and HBO Now. “The Iron Throne” episode bested a record set just last week with the destructive “The Bells” episode, which snagged 18.4 million viewers.
The real time viewing numbers, meaning those that watched the show at 9 p.m. on first airing, also set a record for HBO. The episode brought in 13.6 million viewers for that airing. The previous high total was held by The Sopranos, who hit 13.4 million viewers for its Season 4 premiere in September of 2002.
Game of Thrones drew to an end of its eight-season run with an episode that many predicted would be as divisive as last week’s chapter. We even used science to predict that fans would be disappointed, and it turns out we were right. The resolution as to who won the Iron Throne was handled splendidly, and gave the characters of the show as much of a happy ending as possible, given the shocking twists and turns this season.
This series will go down in the annals of television history as one of the most popular and most watched ever. Last night’s finale will hold the record at HBO for many years to come. Game of Thrones lives on in its entirety on the HBO GO and HBO NOW streaming services.
Fans looking to get their fantasy fix have only a few months to go before His Dark Materials premieres on HBO, as well as Watchmen this fall. Next year sees the return of the critically acclaimed Westworld for Season 3.
While these shows have followings, both built in and earned, none will ever compare to the cultural juggernaut that was Game of Thrones, and these ratings numbers prove it.
All images courtesy of HBO.