Game of Thrones viewership rises to 7 million with episode 8

Rise, numbers!

Rise, numbers!

The cards were stacked in favour of high live viewership numbers this week: no leaks, no holiday, a great preceding episode, and possibly more. Whatever the exact constellation of factors – the initial airing of “Hardhome” was seen by a very round number of 7.00 million people. With a record episode-to-episode increase of 30 %, it won the night on cable quite comfortably.

The numbers are highest since the season premiere, needless to say. In the past weeks, Game of Thrones has also gained most in terms of absolute ratings when delayed viewing (Live + 7 days) is compared to the Live + same day numbers. Here are reports of available numbers from two weeks and one week ago (remember that those refer to episodes airing three and two weeks ago, respectively). Last week’s episode rose by 67 % in Live+3 days views already, signalling the higher numbers this week.

Hear Marko Roar: So much for doomsaying. Every season so far has had a slower middle part, and while this season the effect was perhaps bigger due to Dorne scenes being subpar, I do not believe the season has been worse than previous ones – and there’s two more episodes to go. Here is a favourite graph of mine, plotting IMDb scores of individual episodes (the latest one is not in yet), indicating that viewers seem to have liked the season so far.

Since people are apparently raving about this week’s episode, that bodes well for the initial viewing numbers next week as well – the fact that it will be the 9th episode of the season might attract even more. However, what I’m most interested in is average total viewers per episode this year, but we may need to wait a bit longer for that piece of data.

168 responses

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    1. Impossible. The show was done. Didn’t you all read the comments section last week? All the experts knew everything.

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    2. Yeah, I said this earlier, but this rebound + the buzz from the episode + next week being episode 9 = I’m optimistic about viewership going up. Maybe not record setting yet, but I’ll be mildly surprised if we don’t see a bump.

      I always kind of expected the finale to bounce back to premiere-level just because it’s, you know, the finale. If anything is going to be appointment viewing, it’s the premiere and the finale.

      But after this, I’m definitely more confident in that expectation.

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    3. So… the sky isn’t falling apart after all? Nice to read this after all the apocalyptic “the show will get cancelled” and “HBO will cut the budget” crap I saw in a lot of sites last week.

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    4. Excellent news. So pleased that so many people tuned in for such an amazing episode. After that final battle Im expecting a bumper number for episode 9 next week.

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    5. I wasn’t expecting this high of a number. I was expecting 6.5 Million or so.

      If you looked at the Memorial Day Ratings, the show had a huge spike in DVR viewers during the week. The viewers never left. They just didn’t watch it live on a holiday weekend.

      I guess there is zero “Sansa Effect”.

      Based on the buzz for this battle, Episode 9 should hit 7 Million as well.

      The interesting thing is…. The live viewership isn’t even half of their audience. Many fans catch it on HBO GO & NOW, On Demand (#1 on Comcast), and repeat showings.

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    6. Here is a favourite graph of mine, plotting IMDb scores of individual episodes (the latest one is not in yet), indicating that viewers seem to have liked the season so far.

      And when the latest one does go on, it will be 9.9 – breaking the previous record of 9.7 for S03E09.

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    7. The Bastard:
      I wasn’t expecting this high of a number.I was expecting 6.5 Million or so.

      If you looked at the Memorial Day Ratings, the show had a huge spike in DVR viewers during the week.The viewers never left.They just didn’t watch it live on a holiday weekend.

      I guess there is zero “Sansa Effect”.

      Indeed, a jump to a Nielsen 4.2 after Live+3 is nothing to scoff at. The show built itself back to the season average beforehand in those three days.

      That said, I’m not going to feign correctness; on other sites, such as TVByTheNumbers, I was anticipating a far smaller rise. I was thinking a 2.9 Live. So this pleases me greatly.

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    8. But, but, but, the ratings last week weren’t a result of Memorial Day, NBA playoffs, and numerous other factors – no – it was all about how Season 5 was straying too far from the books! It is known!

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    9. So all those people who were done with the show forever after Sansagate… didn’t stop watching? I’m shocked, shocked I say!

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    10. Davos’ Luck:
      So… the sky isn’t falling apart after all? Nice to read this after all the apocalyptic “the show will get cancelled” and “HBO will cut the budget” crap I saw in a lot of sites last week.

      Indeed. Some fellow on other site refused to believe me when I explained to him that salaries have already been ironed-out for a seventh season — he insisted that with the ratings drops of the fifth, there’d be no seventh.

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    11. Sergei Walankov,

      I’m a bit surprised, but the current IMDb rating for the latest episode is indeed 9.9. That’s just crazy (and even not quite objective, but people were happy to see a really good episode). Also, these past years, anything with zombies of any description will fly 🙂

      Queen of the Keys,

      Thanks 😛 I was just being cheeky.

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    12. Considering that “Hardhome” is the best received episode in a long time, and next week is episode 9, I think it’s safe to say that we’ll see around 7 millions of viewers again. Maybe a bit more. Also, kudos for Miguel Sapochnik. The two episodes he directed are far and above the best of the season so far, and maybe the best back-to-back episodes for the series since “And Now His Watch Is Ended” / “Kissed by Fire” back in season 3.

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    13. Jeff O’Connor: Indeed. Some fellow on other site refused to believe me when I explained to him that salaries have already been ironed-out for a seventh season — he insisted that with the ratings drops of the fifth, there’d be no seventh.

      Was it on the Westeros Forum? Because that place has become a breeding ground for hating the series.

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    14. Awesome! And I can’t really imagine the numbers will drop next week – quite the opposite -, so I’m comfortably pleased all in all.

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    15. This once again exposes the hypocrites jumping to conclusions after every episode and ringing GOT´s death-bell in an hourly interval as just what they are.

      GoT is not dead (and never was), and even if it´s perceived so by some who like to judge the entire season without even seeing all of it, it will obviously return in Wight-form and prove them wrong.

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    16. I love that the whole “show deviating from the books” can’t used as an argument anymore. The episode relied on a huge deviation and BAM, you’ve got the second-highest ratings of the season so far.

      Can’t wait til we have all the viewing stats, i’m sure it’ll solidify the theory that people are viewing the show through different means.

      Well deserved GoT!

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    17. Jeff O’Connor: Indeed. Some fellow on other site refused to believe me when I explained to him that salaries have already been ironed-out for a seventh season — he insisted that with the ratings drops of the fifth, there’d be no seventh.

      Now it’s time for you to troll him back by saying that your “sources” indicate that with the strong ratings, they are thinking about season 8 now… LOL

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    18. The Bastard: Was it on the Westeros Forum?Because that place has become a breeding ground for hating the series.

      Haha, nah, it was on one of the ratings-focused websites I sometimes frequent. I haven’t gone on Westeros in years! That place isn’t safe for a show-lover.

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    19. Simeon: Now it’s time for you to troll him back by saying that your “sources” indicate that with the strong ratings, they are thinking about season 8 now… LOL

      “Showrunners David Benioff and DB Weiss: ‘we were wrong’; ‘twelve seasons is the only way to comfortably tell this tale’.”

      😉

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    20. Jeff O’Connor,

      I like the logic that Game of Thrones is going to be canceled because it dropped from being HBO’s highest rated show to being HBO’s highest rated show by a slightly smaller margin.

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    21. I didn’t hear/read any “doomsaying” last week by any voices that matter. In fact, this old-school metric doesn’t matter, but I won’t repeat the fiscal rationale that I harped on last week, and the weeks before. What would be cool (if possible) is some charts/maps of the viewing tendencies (when, how, repeat viewings, etc) of the entire viewing population (US & international). With today’s technology and diverse viewing habits, these metrics need more depth to be of value.

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    22. GeekFurious,

      I think these figures are fixed. They must be. The show sucks now. I’m only hate-watching it now.

      “And remind me how do these so-called hate-watchers show up in the ratings”?

      “They show up the same, my friend. They show up just the same.”.

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    23. Shaz: I love that the whole “show deviating from the books” can’t used as an argument anymore. The episode relied on a huge deviation and BAM, you’ve got the second-highest ratings of the season so far.

      Ah, my friend, you ignore the resourcefulness of the haters to your own demise! The argument will now change to: “they deviated from the books in order to cater to the lowest common denominater and dumb down the show for the masses. That’s why the ratings are up.” …followed by mentions of Twilight or something like that.

