Game of Thrones episode 704 breaks new viewership record!

Randyll Tarly amazed by the numbers

Randyll Tarly amazed by the numbers

Okay, that was unexpected, but what better Game of Thrones episode to set a new record than last Sunday’s doozy? As if the viewers knew what was coming … “The Spoils of War” original airing was seen by 10.17 million viewers, just breaking the previous record set at 10.11 by the season’s premiere. Thanks to Showbuzz Daily for revealing the numbers.

Please enjoy the updated graph below (click to enlarge), now plotting a friendly smile for season seven of Game of Thrones with the added record.

S7 GoT ratings graph

As our David “SirSquinty” Rosenblatt put it:

I believe it was the Hound who said “Fuck the leaks…Fuck the hackers”

The movement of these numbers is quite unpredictable, but what with the excitement delivered by the most recent episode and the fact that a new record was broken despite the leak (which couldn’t have helped), it all bodes well for the ratings of the next one. What are your predictions, everyone? Three episodes to go!

143 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. Exactly what we were saying last night… Regardless of leaks and such people are still watching the official first airing. Hackers releasing personal info of cast members sucks but they’re barking up the wrong tree trying to extort HBO when it comes to the episodes.

      It’s rather funny looking at the “competing” numbers of other cable programs…

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    2. Man this is amazing.. I am so so so happy
      Seriously ratings don’t mean anything to them.. but I am happy to see how loved this show is ….

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    3. I wonder if the low def leak helped… Because I’m not sure everyone would immediately guess we were getting such an all-time great dragon battle sequence in a midseason episode.

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    4. Actually,
      I think the leaks kinda helped create a hype for “the spoils of war”.
      Two days before airing people were talking about how amazing this episode was, so you dont want to miss this.

      Fuck the King, Fuck the leaks

        Quote  Reply

    5. I knew it already! Those incredible numbers is what the best show on TV deserves! Fantastic..a very good lesson for the hackers!

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    6. you know what Dee? I think this week, for this episode, because of what is going on ,the HBO execs are smoking cigars, clinking champagne glasses and going “bring it on leakers…just bring it on” lol

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    7. Woohoo! Congrats, GOT! I can imagine the finale (which traditionally had been the highest rating episode of the season) will be much, much higher.

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    8. I also think the leaks helped, because it’s great publicity for the show. These are incredible numbers which I don’t think are going to ever really be matched again by another show (although they will be beaten by GoT). The ratings get bigger and bigger, and you keep thinking they can’t improve any more, but they do. The numbers for the finale of season 8 are going to be absolutely immense.

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    9. Seven Holy Hells.

      I was fully expecting the live viewership to hold steady with the past two weeks, and that the unfortunate leak wouldn’t lead to any attrition (when the first four episodes of Season 5 leaked a few years ago, the premiere still broke its own viewership record at the time). But I wasn’t daring to hope for a new series high before the Season 7 finale. Color me surprised and delighted that so many tuned in to see the show at its absolute best!

      I think that the hypothesis that several commenters have already put forward is correct – in this case, the leak actually helped drive up the numbers. People who watched it early spent the ensuing days justifiably raving about how incredible the episode was, and anyone who watched what was reportedly a very low-quality copy of the episode surely tuned in live on Sunday anyway to see it in full HD glory. Any fool who didn’t deprived themselves of a singularly superlative experience.

      Never, ever underestimate Game of Thrones, man. This show is a once-in-a-generation juggernaut. And while Dany stopped the Lannister loot train this past Sunday, there’s no stopping this one.

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    10. It’s possible that word of mouth from the leak aided in an uptick, but it has been a trend between episodes three and four. Every season except the second has seen a rise in the viewership number between those two weeks. With the shorter season maybe it should be expected to climb now until the end. Next week is essentially like the eighth episode…

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    11. The same people who are even interested in leaks in the first place, must also love the show too, right? Why else waste their time chasing them down? It only makes sense, to me at least.

      So it would also make sense that, to them, the leaks just increase their desire to see the short, written blurbs brought to life on screen. I can’t imagine anyone interested in this show would be satisfied with just the leaked synopsis or a low-grade, watermarked net version. HBO has zero to worry about unless the hackers have personal, compromising data on actual high-level people, which is unlikely. But for show viewership and ratings, they should be just fine.

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    12. Something thats been bugging me, how did Dany get the Dothraki off Dragonstone with only two ships?

      Did they pitch up on the mainland in the first place?

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    13. chris,

      She said in the episode itself she had enough ships to get the Dothraki to the mainland.

      She still had a ton of ships she got from the masters.

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    14. Fuck the leaks – I like that. The majority of viewers are not overzealous fans who need to know what is going to happen prior to the show airing. I consider myself a rabid GoT fan, but I draw the line when it comes to leaks.
      Maybe, just maybe, this show is THAT good that it draws in viewers in high numbers. Watching the preview and Dany’s sentence ‘enough with the clever plans’ everyone should have expected something big.
      Congrats to D&D, the production team and HBO.

