Everyone Turned Up to Watch Game of Thrones’ Return Last Sunday

Game of Thrones is an incredibly popular show, and after five years or so, you’d think its viewership had reached its limit. Well, you’d think that if you didn’t know how TV or popularity worked, but the brutal stories taking place in Westeros are only adding to its audience (including Key & Peele). And we think it’s safe to say that many of us here are part of that ever-growing group as well.

According to Variety, there was a point in Game of Thrones’ history when it wasn’t considered to be a mainstream show, but five seasons, a dedicated fanbase, and high ratings have definitely changed that image. Nielsen, which tracks how well shows perform, is saying that GoT’s recent season 5 premiere reached about 8 million people on Sunday. And that’s not total views of the episode since then, but the initial airing Sunday night.

Holy Dragons!

Yeah. It’s up 1.16 million views over its premiere last season, while the very first season barely even compares now – 2.52 million people doesn’t sound too impressive now, does it?

Game of Thrones grew almost as fast as those Dragons.

I’d say the dragons grew a bit faster, but I get what you’re saying. We suspect that word of mouth and a bunch of shared HBO Go accounts had something to do with it too, and it’s unlikely that the forward momentum will stop anytime soon. Not even the possibility of the show overtaking the books seems to be a concern, despite several differences here and there.

How does it compare to other popular shows?

The Walking Dead is the only appropriate thing to compare it to, right? If only because they both air on Sundays and do big numbers for their respective networks?

The finale to TWD’s own season 5 drew the attention of 8.16 million people, again, according to Nielsen’s numbers, but it’s difficult to know if that’s higher or on par with Thrones‘ 8 million. The latter was a rough estimation, instead of a definitive number, so no one can go “My show did better than yours” and properly back it up. Regardless, 8 million is nothing to wave off. In fact, it’s actually quite hard to ignore that many people. Have you tried it?

Anything I can do while waiting for next week’s ep?

We have some questions of our own concerning the season’s first episode, like Cersei’s prophecy. You’re welcome to check that out, and Xbox Live members can take advantage of special Game of Thrones content, but only until tomorrow.

I don’t miss having to wait a week between episodes.

Me neither. I mean, what are we supposed to do for an entire week? Watch other shows?

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