      I guarantee this will happen (it probably has already).

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    24. Season 1 – 2.515
      Season 2 – 3.795
      Season 3 – 4.966
      Season 4 – 6.846
      Season 5 – 6.694

      Those are the season averages for viewers. And Season 5 still doesn’t have the last 2 episodes which will likely bring it very close to the Season 4 average. And this is with HBO NOW taking away viewers from the Nielsen ratings.

      The show has basically stayed constant from Season 4. It was never going to keep on increasing year after year.

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    25. Hodor’s Bastard:
      I didn’t hear/read any “doomsaying” last week by any voices that matter. In fact, this old-school metric doesn’t matter, but I won’t repeat the fiscal rationale that I harped on last week, and the weeks before. What would be cool (if possible) is some charts/maps of the viewing tendencies (when, how, repeat viewings, etc) of the entire viewing population (US & international). With today’s technology and diverse viewing habits, these metrics need more depth to be of value.

      I agree. There are so many more elements to this then just first run viewings in one country.

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    26. Delta1212:
      Jeb,

      And HBO will take their money just as gladly, so thank you for your support.

      Unless they cancelled their subscription, HBO will take their money even if they don’t watch!

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    27. Simeon,

      If they cancelled their subscription, they don’t show up in the ratings.

      Edit: Oh I see what you’re saying. *shrugs* That applies to everyone whether they watch the show or not, though.

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    28. The Bastard: Was it on the Westeros Forum?Because that place has become a breeding ground for hating the series.

      Surprisingly, even over at Westeros they loved the last episode. Usually I do not read that forum due to the hatewatcjers there. But I was curious how they rated the last episode.

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    29. I had said a few weeks back that the numbers would jump back up,…sucks to be right!!!….NOT!…anyway..one of the things I also think contributed to closer to season 3 numbers is the fact that the viewing audience nearly doubled between season 3 and 4 and I think some of those folks were spoiled by season 4 and the nearly non stop big moments of that season as opposed to the slow burn and big finish of seasons 1-3 that the other half of the viewers had come to expect

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    30. The Bastard:
      Those are the season averages for viewers. And Season 5 still doesn’t have the last 2 episodes which will likely bring it very close to the Season 4 average.

      Just to be clear, though: HBO has gone on record as stating that more people are watching GoT through alternate means (read: HBO GO/NOW) than ever.

      You’ll never see this stated by the naysayers, but considering the live viewership is roughly on par with last year and that there are many, many more watching through streaming services… well, maybe math isn’t my #1 strong suit, but it sure seems like higher ratings to me. Just saying. 🙂

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    31. Delta1212:
      Simeon,

      If they cancelled their subscription, they don’t show up in the ratings.

      I think what Simeon is saying is that HBO subscribers are automatically factored into HBO’s equation, not that non-subscribers are counted under any metric, haha.

      For the record, for anyone who isn’t too clear on all this (and believe me, I wouldn’t be either if I hadn’t been into Nielsen data collection practices since I was 14): today’s postings are based on America’s flawed system which takes a small portion of our population — those who have been approached by Nielsen and accepted their invitation to be a “Nielsen household” — and makes a best guess on actual total viewership based on those households. So the seven million is an educated supposition based on the data available, and does not correlate with HBO’s total number of customers. That’s data that’s on the HBO side of the fence.

      What can be extrapolated here to anyone with HBO’s number of customers handy is how many of them are watching Game of Thrones. But since GoT is far and away the channel’s most successful show, the answer is always going to be, “plenty more than is necessary” in this arena.

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    32. Simeon,

      It’s funny that you say that. I noticed over at Reddit of Ice and Fire a bunch of postings over the past few days about the show’s White Walkers being stock fantasy dark lords and moving away from Martin’s eldritch/nuanced depiction. And this observation often tied to overall comments on the show losing the nuanced tragedy of Martin’s work and substituting the tragedy/spectacle of a blockbuster movie.

      So yeah. You are completely correct in your prediction of the new narrative.

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    33. Considering this was the second highest trending topic on Twitter (behind the Jenner story, or wrestling) for two straight days, I think the +3 or +7 numbers will be even higher as casual viewers, the “I quit” crowd, and maybe even Claire McKaskill hear about it and are forced to check it out (though I expect that crowds a pretty small number).

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    34. Jessica,

      That’s right. I was very surprised to see that 85% of the voters there rated the episode with a 9 or a 10. And that place is the headquarter of some of the most hardcore book purists on earth…

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    35. Simeon,

      So true! Forgive me for not taking into account the creative nature of haterdom, they rise again and again like the Wights we saw in Hardhome.

      Haters gonna hate regardless. I find them amusing now anyway, once you look past the transparency.

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    36. Sergei Walankov: And when the latest one does go on, it will be 9.9 – breaking the previous record of 9.7 for S03E09.

      all the big episodes in prior seasons started out as 9.9, after a months it will probably drop anywhere to 9.0.

      initial ratings gather an average of 3’000 – 7’000 votes. after being up for months or over a year it can rise up to 20’000 votes, in which a more varied rating audience has finally given its vote. if Hardhome states 9.9 after 10’000 votes then you’d be onto something, but it won’t.

      the graph drawing site is great, i’ve been using it for awhile – unfortunately these ratings are just popularity charts rather than credible reflections of quality episodes. take for example Kissed by Fire, easily one of the best episodes of the whole series and it ranks amongst the lower rated episodes in these charts. Take a look at Breaking Bad, the chart reflects the series getting better and better by season, to which i disagree – its a great series but each season did not Trump each previous one as it likes to suggest.

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    37. Jeff O’Connor: But since GoT is far and away the channel’s most successful show, the answer is always going to be, “plenty more than is necessary” in this arena.

      This is always going to be the answer to the naysayers who are certain GoT’s going to be canceled early or its budget slashed. This is HBO’s flagship TV series and it’s not going anywhere.

      I said months ago that if its ratings dropped by half, we might be talking about a rethink, but with Season 6 already definite and the ratings basically on par with last year, there’s not a chance of anything changing.

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    38. I thought HBO itself was supposed to give a two week count across all ‘platforms’ plus maybe , maybe, non USA viewers?
      Is HBO still holding these numbers?

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    39. Oberyn’s left eye:
      I had said a few weeks back that the numbers would jump back up,…sucks to be right!!!….NOT!…anyway..one of the things I also think contributed to closer to season 3 numbers is the fact that the viewing audience nearly doubled between season 3 and 4 and I think some of those folks were spoiled by season 4 and the nearly non stop big moments of that season as opposed to the slow burn and big finish of seasons 1-3 that the other half of the viewers had come to expect

      Yep, this was the basis for my entire analysis of the situation! When your numbers explode as occurred post-RW and thus made Season 4’s ratings such a total runaway smash hit, you’re inviting a bunch of viewers who are either totally new to the show and binge-watched the first three seasons (thus being far less likely to recognize the pacing in those years) or have been faithful viewers for a while but not on a must-see TV basis, which is to say, the same situation of not really realizing how relatively slow the first three seasons are.

      Either way you’re sort of left with the same thing. Those new/new-ish viewers arrived at the scene in 2014 wanting lots more RW-esque craziness and for the most part they got it. Season 4 spaced out its events in ways that its fellow seasons haven’t really done. Not to the same extent, anyway.

      Then you’ve got all that event-demanding population channeling into Season 5. The vast majority of these folks are not going to be particularly aware that the fourth and fifth books are slower. Most of them aren’t going to be remotely aware. This is a big new chunk of audience that hastily dove through the first three seasons, diligently watched the event-packed fourth season on a weekly basis, and then… rubbed its eyes in tired surprise when the fifth was so much slower for so long. These folks may be compelled to return to catching up with the series in spurts, and a few may even walk away, sure. Factor in things like the first four episodes leaking and the leak going positively net-viral, which compels lots of people never well-versed in the world of torrenting to see how it all works, and yeah, there’s going to be a noteworthy dip.

      And then 5×08 comes about and we get seven million viewers and a 3.45 Nielsen again, and sure, 4×08 had a 3.9 Nielsen and 7.16 million viewers, but gods be good, it’s not far off.

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    40. Cameryn: This is always going to be the answer to the naysayers who are certain GoT’s going to be canceled early or its budget slashed.This is HBO’s flagship TV series and it’s not going anywhere.