        Quote  Reply

    15. Yeah, she should have had plenty of ships remaining (not accounting for “manufactured subtraction” of numbers relative to the additions to Cersei’s side. Yara was taking the Greyjoy fleet to get the Dornish. Grey Worm only needed enough for the Unsullied, which would now be fewer than 8,000 men. There should have been many left that had carried 100k plus Dothraki to Dragonstone to begin with.

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    16. Well, there it is folks… proof that leaks and illegal downloads destroy viewership numbers! 100% EVIDENCE! YOU CAN’T IGNORE THIS! Nothing is worse than leaks and illegal downloads! I mean, before leaks and illegal downloads, this show had like 1.5 million live viewers. And now it has nearly 10 times that. EVIDENCE!!!!!!!

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    17. Clob:
      Yeah, she should have had plenty of ships remaining (not accounting for “manufactured subtraction” of numbers relative to the additions to Cersei’s side.Yara was taking the Greyjoy fleet to get the Dornish.Grey Worm only needed enough for the Unsullied, which would now be fewer than 8,000 men.There should have been many left that had carried 100k plus Dothraki to Dragonstone to begin with.

      Does she have 100k Dothraki ? I know Jorah said in Season 6 that there were about 100k Dothraki in Vaes Dothrak, but that’s counting women, children, and old people.

      I think Dany only brought the men with her, so there should be far fewer than 100k.

      Wish the show would be more precise with the army and navy sizes.

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    18. Markus Stark: Wish the show would be more precise with the army and navy sizes.

      We’re going OT a bit, but…
      That’s the thing – it’s a lot of guessing. All of the Dothraki – including the Great Khal’s khalasar should be a lot of fighters. Our guessing is going to include any book numbers of course, whether it should or not. Drogo himself had over 100k in his khalasar with nearly half of that being warriors.
      Whatever the number actually is there should have been plenty of ships left.

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    19. Take that, leakers!

      Also:

      GeekFurious:
      Well, there it is folks… proof that leaks and illegal downloads destroy viewership numbers! 100% EVIDENCE! YOU CAN’T IGNORE THIS! Nothing is worse than leaks and illegal downloads! I mean, before leaks and illegal downloads, this show had like 1.5 million live viewers. And now it has nearly 10 times that. EVIDENCE!!!!!!!

      Always nice to see Geekfurious in these threads. One of the few certainties in life…

        Quote  Reply

    20. Markus Stark,

      At some point Dany or Davos or someone might mention actual numbers, but at this point its inconsequential for the screen. How many ships were used to get the Dothraki ashore etc just isnt important to move the plot along.

      Maybe we find out how many casualties there are in the next episode or how many Lannisters were taken out.

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    21. Furiosa:
      Actually,
      I think the leaks kinda helped create a hype for “the spoils of war”.
      Two days before airing people were talking about how amazing this episode was, so you dont want to miss this.

      Fuck the King, Fuck the leaks

      Yep, that’s my guess as well: the leaks really helped build up the hype and eagerness to watch it in high def.

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    22. I wonder if it IS because of the leaks, I mean the low quality leaked episode and all the spoilers created so much hype, that more people tuned in to watch the epic fight in HD??

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    23. Clob: We’re going OT a bit, but…
      That’s the thing – it’s a lot of guessing.All of the Dothraki – including the Great Khal’s khalasar should be a lot of fighters.Our guessing is going to include any book numbers of course, whether it should or not.Drogo himself had over 100k in his khalasar with nearly half of that being warriors.
      Whatever the number actually is there should have been plenty of ships left.

      Oh definitely, the overwhelming majority of her ships should be fine. Yara only had 100 ships, and since the Unsullied represent a very small percentage of her total army, they shouldn’t have needed that many ships compared to her total armada.

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    24. Ser Broccoli McBroccoliface:
      Markus Stark,

      At some point Dany or Davos or someone might mention actual numbers, but at this point its inconsequential for the screen. How many ships were used to get the Dothraki ashore etc just isnt important to move the plot along.

      Maybe we find out how many casualties there are in the next episode or how many Lannisters were taken out.

      I know you think that only that which is vital to moving the plot along should be included, but as you know, I disagree.

      How you move the plot along and flesh out the details of the plot is important to me, and I would prefer having a clearer picture of what the situation is. As it is, the show just does whatever it wants with no regard for logistics or logic, and it can often get away with it by hand-waiving problems away and leaving it out details.

      I prefer the style of the earlier seasons and of the books, when we frequently were given precise figures. It adds to the realism, and makes it more immersive for me.

