The end of a Game of Thrones season is also the time to look back at the show ratings and at some pretty graphs. Well, the latter is quite subjective. Anyway, here goes – comparative initial viewership of HBO shows across their first five seasons (where available):
As always, season runs longer (or shorter) than 10 episodes have been scaled for the ease of comparison. Click to enlarge.
First things first: a new record was set by the season finale. For the first time since S2, the final episode drew the most immediate interest. The high-water mark now stands at 8.11 million. This also means that Thrones has passed anoher million mark (the season premiere already came terribly close to that).
This season saw more fluctuations than ever before. There was both the biggest absolute episode-to-episode drop in the history of the show (1.19 million, between 501 and 502) as well as the biggest absolute episode-to-episode jump (1.60 million, between 507 and 508) this year! Crazy.
Were the numbers higher than last year? Well, individual episodes definitely reached higher than season four’s more steady run, but if you want to play around with these numbers, the average initial viewership is comparable between the seasons. Last year’s stands at 6.85 million, while season five just edged that with 6.88 million.
What can we expect next year? Will there be a big premiere bump given the number of cliffhangers and fateful events in this year’s finale? The show is likely reaching its plateau, but can still surprise us. For one, the total viewership across platforms, i.e. the bottom line that really matters, is on the rise and set to break the previous S4 record of 19 million per episode. We will keep an eye on that number in the weeks to come.