Fans have mixed feelings over the Game of Thrones finale that aired last night. Some feel it’s a proper finish for the series, while others saw it as a huge letdown. But there’s no question that it was a massive success for HBO. It became the network’s most watched episode ever, amidst a season that continued to hold a strong audience.
The Hollywood Reporter confirms that the series finale set viewership records across the board. The episode saw 13.6 million viewers during its first airing on Sunday night. Following that, with replays and early streaming on HBO Go and HBO Now, it climbed even further to 19.3 million. This make it the most widely viewed program in HBO history.
The previous record holder was the May 12 episode of Game of Thrones, which attained 12.8 million viewers for its first airing. It would later garner an audience of 18.4 million with replays and streaming.
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HBO has seen huge numbers from the shortened final season of Game of Thrones. Between streaming, Blu-ray, and on-demand services, it’s built an audience of 44.2 million viewers.
The only other show to come close to this level was The Sopranos. Back in 2002, the James Gandolfini led series had 13.43 million viewers with its fourth season premiere. Keep in mind, however, this was before the network offered streaming and DVR services. The Sopranos‘ 2007 finale had similar numbers, with 11.9 million viewers tuning in to that episode.
Regardless of how fans feel about the final episode, there’s no question that the Game of Thrones finale made history for HBO. Now the real question is if any of HBO’s other series can carry that momentum. Based on its new trailer, the new season of Westworld does promise an intense new direction.
What did you think about the Game of Thrones finale? Let us know in the comments below!