      And besides, it is actually a pretty basic thing for us to know how many people Dany has VS how many people Cersei has.
      Much of this season revolves around military strategy, army movements, fleets, castles, etc… It’s a freaking war, and it’s the one we’ve been waiting for since the beginning of the show.

      Seems like knowing the numbers of the two opposing armies would be a fairly basic thing.

      It’s not like I’m asking to know the color of Davos’ undergarments.

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    25. Leaks make big news but really don’t have any sort of material impact on things.

      Keep in mind that in certain southern regions, school is about to be back in session, which means a decrease in vacations and more people at home to watch. I wouldn’t be shocked if we see the record broken once or twice more before the end of the season.

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    26. Markus Stark,

      No regard to logistics or logic? Are you kidding me?

      This show is massive and it tying loose ends from the first 2 seasons right now.

      Do you want a mathematical equation for each army size? This is entertainment, not algebra 2.

      Besides, this post is for ratings…. not army size complaints.

      Some people are never happy.

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    27. I have to hand it to Shakman, he directed a brilliant episode. A newbie to the show who understandably had a few people unsure of how he’d do, I honestly hope he gets an Emmy for this.

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    28. chris,

      I think the purpose of the show in never specifying exactly how big they armies and navies are and how do they split up when something occurs (like Unsullied going to the Reach, the Greyjoys taking the rest of the ships to Dorne, one alone escapes with Theon, and what remains at Dragonstone if there’s anything that remains, because I didn’t think there was to be honest) is to pull from their ass ships and army of whatever number they need at any given time. It’s like Petyr says: always keep your audience confused, because they’ll never know what you do next. Or something like that.

      I do though remember some ships coming from Essos with the Targaryan seal on them. The rest were Greyjoys and Dornish. I think. Who knows, I’m sure someone will come along in the thread that will explain things to you properly. Just wanted to say that I’m just as confused as you and you are not the only one.

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    29. The Bastard,

      Shush you! This was never a website where off topics were frowned upon. I just posted something about that myself. I can type whatever the hell I please as long as it is GoT related. Jeez…

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    30. Jack Bauer 24: And if it’s slow then it could hurt episode 6 ratings.

      Do you really think at this point in the show that ratings have *THAT* much to do with the previous episode? I don’t. Viewers who are invested in the show are already hooked. Viewership at this point has more to do with many other things…. such as families being on vacation, other events around the country, and so forth. We are beyond the discussion point of slow episodes hurting the show for the next episode.

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    31. TormundsWoman:
      The Bastard,

      Shush you! This was never a website where off topics were frowned upon. I just posted something about that myself. I can type whatever the hell I please as long as it is GoT related. Jeez…

      Even if it okay to discuss army sizes here…. it is a stupid discussion. The author himself doesn’t even care to be specific on the size of Westeros. The books never really discuss army size numbers. For a show to do it when it has no real purpose would seem silly and out of place.

      And as the ratings show (see how I brought it back to the original topic?)…. Viewers don’t care about army sizes….

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    32. Praise be to the leakers. I think everyone who heard about the leaks, knew it was an awesome must-see episode. I certainly didn’t watch the leaked stuff, but my anticipation level was at an all-time high.

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    33. I don’t remember season 2 laying out the numbers on each side of Blackwater.
      did they?

      From what I can remember, we didn’t know the number of troops stannis had once he added all the armies of the reach to his forces (after Renly died). I don’t remember knowing how he got all those ships, or how many ships were there total in his fleet.
      I don’t remember knowing how many gold cloaks Tyrion had or how many red cloaks… Or how many soldiers were added to Tywins forces when the Tyrells joined him.

      Maybe these numbers were given, I don’t remember.

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    34. So, so sad that there are only 3 episodes left. I braced myself all off-season for a shortened 7 episode season and I thought that I was mentally prepared for it… but alas, I am not.

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    35. The Bastard,

      I see what you did there LOL. But I AM part of the audience and so is Chris, you know. I think you’re just being mean because you don’t like our questions and you think we’re nitpicking because: bookreaders.

      But in truth I’m asking exactly because show passed the books! I no longer have a reference. And it’s no longer Martin’s fault. And shame, shame, shame!!! I need a cowbell right about now. You’re bringing into this discussion Winds (2018), when we don’t even know what the size of her book fleet will be.

      However, I might mention in the past that the author DOES in fact give army sizes and fleet sizes and we always know for example how many ships Vic loses when he travels to Meereen and how many Dothaki in a khalasar etc. (I can always be counted upon to offer to re-read with you and others here if you don’t believe me :p )

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    36. TormundsWoman:
      The Bastard,

      I see what you did there LOL. But I AM part of the audience and so is Chris, you know. I think you’re just being mean because you don’t like our questions and you think we’re nitpicking because: bookreaders.

      But in truth I’m asking exactly because show passed the books! I no longer have a reference. And it’s no longer Martin’s fault. And shame, shame, shame!!! I need a cowbell right about now. You’re bringing into this discussion Winds (2018), when we don’t even know what the size of her book fleet will be.

