'Game of Thrones' ratings steady for second episode

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Image Credit: HBO

The second episode of Game of Thrones delivered the same number of viewers as last week’s premiere. Sunday’s 9 p.m. airing was seen by 2.2 million viewers, matching last week. The 11 p.m. repeat drew another 732,000, also in line with premiere night. Meanwhile the first episode has since climbed to 6.8 million thanks to OnDemand and all of HBO’s extra airings.

So is this good news? Bad news? Mostly good…

HBO’s two biggest concerns about Thrones were that viewers either wouldn’t show up for the premiere because the series is (gasp!) fantasy, or they would take one look at the first episode and decide “this isn’t for me.” Neither of those things happened.

Would some growth have been nice? Yeah. But it was also Easter Sunday, so nobody expected the number to leap this week. Now as long as stabbing a certain furry character didn’t turn off too many people…

Related: Game of Thrones second episode recap: ‘Sex, Lies and Direwolves': Direwolves attack, Lannisters scheme and Dany is taught how to ride more than a horse

Related: HBO answers your Game of Thrones renewal questions

Oh, almost forgot: Thrones was followed by the Treme second season premiere, which drew 605,000 viewers. Wha-whaaa.

Comments (65 total) Add your comment
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  • waxon

    Best show on TV…it is known.

    • Merry Bear

      it is known

      • vi

        it is known

    • scott

      it is known

      • Kahl Dorko

        it is known

      • Dave

        it is known

      • mark

        it is known

      • Ben

        it is known

      • erasure25

        It is know.

      • Lily

        It is known. (I had to read everything until I found out that the beautiful wolf dog Lady, whose character met a sad demise this week, is happily living with the actress who plays Sansa Stark. Whew!)

      • CT

        @ Lily – yes, b/c it was in doubt for a while there whether they had actually killed the canine actor

      • João Amaral

        It is know.

      • hodor

        hodor?

    • Cygnus

      That’s a huge drop-off from Thrones to Treme. I’m sure HBO cant be happy about that. Considering its such a dramatic change of genres, I’m not surprised so many Throne watchers jumped ship after the ep was over.

      • Lee

        Who cares about ratings. The bottom line is HBO wants NEW subscribers. Are they getting them? I doubt it if the figures are the same as last week. I don’t think this is good news for HBO.

      • Dan

        Lee – That statement makes no sense. 1) The first weekend was a free preview weekend so numbers remaining steady could mean a lot of people who watched it for free did subscribe. 2) Numbers being steady in has no bearing on how many new subscribers came in for GoT BEFORE the first episode. 3) Who cares about ratings? HBO does, I guarentee. HBO needs to know how many new subscribers a show brings in and how many of their current subscribers are watching a show, as well as the buzz a show is creating in general.

    • Robin

      It is known.

    • Steve

      It is known.

  • scott

    Damn, Merry Bear, you beat me to it!

    • Mike

      Yeah, but it needed to be done twice. Well done.

  • Michelle

    Steady is good. Growth will come.

    • HatAttack

      As will winter!

    • sarah

      even if it doesn’t, i think it’ll stand on being a cult hit with damn fine ratings. i hope. i’d love to see it overtake the books. maybe grrm will publish faster…

      • @sarah

        That’s what I was thinking, too! He’s not going to be able to wait years and years between books now.

  • Marcus

    I’d say the fact that they kept the same number of viewers is very impressive considering how many cable companies where holding free preview weekends during the premier. I know that that is the only reason I got to watch the first episode. I would order HBO but that extra $15 just isn’t in the budget (sad, I know).

    • TV_Pete

      I know many areas did have free HBO for the weekend. Very impressive.

      Perhaps more impressive is the number of people who signed up for a subscription.

      You may want to call your provider and see if they have any deals. We were going to cancel Showtime/Cinemax and just keep HBO, but they gave us a deal that cost less than just HBO. Sweet!

  • Katie

    True Blood didn’t REALLY hit its stride until the end of the first season and the early part of the second. I think it’s too early to judge Game of Thrones’ long-term prognosis, but I’d say there’s more reason to be optimistic than not.
    I’m more curious to see how the long-term audience, especially those not familiar with the books, reacts to the high volume of cast turnover that the series will eventually have. This isn’t like True Blood, Big Love, Sex and the City or even The Sopranos, where the core cast will stay more or less the same throughout.

    • TV_Pete

      I think the biggest hurdles for Game of Thrones:

      Getting to know the characters and becoming invested in them.

      Not getting turned off by the violence, nudity, and shocks (cute character thrown off window, young girl getting taken, perhaps against her will, by her husband, cute wolf-puppy getting killed).

      • Heroine Addict

        His name is Summer!

