Season 8 of HBO’s epic fantasy series Game of Thrones was always going to draw in the viewership ratings. After all, it has been 10 years in the making and viewers are now completely invested in finding out the fate of their favorite characters. As to be expected, the Season 8 finale was the highest-rating series finale aired on HBO.
SPOILER ALERT: This article discusses Episode 6 (titled “The Iron Throne”) of HBO’s Game of Thrones Season 8. Please proceed with caution if you have not yet viewed this episode and wish to avoid spoilers.
On Sunday night, viewers tuned in to Game of Thrones to find out who would win the ultimate prize in Westeros: the iron throne. As the episode progressed, Jon Snow (Kit Harington) found himself in a precarious position and ended up killing his lover — and aunt — Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), after she descended into tyrannical madness.
After that, Jon was imprisoned in the Season 8 finale of Game of Thrones and later sentenced to return to Castle Black to live out his life. Brandon Stark, also known as the Three-Eyed Raven and now as Bran the Broken, was then voted in to rule over Westeros. The gathering of the highest-ranked people in Westeros decided that a voting system would be enacted in the future rather than continuing on with the current monarchy system.
While many fans have been critical of Season 8 of Game of Thrones, that didn’t stop them tuning in to the finale, according to HBO. A staggering “19.3 million viewers across HBO’s platforms (linear, HBOGO and HBO NOW)” watched the Episode 6. This beat the previous week’s episode airing of 18.4 million viewers, which HBO also states is the series high regarding viewership and ratings.
The initial viewing on Sunday night saw 13.6 million viewers tuning into the Season 8 finale of Game of Thrones. However, once replays and early streaming is accounted for, the final figure of 19.3 million is reached.
HBO points out that this figure is the “most-watched single telecast record on HBO ever.” This beats their previously held record of the Season 4 premiere of The Sopranos, which had 13.4 million viewers tuning in.
As The Hollywood Reporter points out, once “continued streaming, DVR and on-demand viewing and additional replays” is also factored in, the final season of Game of Thrones was averaging 44.2 million viewers per episode. This is, on average, up 10 million on the Season 7 figures.
Episode 6 was the final episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones Season 8 and the series overall. HBO is currently in production on a prequel series set in the same universe as Game of Thrones. However, no release date has yet been announced for this new series.