      However, I might mention in the past that the author DOES in fact give army sizes and fleet sizes and we always know for example how many ships Vic loses when he travels to Meereen and how many Dothaki in a khalasar etc. (I can always be counted upon to offer to re-read with you and others here if you don’t believe me :p )

      Part of a very small fraction of the audience that most likely doesn’t represent the majority of the fans. I for one do NOT want the show to turn into an army size counter. It makes it too tedious.

      This show is the biggest and best that has ever been on television. Hearing people still make complaints says more about the complainer then it does about the actual show at this point. And the ratings sort of prove that. It is the reason why every season the ratings are going up. The show continues to gain fans without really loosing any. That is a sign that the show is doing so many things right.

      It would be nice to come to these places and not see the same cynical people finding the smallest things to complain about all of the time.

        Quote  Reply

    37. The Bastard: It would be nice to come to these places and not see the same cynical people finding the smallest things to complain about all of the time.

      The Bastard,

      Sort of how I feel about those who constantly complain about the complainers

        Quote  Reply

    38. All this tells me is that HBO will stay in the D&D business, no matter how many clever little hashtags and proposed boycotts there will be.

        Quote  Reply

    39. I think 10.16 of the 10.17 million viewers were probably asking the same question I am (why was the water sooooo deep at the shoreline?).

      Maybe the puddle of unknown depth will lead JL to an underwater alien civilization like in The Abyss.

        Quote  Reply

    40. TormundsWoman: Torm

      My comment wasn’t directed only at you. I have just been getting more and more frustrated with this fan base. I can’t even go to a thread about the show breaking their viewership record without seeing these petty small complaints.

      The Westeros Forum is complete trash now with 90% negativity. You can’t comment on most other GoT discussions on other websites because people are trying to post spoilers on purpose. And even on this website, which is the best of them all, we just witnessed a near perfect episode…. And the complaining still hasn’t ended.

      When anything becomes this popular, I guess there are always enough people who feel bad about themselves that need to complain and ruin the fun for the rest of us.

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    41. More viewers = more money = bigger budget for the last 6 episodes!

      Can’t wait but I can cause only 9 episodes left 🙁

        Quote  Reply

    42. Markus Stark: I know you think that only that which is vital to moving the plot along should be included, but as you know, I disagree.

      How you move the plot along and flesh out the details of the plot is important to me, and I would prefer having a clearer picture of what the situation is. As it is, the show just does whatever it wants with no regard for logistics or logic, and it can often get away with it by hand-waiving problems away and leaving it out details.

      I prefer the style of the earlier seasons and of the books, when we frequently were given precise figures. It adds to the realism, and makes it more immersive for me.

      And besides, it is actually a pretty basic thing for us to know how many people Dany has VS how many people Cersei has.
      Much of this season revolves around military strategy, army movements, fleets, castles, etc… It’s a freaking war, and it’s the one we’ve been waiting for since the beginning of the show.

      Seems like knowing the numbers of the two opposing armies would be a fairly basic thing.

      It’s not like I’m asking to know the color of Davos’ undergarments.

      Dude the show explains all the time how many numbers. If you don’t pay attention that’s your fault. Three episodes from now you gonna say.. I wish I knew how many northern fighters there were and I’m gonna shake my head because Davos and Jon just told you recently.

        Quote  Reply

    43. Pigeon,

      The only quibble I have with your comment is that while Shakman maybe a newbie to the QoTs universe, he’s hardly an unknown quantity. He’s directed some of the best episodes from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

        Quote  Reply

    44. In 80-100 years, this work will be adapted again. We should leave notes now to make sure the future writers know to include exact troop counts and to have at least one episode where the Dothraki play the license plate game or the Lannisters play I Spy to pass the time while they are traveling.

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    45. WorfWWorfington,

      I’m expecting to see receipts for proof of restaurant visits, gas refills, and hotel stayovers too. Oh, and plenty of selfies along the way for documentation. You cannot give up on the selfies.

        Quote  Reply

    46. Johnny Utah,

      And the chosen few of us already have the answer.

      1) Why does anyone care?
      2) Fine. The Blackwater Rush is stated in the books to be a deep, swift and dangerous river. Current and undertow, man.
      3) See 1)

        Quote  Reply

    47. Dee Stark:
      Jack Bauer 24,

      And then they will finally cancel the show

      I’ve heard that they’re planning on pulling the plug on all of it this week, as they have achieved the greatest of ratings and don’t think they can ever top it. 😜

        Quote  Reply

    48. HunterMac87,

      Not exactly as HBO is subscription based. If more current subscribers are tuning in on Sunday that doesn’t equate more money. It may mean they shift more budgeting money to GoT than other programing, but it doesn’t mean more money is coming in. Now, if the numbers represent new subscribers tuned in then it means more money for HBO.

