'Game of Thrones' finale ratings hit series high


Game of Thrones was a grower, not a shower.

After a relatively average launch of 2.2 million viewers, Thrones continued to edge higher in the ratings all season. With its tenth episode finale, Thrones hit a strong number that HBO had been targeting: 3 million viewers. Adding the show’s repeat at 11 p.m., a total of 3.9 million viewers tuned in. Though the Thrones premiere was harshly compared to the big debut of Boardwalk Empire, their finales were pretty close, with the Boardwalk closer delivering 3.3/4.2 million. Thrones continues to average 8.3 million viewers when you include all repeats, DVR and On Demand viewing. Guess those viewers pledging they would stop watching after Episode 9’s shocking event couldn’t stay away.

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  • Westeros

    Excellent news! I suspect 3 million is something of an artificial benchmark among fans, but it feels good that it reached it. And nearly hitting 4 million overnight? Very good.

    Onwards and upwards with the next season, we hope!

    • sarah

      that is especially good news considering it was father’s day! i ended up watching the later/repeat viewing sunday

    • DW

      Yay! Get season 1 out on DVD in time for people to catch up, and HBO may see some True Blood-like growth in season 2.

    • kate middleton

      Great news for Thrones! I think GoT airing in the spring/summer impacts the ratings as well.

      I watched, and liked, Boardwalk Empire. But I don’t see it being a show that gains a lot of viewers season to season. I bet it drops for the Season 2 premiere. It’s good, but it’s not the same type of thrilling story as GoT.

  • SergioCQH

    Season 2 premiere over 4 million, guaranteed.

    • Eleanor

      Oh hell yeah.
      There will be a LOT of people catching up on DVD, I predict. And then they’ll tune in!

    • el

      Hope so, they certainly deserve it. They’ve brought the books alive and trimmed a lot of the fat. The only thing that could be better is two more episodes next season, they can certainly fill it with ASOS moments.

      • Anne

        Only if the DVD comes out early enough. Usually HBO waits until right before the new season. For this show I think it would be much better if they released it at least a month before.

      • Mike

        @el – Don’t you mean Clash of Kings not ASOS? Or are you saying they could put moments from book 3 into season 2? Anyways, I heard they’re sticking with a 10 episode season.

      • lawrencetokill

        i very certainly hope and think from what they’ve said that they’ll fast forward some plotlines as early as they can start them. (most hopefully, the handsome knight and the ‘beautiful’ warrior who tag team the third book.)

    • RyanK

      As long as they get the DVD out in time, for sure.

  • CJ

    Take that all you naysayers that no one would turn in after Ned’s death! Just goes to show that for all the supposed discontented, many more wanted to see what was next.

    • RyanK

      They were just book-throwers, that’s all.

  • Michelle

    Praise the Seven!

    • AC

      There is only one god. R’hollor Lord of Light.

      • Lefty

        There is only one god. And his name is Death.

  • tlw

    Big fan of the books, since I picked A Game of Thrones off the shelf in ’96, and the HBO show handles the story wonderfully. I wish there were more than 10 episodes, especially with whats coming up but I will take what I can get for sure! So glad to see the numbers are there and were higher even after “Baelor”. April 2012 cannot come soon enough!

  • danny

    Does this mean HBO will give them enough money next season to include all the direwolves, battle scenes, and dragons that they are asking for?

    • wino

      yeah, im hoping they will. they’ve gotten enough buzz and now enough ratings to warrant a bump in their allowance.

    • Here & There

      A recent interview with the producer on EW.com revealed more direwolves in the next series. I can’t wait.

  • crispy

    “Game of Thrones was a grower, not a shower.” Hodor on the other hand…

    • Your mom

      Hodor! Hodor!

      • Jen

        Hordor! It is known!

    • aj

      God, if he’s a grower I fear for the ladies of Winterfell.

  • jay_k

    Nice numbers although I was hoping that it would have beat Boardwalk Empire’s 3.2 million finale numbers. Hopefully GOT season 2 does better than BWE S2 numbers. They both have the same budget

    • CK1

      I had a feeling it would finish close though. Unlike BwE, GOT’s numbers have been rising almost all season. It was a slow build and they finished stronger than when they began. I had a feeling that we would see 3 mil by now.

