‘Game of Thrones’ was Comcast’s number one video-on-demand show of 2018

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You know a show is good when it’s been off the air for a year and still ranks at the top for viewers.

Chalk this up to the influence of being the world’s most-watched TV show: despite not airing since August of 2017, Game of Thrones was cable provider Comcast’s number one video-on-demand (VOD) show of 2018, according to figures from the company.

USA Today reported that Thrones ranked at the top of VOD among its more than 22 million subscribers from Jan. 1 to Dec. 5 this year.

“The fact that that show is still ranked No. 1 across the board when it wasn’t even current is pretty incredible. It shows just how large of a following that show has (and) how new people are still discovering it,” Brynn Lev, VP of editorial and programming at Comcast Cable, told USA Today.

Thrones ranked number one nationally and in 9 of Comcast’s 12 major markets: Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Portland, San Francisco and Seattle. No word from Comcast as to how the show fared in King’s Landing, Oldtown or Sunspear.

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    1. Many of my friends and family members still refuse to watch the show because they’ve heard it’s too violent or gory. I suspect that there are also people who assume (as Ian McShane inaptly and ill-advisedly described it) that “it’s only t*ts and dragons.”

      As much as I detest edited and abridged versions of movies and TV shows, I’m not so sure GoT would suffer if a “family-friendly” version were available without some of the “R-rated” scenes, so it’d be palatable for squeamish viewers.

      After all, there are plenty of schlock “horror” movies chock full of lopping off heads and brutal murders. It’s the “high thread count”™️, character-driven scenes of GoT that have made the show so memorable.

      Instead of showing the Red Wedding, could a brief narrative insert inform the audience what happened? Bleeping out the Hound’s expletives, or dubbing them over with other words (like “freaking” for “f*cking”), has been done with other movies to produce a PG version.

      I showed my reluctant sister-in-law some clips of tender moments from the show (e.g., Jon’s goodbye to Arya; and Ygritte: “Oh! A spider! Save me Jon Snow, my dress is made from the purest silk from Tralalaeeday”) and she really liked them. I just can’t convince her to start watching entire episodes.

      To be honest, there are some scenes that were so sad or shocking that I can’t bear to watch them again, like Arya pressed against Yoren’s chest while her father’s being beheaded. While I have to admit I didn’t mind the savagery of Arya’s execution of Meryn F*cking Trant, I acknowledge some viewers perceived it as….overkill.

      I don’t know. Is there a way to “sanitize” artistic expression without butchering it?

      ™️ Thronetender

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    2. House Monty,

      That’s difficult to say. With so many different characters and storylines, one might say that overall S5 wasn’t as good as S4, but then you get an episode like “Hardhome” (S5e8) that was excellent from start to finish. “Beyond the Wall” (S7E6) took lots of criticism, and yet “The Spoils of War” (S7e4) was top-notch – from Arya’s return to WF and sparring with Brienne, to the edge-of-your-seat non-stop excitement of Jaime, Bronn & Lannister army vs. Dany, Drogon & Dothraki.

      I’ve started separating out storylines for my own personal enjoyment: Like Brienne & Jaime starting out with him being a total d*ck and insulting her looks; to mutual respect; to friendship; to potential romantic love. So, for example, I didn’t very much like major swaths of S6e7 and e8, but Brienne & Jaime in the tent during the siege of Riverrun was a beautiful scene – with the unspoken emotion simmering just beneath the surface of their words.

      Then again, I’ve also pretty much “deleted” story lines I didn’t like the first time, e.g., the High Sparrow. There were very few “deletable” or fast forwardable scenes in Seasons 1-4.

      That’s my take on it.

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    3. Ten Bears,

      Speaking of On Demand Videos, I came across actual HBO promos I haven’t seen anywhere else yet from Maisie Williams, Kit Harrington, Emilia Clark, and Isaac Hempstead Wright. They are about 12+ minutes each going through their entire arc from season 1 through 7. It’s fun to watch.
      They are posted in full on “Game Of Thrones Studio” youtube channel. Kit has some funny things to say about Sansa, and for those Arya fans, it’s fun seeing Maisie go through her arc.

      For me, I enjoy watching the series live, and I couldn’t have made it this far through long night without re-watching the series several times. I don’t watch through Comcast, but I own them all in my Amazon library.

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    4. Ten Bears,

      Speaking of On Demand Videos, I came across actual HBO promos I haven’t seen anywhere else yet from Maisie Williams, Kit Harrington, Emilia Clark, and Isaac Hempstead Wright. They are about 12+ minutes each going through their entire arc from season 1 through 7. It’s fun to watch.
      They are posted in full on the Game Of Thrones Studio YouTube channel. Kit has some funny things to say about Sansa, and for those Arya fans, it’s fun seeing Maisie go through her arc.

      For me, I couldn’t have made it this far through the long night without re-watching the series several times. I don’t watch through Comcast, but I own them all in my Amazon library. I’m up to Hardhome, which is when season 5 starts paying off.