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    49. Tywin’s Ghost:
      Pigeon,

      The only quibble I have with your comment is that while Shakman maybe a newbie to the QoTs universe, he’s hardly an unknown quantity. He’s directed some of the best episodes from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

      Oh I’m aware of that, that’s why I said he’s a newbie to directing GoT, not as a director. I really admire people who can do so well in very different styles and themes!

        Quote  Reply

    50. Mr Derp,

      Mr Derp,

      And make sure someone, for God’s sake, inserts a scene that goes like this

      Sansa: You’re back. How did it go with Ramsay?
      Jon: He is a jackass. But you knew that already. Have I told you lately how much I value your counsel, even though I am going to go ahead with this plan?
      Sansa: Yes, and I appreciate your validation of my ideas, and I am obviously not holding anything back.
      Davos: Those poor dogs
      Sansa: What? You mean Fluffy, Muffy and Blackfyre Bob? I hated them
      Jon: He hasn’t fed them in seven days. We are specifically telling you this so people don’t question you knowing it later, even though it is pretty obvious we would have talked about this.
      Sansa: Wow, so if we win this thing and Ramsay somehow survives, we can lock him up and I can have the dogs eat him. I need to work on my badass lines.
      Jon: OK, I value your judgement
      Sansa: And I value yours
      Davos: Shireen got off easy…

        Quote  Reply

    51. Tywin’s Ghost,

      Sure. I read somewhere that these services all consider it a win when we don’t cancel. So, HBO has 10+ million people who they have until Aug. 28 to convince that there is plenty more on HBO worth watching to not cancel before Sept. 1

      They’ll manage to keep some of them. And the more they start with, the better. P

        Quote  Reply

    52. WorfWWorfington,

      🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
      |~~~~~~~~~~~~~~//
      |—— //
      |
      |
      |
      | 🤠
      | /
      | |
      | /
      |
      //
      |
      |_______//

      My note to the writers of the remake in 80-100 years (or if on the Spider-Man movie schedule, in 2-4 years)

        Quote  Reply

    53. WorfWWorfington:
      Mr Derp,

      Mr Derp,

      And make sure someone, for God’s sake, inserts a scene that goes like this

      Sansa: You’re back. How did it go with Ramsay?
      Jon: He is a jackass. But you knew that already. Have I told you lately how much I value your counsel, even though I am going to go ahead with this plan?
      Sansa: Yes, and I appreciate your validation of my ideas, and I am obviously not holding anything back.
      Davos: Those poor dogs
      Sansa: What? You mean Fluffy, Muffy and Blackfyre Bob? I hated them
      Jon: He hasn’t fed them in seven days. We are specifically telling you this so people don’t question you knowing it later, even though it is pretty obvious we would have talked about this.
      Sansa: Wow, so if we win this thing and Ramsay somehow survives, we can lock him up and I can have the dogs eat him. I need to work on my badass lines.
      Jon: OK, I value your judgement
      Sansa: And I value yours
      Davos: Shireen got off easy…

      WorfWWorfington,

      Queue Sansa looking in the mirror on the eve of battle saying the line “you talkin’ to me?” over and over again, trying to find the right way to say it only to just go “eh fuck it, Littlefinger’s not here to guide me through this, so I’ll just give some death glare and call it a day”.

        Quote  Reply

    54. TormundsWoman:
      The Bastard,

      However, I might mention in the past that the author DOES in fact give army sizes and fleet sizes and we always know for example how many ships Vic loses when he travels to Meereen and how many Dothaki in a khalasar etc. (I can always be counted upon to offer to re-read with you and others here if you don’t believe me :p )

      I like that you picked examples from the worst book. The things you want to see on screen are literally why that book sucked.

        Quote  Reply

    55. mau,

      It really is a damned if you do damned if you don’t situation for D&D.

      If they go into details trying to explain everything then half the fandom will bitch that “we only have 9 episodes left, we don’t have time for pointless filler!”

      If they skip the extraneous explanations then “there are so many plotholes, D&D just don’t have the writing chops and mind for detail that GRRM has”

        Quote  Reply

    56. Mr Derp,

      If they did 10 seasons they would complain that Dumb and Dumber only want money and don’t care for the story. With 8 seasons we get the same complaints. Lol

        Quote  Reply

    57. WorfWWorfington,

      Don’t forget about a scene where Sansa tells Jon about the Vale army, including the number and type of troops and the names of the commanders, before BotB

      *slowly backing away*

      Nah, I think I like it the way it is, but this has been a fun exercise

        Quote  Reply

    58. WorfWWorfington,

      What I’m really curious about is how many people watched thru the app HBO Now (I’m assuming these ratings are Nielsen). That will be really telling in how many new people they’ve picked up.