      I said months ago that if its ratings dropped by half, we might be talking about a rethink, but with Season 6 already definite and the ratings basically on par with last year, there’s not a chance of anything changing.

      Yeah. Hell, if the show was hitting a 2.0 by the end of the season and 4 million viewers or something, I think David and Dan would be losing even more sleep than usual and there’d be lots of talks with HBO about how to steer things back in the record-breaking direction and wayward of the numbers delivered in the earliest years. I think there’d be an intentional, obvious creative retooling, a way of ensuring a “gee, whiz” factor every episode but still of course taking all the cues and broad ideas from what’s to come. (And hopefully, on a related note, TWOW is capable of delivering something close to that anyway!)

      But it wouldn’t just disappear. The show would go on into the seventh season. It’d still be HBO’s strongest current performer and it’s also made far too much of a cultural landmark of itself for HBO to risk the stigma from dropping it outright so close to the endgame. This isn’t NBC’s Heroes; this is something we know is still focused, concentrated enough, something that is marching toward an increasingly clear finish. Basically no matter what happened with the ratings the network wouldn’t slash it at this point.

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    41. Shaz,

      Ageed. I’m watching it on HBO NOW and I think that’s taking a lot of the same day numbers away since HBO doesn’t report those. It’s a great way to see it because, as in the case of Hardhome, you can just hit the replay button right away instead of waiting for the late showing on cable.

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    42. HBOsWail: all the big episodes in prior seasons started out as 9.9, after a months it will probably drop anywhere to 9.0.

      the graph drawing site is great, i’ve been using it for awhile – unfortunately these ratings are just popularity charts rather than credible reflections of quality episodes. take for example Kissed by Fire, easily one of the best episodes of the whole series and it ranks amongst the lower rated episodes in these charts. Take a look at Breaking Bad, the chart reflects the series getting better and better by season, to which i disagree – its a great series but each season did not Trump each previous one as it likes to suggest.

      That’s not true though. The highest Thrones episodes has ever stayed after this amount of time had passed was The Rains of Castamere and The Lion and the Rose at 9.8 each. This episode already has more than 17000 votes, which is double that of the second highest voted-upon episode of the season. I can only see this going down to 9.8, maybe 9.7 if there is another troll attack like there was between seasons 4 and 5.

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    43. Ravyn,

      I do think that it might have been a mistake to have three episodes in a row not written by D&D. They’re the best writers on the show, and I think if they had been the ones to introduce us to the Sand Snakes in 5.04, with Dave Hill perhaps writing 5×03, it would have been better. There was a slight drop in quality, and you need your best team around to deliver a superb episode following a weaker one, because people are more likely to notice and comment on mistakes in these episodes. I hope they don’t do the same next season.

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    44. Boojam:
      I thought HBO itself was supposed to give a two week count across all ‘platforms’ plus maybe , maybe, non USA viewers?
      Is HBO still holding these numbers?

      The released the numbers for the premiere episode (the 2 week total across platforms). They haven’t done it since.

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    45. While I’m uncharacteristically busy taking up a fifth of the comments section, I just had a morbid thought: will someone be tasked with disturbing Joffrey’s corpse in order to retrieve Widow’s Wail? That blade was buried with him, I think, wasn’t it?

      I don’t know about y’all, but I wouldn’t be too upset if that particular coffin was popped open for the greater good. Maybe when and if Littlefinger learns of the true threat to the realm he can perform one of his famous teleportation techniques and beam himself down to pilfer it. Or perhaps Sam can take a slight detour. Or Jaime can have a new arc!

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    46. Jeff O’Connor: But it wouldn’t just disappear. The show would go on into the seventh season.

      Exactly. This show is not going to be canceled by HBO one season (or so) prior to its end date. HBO has an investment not only in producing the show, but now clearly defining it as having a beginning and end… premature cancellation would impact future sales, and HBO makes a considerable amount of money on resales (DVDs, Blu-Rays, iTunes, etc.)

      But regardless. Yeah. It’s not going anywhere.

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    47. Jeff O’Connor,

      Exactly!! I was saying the same thing to a couple of buddies of mine from work..who were lamenting on how slow the show seemed this year…they had started by binge watching season 1-3 because they had heard for years from me how good this show was,so I loaned them my blue rays…few weeks later they were hooked..and we got a group together to watch season 4…anyway, told both of these guys to just wait episode 9 and 10 is going to rock your world…didn’t expect episode 8 to rock mine, after I picked my jaw up off the floor I looked over at one of them who had the same look of amazement and simply said…told ya!

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    48. Jeb,

      I think it’s probably more a question of time than anything else. D&D are also the show runners which means they’re hopping from location to location and answering ten million questions a day. This is why they say that its a year round job, not just a few months, and why its impossible to do more than 10 episodes a year. Splitting up the writing duties is par for the course on any show, and given the scale of this one, its actually surprising they write as much as they do (and remember, they used to direct episodes, too).

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    49. Jessica: Surprisingly, even over at Westeros they loved the last episode.

      Actually, some of the usuals over there are even vilifying this episode too. Bored by the battle, dreary eyed about Tyrion & Dany’s meeting… I mean, honestly, if “Hardhome” didn’t restore at least some of your interest in this show, you probably should stop watching it. At this point I don’t know what some of them want anymore.

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    50. Jeff O’Connor: I don’t know about y’all, but I wouldn’t be too upset if that particular coffin was popped open for the greater good.

      That Volantis blacksmith that Tywin hired last season is going to be in great demand soon.

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    51. bristolcity: That’s not true though. The highest Thrones episodes has ever stayed after this amount of time had passed was The Rains of Castamere and The Lion and the Rose at 9.8 each. This episode already has more than 17000 votes, which is double that of the second highest voted-upon episode of the season. I can only see this going down to 9.8, maybe 9.7 if there is another troll attack like there was between seasons 4 and 5.

      i just checked, you’re right – totally didn’t see that many people voted, it says 2’000 or so on the main page but when you open it it says 18000. bizarre how quickly that many votes are in.

      either way though, I’m very skeptical it will remain up there with Rains or the other Big episode 9 moments. my post was not referring to Episode 9’s – they have consistently remained high. but Hardhome just isn’t one of those kinds of episodes in my opinion, its more like watchers on the wall. Season 4 was the biggest season to have several climactic episodes in one season, and several of them (episodes 8/9/10) are all lower than rains. (around 9 – 9.3) i think Hardhome will definitely settle around there. Next week and the week after, i expect those episodes will have the ratings that stay up to high 9.4+.

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    52. It will not reach 10’000 voters with a 9.9 rating on IMDB?It now has 18’000 and still 9.9.Sure,it will drop a little in time but it will be a top episode.Interesting how things will evolve with the next two,those are full of major events.Some of them shocking for the general audience.

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    53. Cameryn,

      Simple. An exact, word-by-word on screen showing of their holy text. They’re fanatics like the Sparrows and nothing you say and nothing the show will do can change their minds. I am curious though why they keep watching.

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    54. I don’t even watch the show on cable anymore. I catch it in my Xbox One. Therefore my viewership # does not count anymore.

      I always knew the ratings would go back up. Next Sunday is the NBA playoff so I’m not sure on if the ratings would go down a bit, Go Dubbs!!

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    55. HBOsWail,

      I agree that ratings dip to the low 9s for battle episodes such as Blackwater and The Watchers on the Wall, but I really don’t think that this will be the case for Hardhome. Watchers was already on 9.4 and falling by this point, and in total does not have nearly as many votes as Hardhome does. There is some just something about Hardhome that captivated the entire viewing audience. I think that it was easily the most well received episode since The Rains of Castamere, or maybe even ever! Even with Rains, there were people complaining about the Yunkai sub-plot not being up to par with the rest of the episode (it WAS pretty stupid tbh). Here, however, I haven’t seen a single complaint that has been voiced by many.

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    56. The Bastard:
      Season 1 –2.515
      Season 2 – 3.795
      Season 3 – 4.966
      Season 4– 6.846
      Season 5– 6.694

      Those are the season averages for viewers.And Season 5 still doesn’t have the last 2 episodes which will likely bring it very close to the Season 4 average.And this is with HBO NOW taking away viewers from the Nielsen ratings.

      The show has basically stayed constant from Season 4.It was never going to keep on increasing year after year.

      season 5 actually has an increased viewer numbers compared to season 4. If you take in account HBO now…the difference is impressive…. more than this, there are still the last two episodes…. two episodes where we will get at least 7 million ratings.