  • Jason

    HBO needs to give Thrones some of that True Blood budget. I watched that 8 mintue preview of TrueBlood and was so disappointed, evil faeries throwing sparkling bombs at people?? WTF!! I’m a fan of True Blood but after watching the Thrones finale, that was pretty weak.

    • Nik E

      I agree Jason. Not sure where TB will go this season. Hopefully after the fairies it will go back to being like season one. Thrones was amazing!

      • Saju

        “In terms of shooting sdehcule vs. writing sdehcule, if the show is a huge hit, it will surpass the series before the next book (after Dragons) comes out.”Apparently they’re talking about STORM being two seasons because of the length of the book. That likely means DRAGONS will be as well (given that the book is apparently the same size as SWORDS, never mind it having to be integrated with the events of CROWS as well), giving us potentially seven seasons before they get to WINDS OF WINTER. Personally I think it’s more likely that HBO will get cold feet and cancel it before then. I just hope they get to the end of SWORDS.

    • Gina Vera

      Are you kidding me ! GOB cost way more to make than TB help all the period costumes and sets etc.

      • Jason

        Not necessarily, I know Thrones cost $60 mil for the first season, but anyone know the TrueBlood Sn 4 Budget. All I am saying is that the first 8 minutes of True Blood was CGI driven which is expensive to make and Game of Thrones still needs to up it’s budget to keep the quality and make sure the dragons, direwolves, and Battle of the Blackwater look good for Season 2.

      • RyanK

        CGI is pricey. But you’re forgetting the fact that True Blood doesn’t have to have armorers on staff, tons of ornate costumes, huge set pieces, a massive cast in two different countries, and yes also CGI.

    • kate middleton

      So agree. The clip of the True Blood premier was RIDICULOUS. Terrible effects too. I am a TB fan, but it will be such a let down after GoT.

  • mark

    Where can I go for spoilers? I need to know how Dany fits into this story, I am thinking she somehow hooks up with a Stark.

    • GOT FTW

      Read the books, can’t recommend them enough. They are the ultimate spoilers.

    • MrBilliam

      Well, you could read the book. And I think even Wikipedia would have spoilers of what happens to characters.

      • herbapou

        imo if you havent read the books avoid the wiki’s, you may get spoil important plots in an instant that completly ruin the story for you.

        Reading the books is the solution if you cant wait. And there is much more details that the TV series can ever bring.

    • Mike

      Wow, didn’t think the amazon link would be that fancy when I pasted it! lol but yeah, read the books. I’m still on Clash of Kings but it’s fantastic. Just need time to finish reading it and move onto the next one.

    • Tim W

      I highly recommend the books also. They are an amazing read. They are the best I have ever read and I have read a lot of books.

    • tresa

      I love spoilers too…try Tower of the Hand.

  • herbapou

    Maybe they lost some after Ned but all the press brought new viewers

  • Matt W.

    I hope HBO takes all the money it was using on Big Love and Entourage and give it to Game of Thrones for season 2.

    • Bob S.

      Hear Hear!

      As to those posting spoilers, cut it the hell out!

  • mewofford

    Read the books all you want and you still won’t find out if Dany married a Stark. Unless he’s put it in #5 due out next month.


    He is a huge tease that G R R Martin.

    • TheKing


  • Sarah

    Loved the finale!!!!! I just wish the season had been a little longer but oh well. I’m almost done with ASOS and so far the books are fantastic!!!!! I reccommend them to all my friends lol

  • delores reynolds

    Game of Thrones was amazing. Great story telling, exciting characters, I loved it! Very faithful to the book with great acting. The Killing was a big disappointment. I hate being teased and resent the use of sloppy detective work to keep us guessing. One man was nearly killed because of the bungling and another may be killed. This is not good story telling and I do not plan to watch next season.

    • Jaime

      hate to say it but thats how it goes in the books. And trust me, it gets better, what has happened so far has been absolutely critical to other portions of the plot (duh, that’s how stories work). I’m probably not the first and I won’t be the last to tell you that you should stick with it or read the books for now or both. You truly will NOT regret it.

    • mike

      Not good storytelling? LOL…its amazing storytelling…it isn’t a detective story, but even when it touches on that it handles it well…but wth were you smoking when you posted? ITs amazing and has great storytelling and characters…BUT you will not watch next season…ummm…ok

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