        Quote  Reply

    59. Mr Derp,

      WorfWWorfington,

      But for my boy Utah, here is what the reboot will look like

      Randyll: I want to flog people. They slow. By the way, the gold got there.
      Jaime: We have been traveling hard for 18 days, 4 hours and 37 minutes. Please give them fair warning.
      Bronn: Almost to Blackwater Rush. I hate this water. It’s deep. That current will whip your pants off like a whore you overpaid by 10 dragons. And there’s a dropoff about 10 feet out.
      Jaime: Yes, I would hate to fall into it.
      Bronn: Why would you do that? Unless someone knocked you into it while trying to save you.
      Jaime: Yes, that could possibly happen, especially if I was making a desperate and suicidal lunge at someone and not paying attention to how close I was to the water.
      Bronn: Yes, that would be silly of you. Don’t do that.
      Randyll: OK, time’s up. I’m whipping people.

        Quote  Reply

    60. HunterMac87:
      More viewers = more money = bigger budget for the last 6 episodes!

      Nope. They’ve already determined the budget for the final season. This is just bragging numbers. HBO does not collect ad revenue. They justified spending more for several seasons based on demand but if you think they’re giving D&D more or less money NOW based on viewership numbers… you really need to rethink your logic.

        Quote  Reply

    61. I’d like to throw in my hat and say I’d also like more precise numbers when it comes to fleets and armies. It’s not a complaint at all. I love this show and would still watch it religiously whether numbers were given or not. I’d just like to know more about what each side has.

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    62. Tywin’s Ghost,

      I’m really fascinated by how ratings INCREASE for such a serialized show. I get decreases. People have vacations. People mistakenly think they can jump in midstream and they really can’t. Or yes, some of the violence and sexual assault turn people off. I get it.

      But the increases are interesting. I really wonder if there are people who are just now catching up through binging and they are “new” now. Or, they went to someone’s house for the first few eps and then watched at home.

      Or, it’s people who were OK with catching the episode Monday or Tuesday, but it’s gotten so intense (and it’s so hard to avoid spoilers) that they make time on Sunday now.
      I can’t imagine “trying” the series in Season 7, episode 4.

      I binged 1-3 and was “new” in 4. (Read the books after binging the show, but before Season 4)

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    63. John,

      That’s all they need is to issue precise numbers and then have some goober freeze frame it and try to count and then complain when the count is 1,000 off or something.

      Did we need to know how many X-Wings and Y-Wings they had in Star Wars? Did we need to know how many orcs Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli fought off to give Frodo time to escape? Did we need to know how many Buzz Lightyears were in the toy aisle? NO!

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    64. King Podrick: Dude the show explains all the time how many numbers. If you don’t pay attention that’s your fault. Three episodes from now you gonna say.. I wish I knew how many northern fighters there were and I’m gonna shake my head because Davos and Jon just told you recently.

      Yep, and then there was last season where in several episodes they talked about how many men Jon had (or didn’t have rather) at his disposal for the coming BotB. There isn’t always precise figures given, but army sizes are usually at least always compared somewhat in the show so at least the scale of the battle and odds can be set up ahead of the conflict (ie, Mance and his 100,000 wildlings, size of the Unsullied, lack of Night’s watch men,Tywin discussing war strategy and mentioning army sizes, etc.). It’s all there, people just ignore or forget.

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    65. WorfWWorfington,

      Dany’s hair is easily explained via a Sam montage where he bass-ackwards into a Jetsons bubble for Dany to use when riding Drogon. He will earn his first link for it.

      More importantly, we need the arch maester to lecture Sam about the relative speed of ravens traveling to WF from various Westerosi cities…

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    66. WorfWWorfington:
      John,

      That’s all they need is to issue precise numbers and then have some goober freeze frame it and try to count and then complain when the count is 1,000 off or something.

      Did we need to know how many X-Wings and Y-Wings they had in Star Wars? Did we need to know how many orcs Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli fought off to give Frodo time to escape? Did we need to know how many Buzz Lightyears were in the toy aisle? NO!

      WorfWWorfington,

      This reminds me of one of my favorite scenes from The Simpsons during an Itchy & Scratchy convention:

      “In episode 2F09, when Itchy plays Scratchy’s skeleton like a xylophone he strikes the same rib twice in succession yet he produces two clearly different tones. I mean, what are we- to believe that this is some sort of a-a magic xylophone or something? Boy I really hope somebody got fired for that blunder”

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    67. WorfWWorfington,

      I think it’s a similar phenomenon to the last couple of seasons of Breaking Bad. People hearing more and more about the show until it is kind of a cultural drumbeat. Then binging.

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    68. I watched the premier episode during a free weekend of HBO and thought it was interesting. I purchased the Season 1 Blu-ray set and it took me a little while to get through the first 5 episodes. I had to use the house guide insert to figure out who everybody was. By the moment Littlefinger had the knife to Ned’s throat, I was hooked.