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    57. bristolcity:
      HBOsWail,

      I agree that ratings dip to the low 9s for battle episodes such as Blackwater and The Watchers on the Wall, but I really don’t think that this will be the case for Hardhome. Watchers was already on 9.4 and falling by this point, and in total does not have nearly as many votes as Hardhome does. There is some just something about Hardhome that captivated the entire viewing audience. I think that it was easily the most well received episode since The Rains of Castamere, or maybe even ever! Even with Rains, there were people complaining about the Yunkai sub-plot not being up to par with the rest of the episode (it WAS pretty stupid tbh). Here, however, I haven’t seen a single complaint that has been voiced by many.

      you might be right.

      my opinion on the overall voted rating over time is no reflection of what i think of the episode itself – i do think it was Better than watchers on the wall, i would not say it was better or worse than Blackwater, i would say it was equally great – it had something backwater didn’t and vice versa.

      i’ll be surprised if it remains above 9.5. the hunger for something more dramatic was there at this point, so i guess it doesn’t surprise me that a bunch of voters reacted and voted in quickly on this episode. One thing i greatly appreciate about Hardhome is the dedication of 30 minutes to one thread of story. i wish Oberyn’s trial had the same amount of time (not dedicated to the fight alone, but that could do with more minutes as well i think) but just to building up the impact of the fight.. more dialogue between tyrion and oberyn, oberyn and his paramour, and other characters observing this trial. I also wish the same for episode 10 with tyrions thread in that episode.. more dialogue between Jaime, Shae, and Tywin. I am a fan of dialogue but i felt all 3 of these scenes were a little squeezed to fit into an episode too much.

      Hardhome shows what Game of Thrones can be like when a thread that needs more time to breathe is given that time and dedication (Black water another example).

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    58. Ser Gerold Dayne,

      Not to lionize D&D since they’re not infallible, but I give them credit for not listening to the internet and doing the show the way they think best serves GRRM in the TV medium. It’s ironic that one of the people who gets this is Martin himself, no doubt due to his TV background (though his comments last year that they could just wait – via flashback episodes and drawn out adaptations- for him to finish the last book was utterly baffling).

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    59. UK 7 day viewing figures have been holding steady after the drop from the “honeymoon” season premiere and even rising slightly after the 4th episode.

      1. 2.63m
      2. 1.93m
      3. 1.98m
      4. 1.92m
      5. 2.00m
      6. 2.02m

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    60. bristolcity,

      I agree.
      I don’t think the individual rating on IMDB for Hardhome will go down at all. Based on reactions to the episode, everything that happened was captivating well received, from Dany and Tyrion meeting, to Cersei finally getting what she deserves, to Sansa finding out about her brothers, to, obviously the battle at Hardhome. The battle in itself was a shock to all viewers, not just non-book readers. People have been waiting to see the WW as we havent seen them since season 4. I haven’t read the books, but I think both book readers and non book readers felt the same.

      And Jon’s success and the whole scene with the Valaryian Steel sword was the cherry on top, because, again, I think Jon is a fan favorite.

      Happy to hear the ratings went up.
      Where are all the negative nancies that comments the last 6 weeks????????

        Quote  Reply

    61. Jeff O’Connor,

      While Joffery held the sword when his body was displayed, he would not be buried with it. Valaryian swords are heirlooms that are passed down. I’m sure it is officially Tommen’s now and if it is needed, the show will point out that he has it at some point.

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    62. I think that the lack of problems in this episode IS it’s coup de grace.
      “Nothing jarring” is a very common comment.

      With raving Bookreaders and oh so Unsullied and everyone in-between – for EVERYONE to be so on board with an hour of television 48 hours in… something incredible.

      I love that the insult that it reminded people of “World War Z” a movie with a $190 million production budget. Haven’t seen the movie, but really? This is a CABLE TV show! My brain still doesn’t comprehend things sometimes…

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    63. Wow, I hoped for a rise, but this quite a nice bump back up. The insane buzz following “Hardhome” bodes really well for next week as well.

      Thank god we can forget about that stupid narrative of viewers jumping ship because of how “terrible” the 5th season has supposedly been (due to book changes or otherwise).

      I was, myself, quite disappointed by the Water Gardens scene in Episode 6 (the only sore spot in an episode that I honestly loved) – but, otherwise, I’ve been enjoying the heck out Season 5. It’s quite honestly been one of my favorite years – containing so many wonderful character moments, delving into Westerosi history, some great action (excluding the aforementioned WG fight), etc.

      And that was all before Hardhome, lol. I’m still hyperventilating from it. 😀

      But I’m now thinking of joining the club of asking how on earth D&D are planning to wrap up this story in 2 more seasons. Especially in light of bringing in the Ironborn and Riverlands storylines next season. It just doesn’t seem possible (though, I suppose they’re in a better position to judge than I).

      I can’t even imagine what’s coming next season. 😀

        Quote  Reply

    64. I’m glad that many are happy for episode 8’s success, but can we at least admit that the first half of the season was not at that level, and that is why the ratings and the buzz was down? There’s till some of that die-hard attitude which denies that.

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    65. I would like to join in the exaltation of the big increase and in the hater shaming. (Pops beer). Ahhh… When you’re the best around, nothing gonna ever keep you down.

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    66. King Stannis:
      I don’t even watch the show on cable anymore. I catch it in my Xbox One. Therefore my viewership # does not count anymore.

      I always knew the ratings would go back up. Next Sunday is the NBA playoff so I’m not sure on if the ratings would go down a bit, Go Dubbs!!

      If you’re an American, your viewership, in fact, never actually counted unless you were contacted by Nielsen directly and asked to be a subscriber. (If you’re any other nationality I’m unfamiliar with the metric in your country.)

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    67. Rillion:
      Jeff O’Connor,

      While Joffery held the sword when his body was displayed, he would not be buried with it. Valaryian swords are heirlooms that are passed down. I’m sure it is officially Tommen’s now and if it is needed, the show will point out that he has it at some point.

      Thanks! I’ve never been the best at keeping up with all the details in my favorite franchises so I appreciate the insight.

        Quote  Reply

    68. Stannis the Mannis: but can we at least admit that the first half of the season was not at that level, and that is why the ratings and the buzz was down?

      There is no particular reason to think that is the case. The audience marks for the early episodes are quite good, after all, particularly in comparison to marks from early episodes in prior years. Because of the nature of these sorts of series, the audience is used to seasons starting slowly and then building as they go along: things like last year’s Purple Wedding are anomalies, after all. (Remember, the audience is not the fandom: they watch lots of series like this and they know the formula.)

      The “buzz” died down because, as with all events, “buzz” exhausts itself. People were talking about the season starting. Then the season started. That left them without much about which to talk. The “buzz” always (or at least “usually”) builds up later in the year for these sorts of series as people get interested in the big payoffs. The ratings go up because it becomes more “event”: people aren’t too worried about hearing “spoilers” for the first half of the year because it’s just pieces the puzzle rather than conclusions; now, we are going to start getting conclusions, so people will make a little more effort to watch the program before they hear/read about it. Also, let’s face it: people are more motivated to watch it now when they are going to get a payoff now.

      And as for the ratings being down, remember: nearly everyone who watched this week’s episode saw all of the earlier episodes. The better part of a million people just did not watch those earlier episodes when they came out. (Actually, it probably is more: the “catch it one week, miss it and watch the rerun a week or so later” crowd probably shifts members quite a bit. I’ve been a member of that group myself at times!) After all, a lot of people find series like this one easier to watch in lumps.

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    69. Wow, I knew they would go up but wasn’t expecting that huge bump. I didn’t think it was likely but maybe the show will get close to 8m again for the season finale. I know it doesn’t matter to HBO because they don’t sell ads but strange that the show is skewing significantly older, 3.4 18-49 demo, normally when the show would get 7m last season it was getting a 3.8 or 3.9 18-49 demo.

        Quote  Reply

    70. Stannis the Mannis:
      I’m glad that many are happy for episode 8’s success, but can we at least admit that the first half of the season was not at that level, and that is why the ratings and the buzz was down? There’s till some of that die-hard attitude which denies that.

      How can I admit to something I don’t believe? Viewers probably left because because there weren’t as many huge “shocker” moments as in the past (especially Season 4).

