Game of Thrones Season 7 Premiere on the Cusp of Hitting 30 Million Viewers

mark gatiss game of thrones

A wise man once said “There are two kinds of people in the world. Those who watch Game of Thrones, and those who don’t.” – Tyrion Lannister, definitely, probably.

At this point, there are fewer and fewer people who fall into the latter category. My mother, for one, and, well – that’s about it. I just walk around the office casually quoting and referencing episodes these days as though everyone knows what I’m talking about. And there’s good reason for it: According to Entertainment Weekly, season 7 premiere episode ‘Dragonstone,’ is nigh approaching a monumental 30 million viewers in the U.S., across all platforms!

“The episode first premiered July 16 to 16.1 million viewers — the biggest opening night audience ever for an HBO series,” reports James Hibberd.

This means that in the two and a half weeks since the season premiered, almost 14 million people belatedly woke up from their milk of the poppy-induced comas, and decided to see how the other half lives. But it’s not only in the U.S. that the masses are coming to the party; these statistics suggest worldwide viewership continues to climb:

UK Sky Atlantic: “4.7 million viewers after seven days — the highest for any program ever on Sky, and a 31 percent bump from the first episode of season 6”

HBO Asia: “[increases] between 24 percent in Taiwan to 50 percent Singapore when compared to season 6.”

HBO Latin America: “29 percent average climb [from season 6] across all territories.”

Oh, and it’s also reported to be “up 210% in Germany, 40% in Russia and 61% in Italy.”

These numbers are staggering, and leave us with an almost humorous reminder of a time when we wondered if HBO would even air the pilot, which was at one point reported to be absolutely terrible. The biggest show in the world just keeps getting bigger. And we truly have you to thank…oh, and also your cousins, your podiatrist, your 1st grade teacher, your local librarian, and President Obama, and…

37 responses

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    1. OK, I’ll say it…

      When does HBO cut bait on the Confederate thing (especially now that Amazon has announced a competing one) and throw the biggest bag of money anyone has ever seen at D&D and the cast in order to stretch the story out even longer?

      Prequels, schmequels. I want more of these people. Well, except for Dorne (which sucks in the books too, by the way)

      And, to wade into it:

      I plan to watch Confederate. I plan to watch the Amazon one. (Black America) I like alternate history.

      If I had stupid rich person money, I’d produce an Alt History Anthology series, like American Horror Story or Fargo, where you do a different 8-10 episode What If every year.

      Moreover, I believe in giving shows a chance and then bailing.

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    2. I wish there was a way to get a really accurate worldwide number similar to how they can with ticket sales for movies. I watch those reaction videos like Burlington Bar with so many people watching together and realize the actual numbers are probably quite a bit higher than estimations. This show is like an avalanche, continually building and continually reminding us why HBO is so interested in having another series to follow it.

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    3. There is even an olde tyme GoT site that thought the show would be a floperoo!
      Seems the forum there is still agonizes over the show and can’t understand why anyone watches it!!

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    4. Boojam: Seems the forum there is still agonizes over the show and can’t understand why anyone watches it!!

      I still don’t understand hating on a show so much only because it doesn’t follow a source material 100% or be exactly what the mind’s eye thinks it should be. There could be no adaptation at all. Would that actually be better for those people? Would these people that are obviously extremely interested in the genre of ASoIaF enjoy GoT if the beloved ASoIaF was an entirely different story?

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    5. Amazing. Astounding. Incredible. Staggering. Jaw-Dropping. Awe-Inspiring. Extraordinary. None of those adjectives really do these numbers justice, but at this point, we’re running out of superlatives to describe just how much of a phenomenon Game of Thrones has become.

      mau,

      Indeed! They’ve taken a story that was once considered unadapatable by everyone from its original creator to a large swath of entertainment executives and created a show that’s captivated a vast audience across the entire world, only a fraction of which is represented here. Not bad for two gentlemen who had never worked in television before. They’ll never get enough credit for the show’s tremendous success (and to be fair, there’s an abundance of credit to dispense). But we will not forget!

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    6. Mr Derp:
      Ot, but does anyone know why Tycho Nestoris’ voice sounds much different this season?

      No, but it bugged me as well. He sounds like a completely different person. It’s weird. His portrayal was very different as well. Not a fan of Tycho 2.0.

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    7. Too bad the show writing has turned to rushed CRAP, and the plot holes are monumental. The show is now a predictable dumb mess, thanks to the two buffoons who stopped caring about the show after the red wedding. They rushed or skipped through great book material after that and now that they just want it to end, and the writing shows. They’re giving anti climactic ends to great characters and storylines, just to get them out of the way. F U dumb and dumber!

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    8. Mr Derp,

      I think because that actor wasn’t in S6 and when he returned we wanted to try something new.

      He said he will be in one more episode this season and in two episodes in S8.

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    9. Clob: I still don’t understand hating on a show so much only because it doesn’t follow a source material 100% or be exactly what the mind’s eye thinks it should be.There could be no adaptation at all.Would that actually be better for those people?Would these people that are obviously extremely interested in the genre of ASoIaF enjoy GoT if the beloved ASoIaF was an entirely different story?

      Nobody on Earth is hating on the show “just because it doesn’t follow the source material 100%”.

      Everyone understands that it’s an adaptation, and some changes need to be made.
      People’s issues with the show have to do with disliking creative choices made by the writers, which is completely legitimate.

      In any case, at this point, there are no real changes being made, strictly speaking, we’re past the books for the most part (except changes to the lore like the weird decision to have Jon say that his uncle Brandon alive was burned by the Mad King when he wasn’t).

      So it’s just a question of evaluating the show on its own merits, and some people just like the style of the books and earlier seasons better than the current storytelling.