      I think each season, there are more and more people who are binging the previous seasons and getting caught up.

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    69. Hats off to Shakman that was probably up there with BotB.
      Imho one of the best cinematographic battle scenes ever in a TVs series.
      Like Zulu plus dragon. No wonder it broke viewing records.

      Watched the episode 4 times & its still a cracker abfab

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    70. I see a lot of fun poked at book fans. I’d just like to point out that you show fans aren’t any better. For people like me who enjoy both the mediums of storytelling, its exhausting to see this bickering/party forming/patting each other on the back shtick.

      Super fans, the bane of every fandom.

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    71. Do we know where the 3ER cave was in the North? I can’t seem to find that information. Was it near Hardhome?

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    72. Johnny Utah,

      I actually do think there is a better explanation for the Sansa-Littlefinger thing in Battle of the Bastards. It goes like this:

      Sansa: Jon, before you make all your plans, you should know I’ve written to Littlefinger, asking for the Vale to help
      Jon: They are fresh! That would be so awesome, man!
      Davos: When are they getting here?
      Sansa: Well, here’s the thing. He hasn’t confirmed it. But he feels guilty over turning me over to Ramsay. Or he’s lying. Hard to tell. And he likes me because I look like Mom.
      Davos: Catelyn? Yeah, she was hot. I met her once…
      Jon and Sansa: Not now.

      Next scene:

      Littlefinger: Guess who’s here, bitches!
      Jon: Great! Lord Baelish. How many men did you bring?
      Littlefinger: 10,381 men.
      Davos: How are they hiding?
      Littlefinger: There’s a lot of trees with faces around here.
      Jon: Excellent. This will go well with our 3,381 wildings, 63 Mormonts and 5,108 other men. Now, I thought we’d…
      Littlefinger: You and the 3,381 wildings, 63 Mormonts and 5,108 other men will attack first and we will wait for Ramsay’s troops to engage you. I estimate he has about 11,048 troops.
      Jon: But we will lose many of our 3,381 …
      Sansa: I think they got it now.
      Jon: We will lose many of our men. I mean, I’m not going to die, obviously, since I’m plot protected, but Tormund might bite it. And we’re not sure about Davos.
      Davos: No, I have a strange feeling I’m around to inappropriately and weirdly hit on an Unsullied man’s girlfriend.
      Jon: That seems dumb of you. Those guys can fight. And I hear there are 7,038 of them.
      Littlefinger: No, we will attack last. It is sound military strategy, and your “father”…
      Jon: Why did you make air quotes?
      Littlefinger: Never mind. Your father… would say the same. We will go home otherwise.
      Jon: Fine

      Point to all that is, Sansa should have told Jon. And using the wildings to lure out the Boltons and then keep the Vale in reserve IS sound military strategery.

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    73. WorfWWorfington,

      Without data, all we can do is speculate on the increase. With that said, GoT has a couple of things going for it. First, much like Lost, it has an end date and an end plan. There will be a point to the end to compemsate for the investment of time that fans put in. So there isn’t going to be 15 seasons of trying to up the drama. Next, it’s such a global phenomenon that one probably wants to see what the fuss is about. The red wedding and is Jon Snow dead media circilus was everywhere. You couldn’t get away from it. Then there are the memes everywhere such as the shame gif. Add in the binging culture and one could see how they’ve picked up fans rather than dropped them.

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    74. Mr Derp,

      Brilliant. These are the kind of scenes we need so viewers know everything is known and not left off screen.

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    75. Sunfyre,

      Ha!

      Speaking of ratings and new watchers-I just found out a friend of mine started watching the show this season. Just this season. She didn’t watch a single previous episode or read the books and she won’t let anyone explain things while she’s watching.
      I don’t even know how to feel about that. Especially since I’ve rewatched the entire thing at least-what season is this?-6 times.
      Oh and also-was watching last episode with family- Husband and I freaked loudly when Bran said “Chaos is a ladder”
      Family member (who only watches each episode once when it airs) said, “What does that mean? Why are you screaming?”
      I feel like no one else understands the commitment required for this show lol

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    76. Ten Bears: An African or European raven?

      Lots of bridge trolls wandering about… 🙂

      Stats are dangerous weapons indeed, used and interpreted by all sides for their own nefarious purposes.

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    77. Markus Stark: As it is, the show just does whatever it wants with no regard for logistics or logic, and it can often get away with it by hand-waiving problems away and leaving it out details

      This is a story, not a documentary. If it is not relevant to this year’s story (i.e., choosing among possible battles), then it’s just plot-for-the-sake-of-plot: and that is bad storytelling. We were told that Daeny had more than enough ships to get the Dothraki to Westeros. Fine: what the story demanded was, which battle was Daeny going to fight? Then we saw: one that hurt the enemy without hurting the common people and without bringing Daeny to the level of someone who nukes a church full of hundreds of people in order to take out a dozen.