      But I’ve loved this season. I don’t deny that the WG fight was a really weak moment – but one scene does not drag down an entire season for me. My enthusiasm is not feigned. I’m being honest.

      For all the viewers who lamented at fewer big “game-changing” moments earlier in the season, I was enraptured by moments like Brienne’s story about Renly, Jon’s talk with Mance, Ellaria confronting Doran, Littlefinger’s recounting of Lady Whent’s tourney, the verbal sparring of Cersei and Lady Olenna, the list goes on and on…

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    71. As a big fan of the show this season has been great for me.What I didn’t like?Obara,two bad scenes and really bad delivered lines.Ellaria,bad plot overall.I disliked her last year too,she is a weak character for me.In the books she didn’t do much so I didn’t cared about her.And Brienne,she is one of the few characters in the ASOIAF universe I really don’t like.Book and show.At least she was absent in the last episodes.Rest was great,I loved this season.
      I respect everyone but the hate that some have looks really stupid to me.If you watch an entire season of a show and hate everything about it then why watch it?I watch this show because I genuinely like it.If I wouldn’t like it I wouldn’t watch it.Simple as that.Yet week after week I go to the internet and see hate,hate,hate,again and again.

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    72. Ozy,

      Why does that make it unreliable? That probably reflects the audience: most of the people really liked it, with an small minority really hating it.

      At any rate, given how well IMDB marks correlate with future viewership for TV and movie series, we know that these marks are not random with respect to customer satisfaction.

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    73. Hear Marko Roar,

      The marks might come down a bit over time, but that is to be expected: after all, people who rush to see things are more apt to like them. However, it certainly will end up with very high marks, and probably top the Red Wedding in the end.

      (That says something about people: our favorite episodes involve incredibly depressing carnage!)

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    74. I don’t believe IMDB ratings are a good place to judge audience opinions about each season. The standards get lower every year for IMDB ratings as it’s userbase changes. The episodes of the early seasons would be scoring much higher if they were aired today. Also, the ratings on IMDB tend to go down as time goes on, whatever the ratings are now they won’t be like that months from now. The fact is this has been the least well received season no matter what IMDB ratings say but hopefully season 5 will go out with a bang and episode 8 was a great start at that.

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    75. John M W: How can I admit to something I don’t believe? Viewers probably left because because there weren’t as many huge “shocker” moments as in the past (especially Season 4).

      But I’ve loved this season. I don’t deny that the WG fight was a really weak moment – but one scene does not drag down an entire season for me. My enthusiasm is not feigned. I’m being honest.

      For all the viewers who lamented at fewer big “game-changing” moments earlier in the season, I was enraptured by moments like Brienne’s story about Renly, Jon’s talk with Mance, Ellaria confronting Doran, Littlefinger’s recounting of Lady Whent’s tourney, the verbal sparring of Cersei and Lady Olenna, the list goes on and on…

      What is the “WG fight”?

        Quote  Reply

    76. So now that we know the sky isn’t falling and the show will get a proper ending (like there was ever any true doubt)….

      How many episodes do people think Game of Thrones will go?

      My prediction is that it will go 7 full seasons and then have a 5 hour “mini-series” (or half season) for the final battle to conclude.

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    77. One thing is HBO now and such, but the piracy is even bigger than before. If I recall correctly, we saw a record last week or the one before. Add that to the new viewing methods and the fact that it’s more popular than ever, and you’ll find that S5 has already easily beaten S4. Or it will with ep9 and 10, shortly. These numbers don’t truly matter anymore, and they’re not very accurate anyway, like someone posted above. Anyone who says that Thrones is failing is kidding themselves. The truth is, normal shows never stay hyped for so long… Even Breaking Bad only broke through in their last couple of seasons, and that was because the ending was magnificent.

      And this is a cable show. There’s a huge difference in “oh, I just need to turn on the TV”, and paying for HBO or actually downloading it. That also means people automatically watch it in groups, meaning the ratings are even more useless. In Scandinavia and the UK, millions of people pay for some kind of HBO, and in 90% of the cases, it is to watch GoT. US+UK+Piracy = about 11 million, as far as I’ve understood. I’m guessing the rest of the world and accurate ratings would bring it closer to 20m, probably more. Just putting some perspective on it.

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    78. Wimsey: That says something about people: our favorite episodes involve incredibly depressing carnage!

      Yeah, as long as the violence isn’t sexual. Sexual violence makes violence look bad, and that’s just not cool. Now, Tormund bashing someone’s head in for no other reason than to mark his territory, I believe the technical term for that is: Baaadddaaasssss!!!

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    79. The Bastard,

      I can bet two of my fingers that the show won’t end in less than 8 seasons. It is impossible to finish the story in less than 8 seasons without butchering it to an extreme. And also HBO, the fans, the story itself “wants” it to end in at least 8 seasons.

      So it will have at least 8 seasons.

      How many seasons do I think will be perfect? 8 seasons will be perfect…. 9 would be too much.

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    80. During the filming process it was reported that the GOT crew filmed locations in Iceland with no action in. I have watched the last scene several times by now (it is a masterpiece!) and I can not decide whether this Icelandic footage was used for it or not. But so far I tend to seriously doubt it. It would be interesting to see if these scenes will be used in the final episode and if Night’s King will appear again in a kind of ice council meeting or maybe something else. That in relation to the rumours that Karsi’s character will reappear…

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    81. KrakenDaughter:
      bristolcity,

      Why are the trolls blasting episodes with 1 star ratings? Could they be outraged book purists or SJW?

      Both of those, probably (SJW mainly for ep. 506), plus standard trolls who just blast whatever is really popular just because it’s popular. Whatever. I guess if that’s how you entertain yourself, have at it!

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    82. Wimsey:
      Hear Marko Roar,

      The marks might come down a bit over time, but that is to be expected: after all, people who rush to see things are more apt to like them.However, it certainly will end up with very high marks, and probably top the Red Wedding in the end.

      (That says something about people: our favorite episodes involve incredibly depressing carnage!)

      True… lots of grisliness… LOTS, although, for Hardhome, even though they didn’t beat the WW… the fact that they *cough* Jon Snow *cough* were able to get out for there alive, and the Valaryian Steel hero amazingness from Jon Snow gives this episode an extra edge hence the high rating.

      Tibatonk,

      That’s hypocritical
      None of the violence bothers me, not even the sexual violence (as a woman ) – its just a show. If you accept beheading and castrating and poison, then you shouldn’t cry about sexual violence. It seems hypocritical to me.
      But whatever. To each his own.

        Quote  Reply

    83. dothrakian raven: interesting to see if these scenes will be used in the final episode and if Night’s King will

      What do you mean by “these scenes will be used in the final episode”?

        Quote  Reply

    84. son of sons,

      I suppose that they filmed icelandic landscapes in order to use them somewhere and I think that this material is White Walkers related. If they haven’t done it in Hardhome they might do it in season’s last episode.

        Quote  Reply

    85. while I watch my GoT on HBO Now since I do not have cable, I am glad to see the viewership number back up, especially for such an epic episode.

      I have no doubts this season is going to close out in amazing style.

        Quote  Reply

    86. That’s a very nice rebound after Memorial Day, and also the good WOM from Episode 7. What I find impressive about these numbers is that the show has apparently lost so many book reading-show hating fans who have by now abandoned the “fanfiction” being created on HBO, which “insults Martin’s masterpiece”. That can only mean that newer fans continue to check out the show and watch in very robust numbers. 🙂

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    87. I did some investigation, here’s links for the statistics:
      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2178772/ratings?ref_=tt_ov_rt
      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2178814/ratings?ref_=tt_ov_rt
      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1829962/ratings?ref_=tt_ov_rt
      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2069318/ratings?ref_=tt_ov_rt

      Ratings from US users are absolutely atrocious, so it’s safe to assume that the trolling campaing is from within the country.Good thing that the international audience is big enough for the show to recover from the american trolling.

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    88. I feel kinda bad for the show-hating book purists. They’re shouting into the wind against an unstoppable juggernaut. Must be frustrating.

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    89. Shaz,

      The episode relied on a huge deviation and BAM, you’ve got the second-highest ratings of the season so far.