    • JJ

      (high volume of cast turnover)
      That was my biggest issue with the Pacific.

      • Anne

        I think the cast turnover is being greatly exaggerated by fans of the series. Yes, major characters die, but certainly not the majority, no more than your typical Joss Whedon show. Ok, maybe a bit more, but not THAT many.

      • @Anne

        It’s not just about people dying. The story seem to be moving pretty fast (time wise). So not only will they keep getting new characters, they will also have to replace the current ones so as to be more age appropriate for their roles. Mis-cast could be an issue as well as not being able to connect with them. I’m assuming that’s what he meant……..
        I think people just need to realize that this show has no specific hero for you to follow and root for. It is after all called The Game Of Thrones. If they can get past that, they’ll be just fine.

      • Laura

        I think viewers are going to be very shocked @ who we lose in the first season. If you’re not a reader, just know that no one in these books is safe, ever. It reminds me of Oz in that way. Oz never had a problem killing off big characters.

  • Rob

    In today’s age keeping the exact number is an accomplishment for cable or even regular tv. No dip whatsoever and on a holiday weekend. Impressive.

    It will also be interesting to see the on demand numbers. I know that is how I watch it

    • Rob

      Rob, we have a problem here (but we DO have mutually awesome first names). Maybe I’ll be “that OTHER Rob” next time.

  • James

    Its good they didnt drop but still a show like this deserves so much better. Shows like Hung and Entourage on HBO get bigger ratings than 2.2m. Hopefully they start to grow as the season goes on.

  • K

    This is good; really glad they didn’t fall, especcially considering the holiday weekend. I do hope they grow over time, especcially from season 1 to season 2. HBO should definitely try to release the DVD with enough time for people who haven’t see the show to get hooked and tune in for season 2.

  • Sabre

    Another genre breaking hit for HBO. I only wish more networks like SHO, AMC and the aforementioned would be this brave, at least with ideas if not adult content for network TV.

    • Pisces228

      Starz produces great period series and mini series like Spartacus and Camelot. And Showtime has done The Tudors and The Borgias.

      • diko

        camelot? LOL.. not even great at all..

  • Hudson

    Will we get Monday ratings as well for GoT today?

  • Ryan E

    Good news, in my opinion. Once word of mouth gets around about how great the series is, the numbers will only go up. Having read the book, I can safely say that the quality of the show will ramp up throughout the first season and only get better.

    • WeDoNotSow

      The series is so flawless considering all the hurdles. If people can’t appreciate it I’d rather have it end early than cast pearls before swine.

  • Candace

    The season gets better with each and every episode. It is known…by the few who have seen the entire series. DO NOT MISS A SINGLE EPISODE. History is being made.

    • Heroine Addict

      “History is being made.”

      Bingo!!

  • Del Taco

    episode one didnt’ impress me, thought things would pick up during episode two. NOT !!! All I can say is I fast forwarded through most of this mess, stopped only when the wolf was snacking on some dude’s throat, the hot scene with the 2 chicks, and at the end when the kid turned into a zombie. I won’t be tuning in for any more episodes. Nice try HBO !! time to move on to something else

    • tlw

      No kids were made into zombies during this episode…Bran woke up from a comatose state.

    • Rob

      It’s epic fantasy, so it moves at an epic pace. There’s lots of bad people doing bad things to other people for quite some time (then in later books, the bad people switch, becoming more sympathetic, and the good guys less sympathetic). Some shows connect with some people, some don’t. I look at the top rated shows on TV and wonder, how can people LIKE this stuff when there’s this OTHER show where this British dude who’s an alien wears a bow-tie and rides around in a time-machine shaped like a big blue box… How could they not like THAT? Then I dance around like a di ck to the theme music, thinking to myself, god I’m such a TARDIS.

    • Rob

      Oh yeah! mmm….. Tacos

    • Taco Bell

      Once again Del Taco you have shown why we are enemies for life. There is nothing good or redeeming about you. I hope you die sad and alone.

    • Heroine Addict

      It’s gratifying that someone with your razor sharp intellect doesn’t get it….

  • Rob

    Not that HBO would like this, but I noticed that GoT Ep. 1&2 are #1 and #2 for the most downloaded TV shows on Pirate’s Bay.

    • Asha

      It is kn0wn …. :}

  • Anne

    Wondering what the full live + OnDemand + repeat airings #s are to compare to that 6million total viewers for the pilot. Also, did we ever get a DVR viewership # for the first episode?

    • Sam

      Anne, I think monday viewership for the premiere brought the total to 5.4 million, so DVR + OnDemand (and maybe a few unique viewers on the other showings during the week) must have been about 1.4 million.

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