      If you want plot-for-the-sake-of-plot, then watch the History channel: after all, history is nothing but plot without story.

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    78. Hodors Bastard: Stats are dangerous weapons indeed, used and interpreted by all sides for their own nefarious purposes.

      As a biostatistician, I tend to disagree! But I digress: the null hypothesis of equal wing power between European and African swallows has been throughly falsified at a p-value of 17 coconuts.

      And it is pronounced kah-nig-hut……

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    79. Wimsey: As a biostatistician, I tend to disagree!

      As a mathematician, I’ll integrate that disagreement into a set of squares, each of which is a product of positives and negatives. But I digress…

      Glass half-full and half-deluded… 🙂

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    80. I am getting tired of these depth of water statements, must be city folk. I’ve been to two spring fed swimming lakes in Florida and one’s blue hole was within two paces of the shore, it was a straight drop down 60 feet to the bottom.

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    81. After watching the leak (yes is did cuz I could not stay away from Facebook for 3 days specially after the way every1 I knew was messaging me about the leak ) all any1 could talk about was how awesome the episode was … without giving away spoilers we hyped the episode up to the max . I then got 3 people who have never watched a single episode to watch the live airing cuz they wanted to know what was going on (and now they’re watching it from the start) … honestly the leak was the best thing that could happen to this show
      Look at the premiere for season 5
      It jumped from the finale of season 4 because back then as well the hype was real considering wherever you went people were talking about how serious it was that episodes had leaked
      It got people interested and in a way it even got people who watch the show to make sure no matter what they watch it live even if they had watched the leak
      Meanwhile those dumb hackers are probably scratching their heads going huh? And HBO has probably sent Star India a thank you card along with a law suit ofcourse

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    82. The Bastard: Do you really think at this point in the show that ratings have *THAT* much to do with the previous episode?I don’t.Viewers who are invested in the show are already hooked.Viewership at this point has more to do with many other things…. such as families being on vacation, other events around the country, and so forth.We are beyond the discussion point of slow episodes hurting the show for the next episode.

      More negative shit from ‘Jack Bauer 24’ – Always singing the same tune 🙁

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    83. WorfWWorfington:
      Mr Derp,

      WorfWWorfington,

      But for my boy Utah, here is what the reboot will look like

      Randyll: I want to flog people. They slow. By the way, the gold got there.
      Jaime: We have been traveling hard for 18 days, 4 hours and 37 minutes. Please give them fair warning.
      Bronn: Almost to Blackwater Rush. I hate this water. It’s deep. That current will whip your pants off like a whore you overpaid by 10 dragons. And there’s a dropoff about 10 feet out.
      Jaime: Yes, I would hate to fall into it.
      Bronn: Why would you do that? Unless someone knocked you into it while trying to save you.
      Jaime: Yes, that could possibly happen, especially if I was making a desperate and suicidal lunge at someone and not paying attention to how close I was to the water.
      Bronn: Yes, that would be silly of you. Don’t do that.
      Randyll: OK, time’s up. I’m whipping people.

      I luv it – Hahaha 😀 😀 😀

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    84. Forgot about the Slaver’s Armada in all the excitement but, jeez, really started something there for a while.

      For future reference, something along these lines might suffice

      C:’How did the Dothraki get to the mainland?’

      A:’She still has the Slavers Armada, she only sent the Ironborn to Dorne’

      C:’Oh yeah, forgot about those, cheers’

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    85. Black Raven,

      Well, at this point, the variation in week-to-week ratings are going to reflect a lot of stochastic noise. The people who watched episode 4 who were not counted in the ratings for episodes 2 & 3 have seen episodes 2 & 3: they just were too busy at the time to watch it. The audience is pretty much set by the prior seasons. What is remarkable is how old this show is without having started to lose audience.

      What might still happen are “boosts” when audiences know that they are going to get something spectacular like, say, a train robbery staged with Roman Centurians, Mongol hordes and a dragon. You just don’t see that on TV every day….

      (Oh, and a New York Mets pitcher was there; evidently Mets fans think it appropriate that he got torched!)

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    86. Hodors Bastard: As a mathematician, I’ll integrate that disagreement into a set of squares, each of which is a product of positives and negatives.

      Damn you, putting integrals into combinatorics! I’ll have to resort to being derivative now….

        Quote  Reply

    87. WorfWWorfington,
      That’s a good question, I wonder this as well, I started watching the show from the beginning, but by the ending of season 3 I finally convinced my brother and his wife to start watching the show, they binge watch the first 3 seasons on DVD in the span of a few moths, by the time season 4 was over they binge watched season 4 on my TV while they stayed over for summer holidays, and now they are hooked, they now subscribe to HBO and watch the show weekly, it just goes to show you how powerful word of mouth is.

        Quote  Reply

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