      Unless the huge deviation you are referring to is Tyrion meeting Dany at the end of episode 7 your logic is flawed. Yes, episode 8 was great but it was not responsible for the show rising to 7m again, it is the previous episode that will often impact the ratings of the current episode. If next week gets another huge ratings bump than you can thank Hardhome for that.

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    90. KrakenDaughter:
      Simeon,

      Oh god that place is a shithole. Westeros.org seems such a happy place now that i see. Check for yourself the kind of threads ppl make : http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0944947/board/thread/244509698

      That guy is a known troll over there. Most people on the IMDb board loved Hardhome and S5 as a whole. Also, a vast majority of them embrace the changes and are very happy to see D&D trimming the fat and are eager to see them taking us into unknown story territory.

      That beind said, most of the threads there are really dumb and there is no moderation whatsoever to handle that dumbness.. so yeah, you can still call that a shithole I guess.

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    91. Seems like are friendly neighborhood go to WW stunt guy will be in ep. 10 according to IMDB, and Birjitte was removed:( I would like to have seen more of her, even as a badass and beautiful blue eyed Wight. Lets have a fan petition to bring her back, after all Wight’s deserve equal opportunity attention other than being cannon fodder, so to speak, so let her character be the face for the Wights. She can carve her likeness on tree’s, rocks and such, Karsi was here.

      I was in an argument with a WD fan I know, who said GoT encroached on his show’s territory. I told him the first books were written in the 1990’s, well before WD was a though in some writer’s head, and our Wights were more badass…They run, jump off cliffs, climb walls, and fight with weapons, in his show they just lumber around, looking for munchies.

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    92. zod: Most people on the IMDb board loved Hardhome and S5 as a whole. Also, a vast majority of them embrace the changes and are very happy to see D&D trimming the fat and are eager to see them taking us into unknown story territory.

      Yes, IMDB (and, before that, Box Office Mojo) was a bad place for “purists” from any franchise. The peoples on those boards are “movie purists”: i.e., it is all about making a good film or good TV show to them. Most of them are quite blunt: what is in the book is completely besides the point; the quality of what makes it to the screen is what counts. Moreover, they tend to reverse the snobbery: as film buffs, they view the visual presentation as the “highest” form of story-telling. (Of course, people feeling that way would flock to such boards.)

      In a way, their reactions can be a little mis-representative in another extreme. A lot of the posters will appreciate good cinematic presentation in and of itself, to a greater extent than Jane & Joe Public. Again, that is to be expected. However, if their consensus is that something works on TV or film, then it probably does: they are more prone to nitpick stuff that Joe & Jane P. gloss over than the other way around.

      JamesL: Yes, episode 8 was great but it was not responsible for the show rising to 7m again, it is the previous episode that will often impact the ratings of the current episode.

      In this case, things like the trailer might have had an impact. Remember, it was not getting “new” audience or bringing back disillusioned viewers: it is tapping into the existing audience and making this week more “event” than other weeks. (And, man, was it!).

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    93. John M W: Viewers probably left because because there weren’t as many huge “shocker” moments as in the past (especially Season 4).

      Moreover, the viewers probably haven’t left. They just have not been making it a priority. As the conclusions get more and more dramatic, it will become more and more of a priority: it’s the difference now between skipping a regular season game and reading the score later vs. missing the playoff games.

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    94. Tibatonk,

      The only thing missing from that was Rose Leslie standing over his body and purring in her Scottis accent, “The Laaaaaawwwddd of Booooones”.

        Quote  Reply

    95. Smashmode:
      Looks like all the people who said they were going to quit Game of Thrones, looks like they didn’t for the most part.

      *Sean Connery voice*

      Shocking. Positively shocking.

      😉

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    96. John M W: *Sean Connery voice*

      Shocking. Positively shocking.

      I will quit if Jon dies
      JUST SAYING

      but I agree… people who “quit” after Sansagate or the Whiney book readers I have heard off… what a joke!

        Quote  Reply

    97. Deesensfan,

      dont you guys know ..

      people didnt quit because they will still watch the season end and then quit ..atleast thats what one from TOH claimed

        Quote  Reply

    98. Right now the internet views for Tyene’s bewbs reveal is only slightly behind Alexandra Daddario’s bewbs reveal in True Detective.

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    99. Ravyn:
      Tibatonk,

      The only thing missing from that was Rose Leslie standing over his body and purring in her Scottis accent, “The Laaaaaawwwddd of Booooones”.

      I would have appreciated this.

      Greatly.

        Quote  Reply

    100. John M W: I was, myself, quite disappointed by the Water Gardens scene in Episode 6 (the only sore spot in an episode that I honestly loved) – but, otherwise, I’ve been enjoying the heck out Season 5. It’s quite honestly been one of my favorite years

      You’re not alone. I LOVE this season.

      I consistently remind myself of a Game of Thrones truism: that every season is constructed very much the same way Season 5 has been, with a slow steady heightening of the drama each episode until the end of the season’s big showstoppers (the Purple Wedding notwithstanding). I think a lot of people tend to forget that because they’re so hyped up at the end of each season, but every year we demand more and more satisfaction.

      Everything happening this season has fit that template, from Tyrion’s journey to the rise of the Faith, Jon’s accession to Lord Commander, etc. (I will say I think Dany’s story has mostly just hovered there unmoving for a bit, but Tyrion meeting her more than makes up for it.)

      The only things I wish were different is that the Dorne sequences were longer with more story involved, and that we were seeing more of Brienne. Definitely not enough Gwendoline Christie this season for my tastes – I just love her.

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    101. Cameryn: Actually, some of the usuals over there are even vilifying this episode too.Bored by the battle, dreary eyed about Tyrion & Dany’s meeting… I mean, honestly, if “Hardhome” didn’t restore at least some of your interest in this show, you probably should stop watching it.At this point I don’t know what some of them want anymore.

      What they want ? They want to dictate what the aSoIaF fandom is allowed to think and feel about aSoIaF. They feel threatened by GoT because it threatens the status of book purism. And once this season is over and if Martin does not throw tWoW onto the market a.s.a.p., by April 2016, book purism will become irrelevant because it will not be more than a novelization of the TV show.

      What comes across as hate is nothing else but pure fear.

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    102. Cameryn: Y
      The only things I wish were different is that the Dorne sequences were longer with more story involved, and that we were seeing more of Brienne.

      I’m with you on Dorne. While I did find the Water Gardens fight to be disappointing (though not “laughably bad”, as some put it), my main issue was rather that there hadn’t been any substantial character development for the new characters – particularly the Sand Snakes (Episode 7 was a big step up in this regard). I hope that the Doran/Jaime/Ellaria meeting gets substantial screen time next week. I’ve been waiting all season for Alexander Siddig to really shine (I loved his scene in Episode 2).

      But in the larger scheme, I really view these issues as minimal with regard to the entire season. I’ve just been blown away by pretty much everything. I’m glad to hear you say you’ve loved it too. 🙂

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    103. I guess I was kind of naive to all the hating and trolling going on, as this is the only GoT/ASoIaF site I frequent aside from using the wikis to refresh some knowledge here and there. But I’ve been following some of these links to other forums and reviews and holy shit… at least I no longer feel any sense of guilt for speaking my mind about the Sand Snakes.

      The show has been better than the books since… I dunno, maybe always. And I say that as someone who really, really likes the books, even the last two.

      Alas, there is just something about screaming “OH, THE BOOKS ARE SO MUCH BETTER” that makes dumb fuckin stupid dumb idiots feel superior, and sure, it’s true a lot of the time. But in the case of GoT, I can’t even take it seriously… this is the best thing that has ever been made for television. It just is. One or two lukewarm episodes stacked up against 40-some great episodes and a half-dozen MIND BLOWING episodes doesn’t change that fact.

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    104. Deesensfan: I will quit if Jon dies
      JUST SAYING

      but I agree… people who “quit” after Sansagate or the Whiney book readers I have heard off… what a joke!

      I suggest you start getting that luggage ready and begin packing. I’m just Kidding.
      Really tho, nobody should be quitting. The story is one horror but we all know that if we made it through season 1 or book 1

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    105. tyjon,

      Oopsie! I need an editor, “are” should be “our” and “though” should have been “thought”.
      I was in a hurry for an appointment, but that’s no excuse for elementary grammatical errors.

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    106. HelloThere: It doesn’t matter when it comes out, this is Martin’s world and his work.

