'Game of Thrones' Season 7 Premiere Blows Away HBO Viewership Records

Monday, 17 July 2017 - 9:35PM
Game of Thrones
Monday, 17 July 2017 - 9:35PM
'Game of Thrones' Season 7 Premiere Blows Away HBO Viewership Records
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HBO
In case you hadn't heard, Game of Thrones is back.

But chances are you have heard, because "Dragonstone," the first episode of the show's seventh season, was both HBO's most-watched program last night and it's most talked about on social media. But let's ignore social media for a moment - in terms of viewership, the episode had a total of 16.1 million pairs of eyes watching it last night, with 10.1 million watching on HBO's channel and the rest watching through either DVR or streaming.

Just comparing that to Game of Thrones episodes alone, that's around twice as much as HBO's previous record holder, the season 6 finale "The Winds of Winter." That reached only around 8.89 million viewers on the Sunday night it premiered, while other episodes throughout seasons 5 and 6 all averaged around 7 to 8 million.

Bringing in delayed views (i.e. people who couldn't catch the episode until later), most season 6 episodes gathered around 25 million views total, so season seven's "Dragonstone" is likely to top that once more delayed view counts start coming in. And looking at other HBO shows like The Sopranos and Westworld - both extremely popular shows, mind you - Game of Thrones' new 16.1 million record dwarfs them both, with Westworld's finale only bringing in 3.6 million on its first night.

Going back to social media, "Dragonstone" soared through Twitter like Aegon the Conqueror, and spread out like Jorah's greyscale. The night of the episode, about 2.4 million Game of Thrones tweets were sent out. If you're curious what people were talking about the most, that would be a certain, not-so-subtle cameo from beloved singer-songwriter and disillusioned Lannister soldier Ed Sheeran. You know, this guy:

HBO

After people expressed their thoughts on Ser Sheeran's gratuitous cameo, Arya Stark was still the most discussed character (fun fact: it was Arya who had a scene with Ed Sheeran because Maisie Williams is a huge fan of his). That was probably because of her big scene at the opening of the episode, with Daenerys' mostly silent return to Westeros coming in second.

It's tough to predict whether ratings will rise or dip with next week's episode, but Game of Thrones has always been unique in that its ratings almost consistently go up. The next episode, "Stormborn," is on July 23, 2017 on HBO.
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