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    5. Ten Bears:
      While I have to admit I didn’t mind the savagery of Arya’s execution of Meryn F*cking Trant, I acknowledge some viewers perceived it as….overkill.

      If anything, it’s underkill. ;p
      I suppose you have a point about a possible way to enlarge the audience even further—while I wouldn’t watch the censored version except maybe to laugh, those too young or too put off by extreme violence and gore and cussing and whatnot might then at least be able to enjoy it more. Even though it wouldn’t give you quite the full effect. Then again, maybe this would just shorten and eliminate too much. And of course, the young potential viewers will be old enough eventually anyway.
      The article’s subject doesn’t surprise me a bit; nothing compares to GoT.

      Lol, I loved Kit’s thoughts on Sansa (they were mine, too. xD)

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    6. Tron79,

      Thanks! I’ll take a look at the “Game of Thrones Studio” YouTube channel.

      P.S. The trailer for “Then Came You” (originally titled “Departures”) starring Maisie Williams was released a few days ago. It’s hard to tell from the trailer if the movie’s any good, though it’s always good to see ASNAWP.

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    7. Ten Bears,

      Thanks for the promo info….I just watched the trailer. I’m not sure about the movie either, but I will watch because of Maisie. It’s probably not a good sign that it’s hitting on demand video at the same time as going to theaters, but it’s good for me, since I’ll watch it on demand.

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    8. Tron79,

      There are some secondary character ones too, including Sandor and IIRC Jorah. I found Kit’s fun when he talks about Sansa. Bran’s was quite interesting–Isaac says Bran sensed the Dagger was important and it was meant for Arya. Also, he explains Bran’s computer-like situation very well.

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    9. Stark Raven’ Rad,

      Thanks!! I didn’t see Sandor’s. I will go look now!! I’m hoping some of the other characters eventually get on there too .
      Yes, I thought all of them had some good insights. Isaac’s computer-like explanation was great, and it’s so sad re-living his arc and I was thinking about his last scene with Meera where he barely acknowledges her and she can see he’s no longer really Bran anymore.

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    10. Though I’ve sworn off conspiracy theory videos this came into my recommended list and I hadn’t realised what it was before I clicked on it. Load of twaddle of course but this time GRRM has been thrown into the mix as in some odd character is saying he’s secretly a woman. (at about 1.30) https://youtu.be/fg8lmmvpNk8 I do sometimes watch GoT reactions videos so the YouTube algorithm probably gave me this because it was GoT related. (Though I did watch a whole lot of nutty videos when I was housebound – yes, I did need to get out more but couldn’t at the time). I know I may have wished Mr M wrote faster but he doesn’t deserve to have someone who doesn’t know him from Adam saying he is Mrs M!!!! I can never decide whether people who dream up these conspiracy theories really believe them or just do it for clickbait.

      More on topic Emergency Awesome has done a clip about the HBO Bran video. I quite liked it.

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    11. Dee Stark,
      That’s what I like to hear! I have a handful of friends that started late because they didn’t think it is the type of show they’d like. For a couple of them I think part of it was my fault by not suggesting it strongly enough because it IS so far from their usual type of program. Once they decided to watch it though they burned through it about as fast as I would have!!

      I have yet to talk to anyone in person that just quit watching. I mean, for most shows you talk to people about a show and usually hear some say they “watched a season or two and got bored with it.” I suppose the ever-increasing viewership numbers for GoT is example A that most viewers are ‘hooked’ and not dropping the show.

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    12. Ten Bears:
      Stark Raven’ Rad,

      I’ve been unable to find Sandor or Jorah on the “Game of Thrones Studio” YouTube channel. Would you have a link for either one?

      I haven’t been able to find the other ones either…. I searched lots of other websites/channels too… any guidance to where you found Sandor’s and Jorah’s that would be much appreciated. These histories from the actor’s perspective are really interesting to watch.

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    13. Clob,

      “I mean, for most shows you talk to people about a show and usually hear some say they ‘watched a season or two and got bored with it.””
      ——-
      My attention span is much shorter than that. But at about 0:39 in this clip from S1e1 of GoT, I was hooked.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XH9Ti0wKbs

      And the best part, I’ve found, for many latecomers who stick with the show, is that a character who looked like he was just window dressing in S1 would turn out to be their favorite. (I still can’t go to a restaurant without being tempted to say “Think I’ll take two chickens” when the waiter/waitress comes to take our order.)

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    14. Season 1-4 was good enough to make me want to see it through to the end. The acting, writing and story were very strong. These were the years when it had the smallest audience and some viewers would find the episodes to be just talking and wandering around.

      As the story got thinner, the budget and production values rose to compensate. The audience grew as the best things that made GOT started fading. Season 7 had the largest audience although some of it was trash tv. With a more “black and white” simple story, more loose ends, more cardboard characters, more stereotypical heroes they got a bigger audience.

      I think D&D made an excellent decision to wrap it up before their project turned into walking dead or another of the really popular but really compromised products.

      I hope they can pull off an ending season that honours the best of Season 1-4 & 6 and the better parts of season 5 &7.

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