      But you don’t novelize “worlds,” you novelize stories. And the final story will be novelized after it is televised.

        Quote  Reply

    107. Cameryn,

      I think there are a lot of people that really like this season, but it may not always seem that way with all the loud overblown criticisms that are hard to tune out. Much depends on the last two episodes of course, but S5 has been very satisfying thus far. The weakest episode may have been the premiere. Everything after that has been consistently good to great, “infamous” Ep. 6 included.

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    108. Personally i never understood the sansagate.

      Yes its an unpleasant rape, but weve seen much worse. Remember Joffrey and the prostitutes in s2? And Ros wasnt a random character, she was the prostitute in the series.

      Im kind of inclined to think a lot of the outroar were book purists who were outraged by Sansas plot being changed and tried to get more attention by calling it misogyny. And of course a lot of bandwagon people who either hadnt even been watching the series to understand the context, or people who just liked being on a bandwagon.

      All of the arguments i heard were really strange and seemed to come from really strange perspectives and made up rules like:

      You cant have a rape unless its central to the story. But the background rape at crasters keep was ok?

      I shouldnt have to watch things that upset me. But clearly you have managed to get through the red wedding and the countless of other rapes in the series just fine.

      Sansas rape fills no narrative purpose since joffrey was mean to her before. Way to decide that before even seeing the aftermath.

      Since Sansa doesnt get raped in the books its clearly gratuitous. Yes, thats not an argument.

      Focusing on Theons horror at the rape made it misogynist. This is even the worst argument ive heard. First of showing the rape in a more graphic way would have upset people more if they were really upset. Secondly, since when did we make up the rule that a rape can only affect the victims narrative for it to be acceptable?

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    109. Achtung,

      I didn’t begrudge anyone who was upset on the basis of objections to the adaptation decision (even if I didn’t agree). However, most of the outrage had nothing to do with the show, the plot or the characters. It had to do with sociopolitics.

      Thankfully, in the aftermath of “Hardhome”, the media has latched onto a new narrative.

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    110. John M W:
      Achtung,

      I didn’t begrudge anyone who was upset on the basis of objections to the adaptation decision (even if I didn’t agree). However, most of the outrage had nothing to do with the show, the plot or the characters. It had to do with sociopolitics.

      I dont think you are entirely right. Sure, once the bandwagon got rolling all kinds of people jumped on. But from a sociopolitical perspective there is no reason this would make such headlines.

      On a GOT-scale it was a very non-graphic rape scene. And plotwise it was a lot less gratuitous than loads of other rapes in the series. It didnt even have the stupid director-fail of last years rapegate.

      The only arguments i can see that makes sense for why people should get upset about this is because it is such a major departure for Sansa from her book plot.

      Im ok with people disliking the series because it changes things, well as long as they dont whine too much about it. But i think its a bit ugly when they try to disguise their bookwanking with moral outrage over rapescenes.

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    111. Achtung:
      On a GOT-scale it was a very non-graphic rape scene. And plotwise it was a lot less gratuitous than loads of other rapes in the series.

      And, yet, so many criticisms of it called the scene “gratuitous” (which made NO sense to me).

      You want to see a gratuitous rape scene, watch last week’s finale of “Outlander”.

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    112. To those millions that quit after episode 6, I extend my hand to you and say, “welcome back!”

      I kid, of course…I know you never quit.

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    113. I really hope they ask Miguel Sapochnik back next season and that he’s available! Both of his episodes were amazing- his first season with GoT!

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    114. With careful consideration 1.blackwater 2.Hardhome 3.moutain and the vipor 4.reins of castamear 5. and now his watch has ended 6.watchers on the wall 7. Kissed by fire 8.. Baelor 9.kill the boy 10. The children. —– I got episode 6 of this season as second to worst behind the night lands

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    115. Jordan,

      There’s one trope that’s far more tired than the fantasy tropes that ASOIAF fans are always railing against, and that’s the trope that all tropes are terrible. There are reasons why timeless stories have the tropes they have. They work.

      Not everything in Westeros has to subvert timeless concepts of heroic story-telling. This show maintains a great balance between tropes and anti-tropes, IMO, and so does ASOIAF. The fans sometimes forget that.

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    116. HelloThere:
      flintwielder,

      TWOW will never be a “novelization” of a TV show.

      It doesn’t matter when it comes out, this is Martin’s world and his work.

      Martin sold his world off.
      Didn´t get the newsflash ?

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    117. Kay:
      That’s a very nice rebound after Memorial Day, and also the good WOM from Episode 7. What I find impressive about these numbers is that the show has apparently lost so many book reading-show hating fans who have by now abandoned the “fanfiction” being created on HBO, which “insults Martin’s masterpiece”. That can only mean that newer fans continue to check out the show and watch in very robust numbers.

      I would be surprised if more than 5% of the book purists who proclaimed they were going to quit the show have actually quit the show.

      And I would be extremely surprised if the book purists made up more than 0.0005% of the audience. Every single one of them could quit the show and it wouldn’t make a dent.

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    118. I’ve never seen such an irrational hatred of people as I have witnessed on this site – all because some people prefer the books to a TV show.

      PS- I’m so, so glad that the numbers have recovered. I hope next week is record breaking.

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    119. Who else is extremely hyped for “The Dance of Dragons”? Pretty sure all book readers already know what the final scene is going to be 😉
      THIS is the episode I’ve been waiting for this entire season. Sure, Hardhome was a good surprise (a VERY GOOD ONE, at that) but I think this next episode will absolutely hit it out of the park. Non-book readers, you have no idea what is in store, and I envy you greatly, SO DON’T READ THEM SPOILERS! Hold on for just 5 more days!
      All I can say is…
      DRAGONS ARE COMING.

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    120. InSmamity,

      I actually wonder if some viewers will let their guard down, thinking that episode 9 won’t be the jaw-dropping episode of the season after the awesomeness that was “Hardhome”.

      I really can’t wait to see my family’s reaction. 😀

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    121. Shaz:
      I love that the whole “show deviating from the books” can’t used as an argument anymore. The episode relied on a huge deviation and BAM, you’ve got the second-highest ratings of the season so far.

      Can’t wait til we have all the viewing stats, i’m sure it’ll solidify the theory that people are viewing the show through different means.

      Well deserved GoT!

      To be fair it’s a deviation in one sense of a POV character going to Hardhome to actually see the carnage

      But tonally and atmosphere wise etc there’s a good argument this was actually the Fist of the First Men brought to life

      Eg the show opted not to show the Fist of the First Men and show Hardhome, whereas the books are explaining Fist in some depth while presumably not showing Hardhome given no POV characters, we simply hear letters and Flames descriptions etc

      This was nicely placed though, eg there’s a small build-up over the seasons and it nicely emphasises just why the Wildlings need to be facilitated through, it comes 2/3 throught eh entire series so we needed something biggish now and it presses home a building and impending threat to Westeros and a precursor as to what lies in store for the cities we’ve come to know

      This for mine is a re-arranging of a GRRM vision, but it has been an example of a fantastically done adaption

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    122. Chriss:
      I’ve never seen such an irrational hatred of people as I have witnessed on this site – all because some people prefer the books to a TV show.

      What do you expect after years and years of bookwankers thoughtpolicing and harassing an entire fandom on what they are supposed to think and opine re aSoIaF ?

      The wheel has turned. Now man up !

        Quote  Reply

    123. Rygar:
      Right now the internet views for Tyene’s bewbs reveal is only slightly behind Alexandra Daddario’s bewbs reveal in True Detective.

      To be soon replaced with Rachel McAdam’s butt reveal in True Detective season 2…calling it.

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    124. KrakenDaughter:
      tyjon,

      It’s hilarious how WD fans think their show is what made the zombies popular.

      lol

      The WD is popular because Zombies are popular and it filled the space on TV. Obviously didn’t hurt that similar to GoT with ASOIF books there was

      The fact the ratings kept rising through the abomination that was season 2 on that infamous Farm with a reduced budget from season 1 despite twice as many episodes shows this

      Btw Zombies and Wights are different despite looking the same obviously, Zombies are their own thing based on a virus but Wights are dead people being magically re-animated by White Walkers. Point being the whole shambling vs running debate is rather moot

      Similar to the debate over which R’hllorrist Priests can do what magic, thing the show can say the Night’s King is really highly skilled and so able to put the Wights into run-mode unlike other White Walkers who can only re-animate them into walk-mode perhaps?…

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    125. InSmamity:
      Who else is extremely hyped for “The Dance of Dragons”? Pretty sure all book readers already know what the final scene is going to be
      THIS is the episode I’ve been waiting for this entire season. Sure, Hardhome was a good surprise (a VERY GOOD ONE, at that) but I think this next episode will absolutely hit it out of the park. Non-book readers, you have no idea what is in store, and I envy you greatly, SO DON’T READ THEM SPOILERS! Hold on for just 5 more days!
      All I can say is…
      DRAGONS ARE COMING.