      I don’t think anyone doubts that the production values are unbelievably high and that the show is an incredible achievement.

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    10. mau,

      I bet he will be in the very last episode to deal with whoever is ruling.This way it signifies yes the apocalypse is over but the world keeps on turning and money will be needed lol.

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    11. Markus Stark,

      Oh you should read westeros.org. And yes they doubt even production values. Costumes, actors, music, they hate everything. I won’t even mention their hate for D&D. It just goes beyond something you could imagine.

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    12. Markus Stark,

      I think Clob was referring to a certain subset of the fandom that resides elsewhere… in one specific place. Not those with rational objections to adaptation choices.

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    13. Markus Stark,

      His beard and voice must be a packaged deal. Get rid of the beard, then get rid of the voice as well.

      I’m not sure how I feel about the change, but I think I prefer season 4 Tycho.

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    14. Sunfyre: I think Clob was referring to a certain subset of the fandom that resides elsewhere… in one specific place.

      Yep, those are the people that I had in mind.

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    15. mau:
      Markus Stark,

      Oh you should read westeros.org. And yes they doubt even production values. Costumes, actors, music, they hate everything. I won’t even mention their hate for D&D.It just goes beyond something you could imagine.

      Well I do go on there every week to see how the episode is being received, though I don’t comment myself.

      There are plenty of people on there who love the show, and most episodes get a community rating between 8 and 10. Some get a 7. The people who literally hate everything are a minority.

      They’re probably the 4 or 5% who always give every episode a rating of 1. But the overwhelming majority give positive scores, even if they have some criticisms.

      As for the costumes, music, and actors, it’s completely legitimate to criticize those as well. People are entitled to their own taste. I think most of the actors are excellent, but the costuming was far better earlier on in my opinion, and I also think I liked the music of Seasons 1-4 more than the new tracks.

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    16. Sunfyre:
      Markus Stark,

      I think Clob was referring to a certain subset of the fandom that resides elsewhere… in one specific place. Not those with rational objections to adaptation choices.

      Westeros.org’s dislike for the show has been greatly exaggerated. Every episode gets a community rating, and every week the average rating is between 8 and 10, 7 at worst.

      Lots of people on there love the show, they just aren’t as loud as the minority who hate everything.

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    17. Markus Stark,

      It is not legit, it is insane to clame that everyone on this show is a hack. You can dislike some costumes, but to dislike almost every is BS.

      They pathologically hate the show and everyone who is involved. Their psychological analysis of D&D would be an interesting topic.

      They are just insane, you can’t defend that.

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    18. I believe in karma. There is something satisfying about D&D creating arguably the most acclaimed successful show in the history of television and those members of the ASOIAF fandom who are consumed by hate must sit and watch it all happen. The show is such a cultural juggernaut there is no way they can escape its ever increasing popularity. If they go on any form of social media they are confronted by it daily. It’s on the cover of magazines. Interviews with the stars are on television. Coworkers who displayed no interest in the show before now discuss it in the hallways and share theories and obsess over the minutiae of various plot lines. Memes get shared everywhere. Minor characters are household names. Even the show runners themselves are famous and have carte blanche to create new shows for years based on their success with GoT. HBO will want to be in the D&D business for the foreseeable future. The show has already set the record for most emmys won in history and there are two seasons remaining. Achievement after achievement after achievement. It must drive certain people crazy.

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    19. H.Stark,

      If the Witcher show on Netflix actually happens and is given as much time, money and consideration as Thrones did at its first season it’s entirely possible that show will outdo GOT. The books are good enough for it, and also less convoluted and complicated to adapt.

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    20. Mr Derp,

      He struck me as odd, and without the beard he looked disturbingly modern and more like Mycroft Holmes, whom he plays on Sherlock. FWIW, while browsing I read a theory that Jaqen H’ghar is really Tycho this time. I doubt it, but who knows?

      These fabulous viewer numbers also ignore the massive audience for pirated versions.
      The show truly is a worldwide phemomenon now. Last year was the first time I felt free to make GoT allusions and puns around strangers. Usually someone gets them.

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    21. Clob:
      I wish there was a way to get a really accurate worldwide number similar to how they can with ticket sales for movies.I watch those reaction videos like Burlington Bar with so many people watching together and realize the actual numbers are probably quite a bit higher than estimations.This show is like an avalanche, continually building and continually reminding us why HBO is so interested in having another series to follow it.

      Wouldn’t that be at least a bit offset by repeat views?
      I guess it all depends on how they gather the data, but if the ratings measure “viewings”, they don’t account for 5 people at one viewing, but also don’t discount 5 viewings by just one guy.

      On related note, has WotW ever done a “viewing habits” poll? Not that it would give insight to ratings, being a very skewed demographic compared to general audience, but it would be interesting.

        Quote  Reply

    22. mike:
      Too bad the show writing has turned to rushed CRAP, and the plot holes are monumental.The show is now a predictable dumb mess, thanks to the two buffoons who stopped caring about the show after the red wedding.They rushed or skipped through great book material after that and now that they just want it to end, and the writing shows.They’re giving anti climactic ends to great characters and storylines, just to get them out of the way. F U dumb and dumber!

      If you’re not happy with the show then its GRRM you need to blame for not completing the novels! As I see it, D&D followed the books pretty well as far as they could. Ok, they dropped some characters, but for fucks sake, this show has to come to a conclusion at some point!

      If the show followed the books verbatim, it would never end and just go on for years. Even the youngest cast members would probably be dead of old age by the time that happened 😀

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    23. Black Raven,

      LOL! I can’t believe that GRRM was confident the books would be finished by the time the show caught up.. I mean, how completely ridiculous does that statement sound now. He hasn’t even finished book 6 and the show has almost wrapped it’s penultimate season.

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