      Yeah it will be very nicely placed actually, because Hardhome has given a sense of the impending doom that is descending on Westeros and Wights overwhelming the Village and then it is immediately followed up by a Dragon torching Harpies en masse

      It will work well as a twin scene which is how the show seems to explore themes, eg they’ll probably set it up similar where the Harpies look set to overwhelm Dany + Unsullied ala the Wights so we think there’s going to be a replay and then BAM!

      Daznaks will be a great twin to Hardhome

      Thing is I actually think the Masters are like the Wildlings, they aren’t behind the Harpies at all despite what we’ve been made to think, eg Daario is like Ser Alliser who would kill them all (Harpies/Wildlings) but the reality is the Harpies are Ghiscari nationalists who want to resurrect the Ghiscari Empire and are opposed to the Masters as much as Dany and hate Dany not because she freed the Slaves but because of her Valyrian roots

      The Whore woman IMO is the “Mother” of the Harpies (Queen of the Harpies!), the equivalent of the Night’s King and a great “anti-Dany”

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    126. I almost feel sorry for those guys who were desperate for it to fail critically and commercially. Seems they swooped in for the kill too quickly.

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    127. King stannis,

      I REALLY HOPE YOURE KIDDING :(:(:(:(:(:,,,,,,,,(

      youre right. but I am more attached to jon than I was to anyone. I don’t think I could deal with that
      His story and character are awesome. And I think there is more to his parentage than we know. so he must be significant.

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    128. Simeon,

      Maybe because the producers have handled rape poorly in the past will mean Sansa gets her justice (I hope). They must be aware of the backlash from the Jaime-Cersei scene especially and must be aware they can’t replicate that lack of awareness again (again, I hope). I think she personally will kill Ramsay. In this case I’m willing to see if there’s a just-enough payoff sometime soon. (I know, though, hell, she lost her virginity to Ramsay.)

      And what the hell is up with Littlefinger? Leaving Sansa alone with Ramsay isn’t something he’d ordinarily do.

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    129. Deesensfan,

      Well, R + L = J is pretty solid, I think.

      But yeah, I was surprised to walk into this season and all of a sudden Jon Snow (whom I used to find bland) was becoming one of my favourite characters. Very surprised. Wow.

      And this episode makes up for all the ones which have come before it this season.

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    130. Karene Arundell: They must be aware of the backlash from the Jaime-Cersei scene especially

      What backlash? The ratings did not drop and the audience and critical marks for the show remained high. A few people complaining on the Internet does not constitute a “backlash.” (Indeed, half of the complaints were: “that wasn’t in the books!” which was easily rebutted with “actually, it was”: not that in/not in the books counts for anything in the general publics’ mindset.) If Internet whining counted as backlash, then the biggest “backlashes” were for Ned’s beheading and the Red Wedding. However, no ratings don’t drop and and no audience/critical disapproval (which predict future ratings drops) = no backlash.

      Karene Arundell: And what the hell is up with Littlefinger? Leaving Sansa alone with Ramsay isn’t something he’d ordinarily do.

      Littlefinger does not know about Ramsay. One thing from the books that they’ve kept in the show is that, what happens in the North stays in the North. The Boltons in particular kept a lot of their hijinks hidden from other Northerners: people suspected, but nobody knew.

      At any rate, LF’s plan is ostensibly sound enough. The only chance Sansa has to get back into any power is to marry into it.

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    131. Of course it has high ratings — it earned them thru past excellent seasons and good word of mouth — but the show still sucks now, compared to prior seasons. Including episode 8, which had enough cool FX, but was otherwise just as fundamentally dumb, poorly paced, off-tone, and strangely silly as almost every other episode this season. GOT was great until this season. Now that the showrunners are doing their own thing it’s more like fan fiction. It’s very clear where the creative/storytelling IQ lay, and it’s not with the two dudes doing the writing now.

      And it makes sense, when you probe credentials a bit. Martin (who’s no longer very involved) wrote the books, and contributed heavily to guiding the scripting in season 1-4. By comparison, the guys crafting the story for Season 5 (now diverging heavily from the books and Martin’s guidance) wrote the movie Troy, and some Halo spin offs. They’re not exactly the cream of the crop in terms of sophisticated, subversive, high-IQ storytelling.

      Anyway, that probably accounts for the tremendous quality gap between s1-4 and s5. Also MIA are the high caliber TV directors of prior seasons like Michelle Mclaren.

        Quote  Reply

    132. bth,

      Oh come on now… Could people please just stop with the whole “The show sucks since season X and D&D/all the writers on the show except for GRRM can’t write.” thing? The show is a giant hit for HBO that people love and yes, GRRM wrote the source material and he deserves all the credit for it, but he never was the main force behind the show. The team behind GoT is doing it’s thing since season 1, GRRM is not the master mind behind it all. You liked season 1-4? You have all the people who made the show possible to thank for that and GRRM is only one of them.

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    133. Wimsey,

      Perhaps you are unaware of how often GRRM and show crew/cast members read specific forums, particularly those that are on westeros.org or major review sites like The AV Club. On Westeros.org, one of the forums have strict rules about derogatory comments about GRRM or the show (without critical merit) because his people are frequent readers, and occasionally posters are related to the show or the author (family) himself. The author hates the internet; his people do not.

      Also, considering that the rape backlash from Jaime-Cersei was front-page news down here in Australia, with major journalists arguing the issue back and forth, I find it very hard to believe D & D have heard nothing negative about the Jaime-Cersei backlash since they were at the core of the storm, not languishing on a continent at the bottom of the world as I am. It was bigger news here than The Red Wedding or other events (e.g. Ned Stark, Oberyn dying) because it constituted a hot-topic social issue for journalists, e.g. representation of rape on television. The hype here was massive for about a week.

      You answered your own question to my second question yourself: “Littlefinger does not know about Ramsay.”

      That is what’s called inconsistency in characterisation.

      As for ratings, they do not seem to fluctuate based on the specific events you mentioned. They follow a common trend per season. http://graphtv.kevinformatics.com/tt0944947

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    134. Karene Arundell,

      I agree that R + L = J is pretty solid.
      but that doesn’t discount the danger that J is in… and that I am worried. LOL.
      I hope i am wrong. or if I am right, he comes back to life by the lord of light or something.

        Quote  Reply

    135. Deesensfan,

      Ha ha I feel you! I’ve actually come to quite like Jon Snow in this season – I didn’t so much in the books or in previous seasons. But he’s really stepped up to the plate, the actor and the character. Hardhome was the best episode in ages, mainly thanks to the fight scenes, but how awesome was it when Jon smashed apart the White with Longclaw…! I’m a bit worried about Melisandre wandering off with Stannis. Um, you’re kind of needed at the Wall!

        Quote  Reply

    136. Wimsey: But you don’t novelize “worlds,” you novelize stories.And the final story will be novelized after it is televised.

      I’m anti-Book purist, but it’s comments like these that make me just generally hate both sides.

      Novelizations are scene by scene recreations of what is on screen.

      Martin has already told D&D how the series will end, and they’ve definitely seen parts of AWoW — the scene last season where the Mercy dialogue was taken is a perfect example of that. D&D, despite Book Purists’ and TV Purists’ claims, do really seem like they want to stick to Martin’s story as much as they can. I doubt he even steals anything from the show — that doesn’t seem like something he would do.

      And the books will have different and more story. They could not be further from novelizations.

      On a higher level, I have no idea why show watchers are eager to get off Martin’s path. He’s created the world, plot and characters you love. And while D&D have done a great job, and some of their divergences are inspired (Tywin and Arya; Sansa in Winterfell) … most of the big misses in the show were divergences too far. Like Dorne this year. Or the weird political backdrop of Qarth.

        Quote  Reply

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