Season 8’s ‘A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms’ obtains honorable ratings

Let's celebrate! Party like it's the last night in your world!

Let’s celebrate the news and party like it’s your last night in the world! It may well be for them…

“A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” wasn’t a season premiere or finale, or a battle episode. In fact, it wasn’t an explosive episode at all, unless one counts sexual tension (and its release), and yet I would argue it undoubtedly was one of the most well-written and best-executed hours of Game of Thrones ever. How is this reflected in the ratings? It may not break any major records, but “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” is still in the TOP 5 of Game of Thrones episodes ever in terms of viewership. Get the details below…

Deadline reports that “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”, the second episode in this short six-part eighth and final season, was viewed by 10.3 million people on HBO’s first airing in the United States. If we add additional airings in the US that Sunday night as well as some of the streaming services, the episode climbs up to 15.9 million viewers. For comparison, by the same metric the season premiere was seen by 17.4 million.

Game of Thrones Season 8 802 Ratings Viewership (1)

“A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” is the most-watched episode two in the show, and the most-watched one of those positioned between the premiere and the mid-season (which may be a fairer comparison, given the last two seasons have fewer episodes.)

Game of Thrones Season 8 802 Ratings Viewership (2)

Though “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” breaks no other records, it still holds the honor of being the fourth most-watched episode in the show’s long history, behind only “Eastwatch” (at 10.7 million), which came after the excellent, cliffhangery “Spoils of War”; “The Dragon and the Wolf” (at 12.1 million), which was the finale for season seven; and last week’s season eight premiere, “Winterfell” (at 11.8 million). These are more than worthy companions for what turned out to be a rather quiet, if beautiful, episode.

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    1. God I love this show.

      I cannot get over the growth, especially the growth from season 6 to 7/8… what show could ever say that after 6 years?

      <3

      I think next week is going to break the internet.

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    2. Dee Stark: I cannot get over the growth, especially the growth from season 6 to 7/8… what show could ever say that after 6 years?

      There are not too many series to which we can compare GoT, but none have ever been as popular as Thrones has been and still gone out at peak popularity; those shows that ever were as popular were in decline long before Season 8, and those shows that were still very popular after so many years never were this outrageously popular. It has been unusually good television.

      EDIT: Oh, and I’ll do the HODOR. A baby turns into a White Walker every time someone forgets to do that.

        Quote  Reply

    3. Good number, but if I’m being honest, I thought the ratings would be a little higher this season. A drop off of 1.5 million from the premiere is interesting. Maybe a combination of the Easter holiday and NBA playoffs?

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    4. Jack Bauer 24:
      Good number, but if I’m being honest, I thought the ratings would be a little higher this season. A drop off of 1.5 million from the premiere is interesting. Maybe a combination of the Easter holiday and NBA playoffs?

      Easter would have a big impact. I was at a dinner with 15 people – all GOT fans. We did not watch it live, we continued to converse and enjoy real life. We all caught up in various ways after Sunday. (I do not think any of us are in the measuring device group but I suppose same of those also had easter festivities.)

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    5. I don’t really care about US television viewing figures.

      GoT is global and a lot of the global viewership is streaming. In light of that, it’s amazing GoT continues to get such huge US television ratings. It’s the one show that defies the change, is able to bridge the gap at old-fashioned push-tv and modern pull-streaming.

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    6. Jack Bauer 24,

      Me too, what most surprises me is the younger demo ratings are down yet it seems the buzz and hype for the show has become bigger than ever. I don’t know if streaming can explain it all because the streaming ratings haven’t grown that much since 2017. Maybe it is its global popularity that has grown more of the past 2 years rather than American.

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    7. JamesL,

      Younger demos are down because they’re sharing password and/or using parental logins. That would be my guess anyway. I am certain actual viewership is higher than anyone really knows.

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    8. I went through all the numbers months back, party as a rebuttal to some suggesting they should skip Easter, which they never did. When it did occur within a GoT season we did generally see a drop in viewership but it was never anything significant enough that they should have avoided Easter. As we see in the chart above there’s also always been a bit of a drop from a premiere to episode 2. With those in consideration it’s not a surprise that it’s lower than the premiere. This week’s episode should probably easily set the series record. Everyone knows the shit is going to hit the fan.

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    9. I’m always surprised about the fluctuations. At this point, who is watching this show one week but not the next??

      Also all of the snowflakes that left after 5.6 and came back after one week off.

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    10. Ryan: I’m always surprised about the fluctuations. At this point, who is watching this show one week but not the next??

      They’re not not watching it; they just aren’t watching it on Sunday night.

        Quote  Reply

    11. All this despite the episode not being very GoT typical.

      The lone violent act in this episode was when Tormund giant-hugged Jon as he arrived through the gate. An odd calm before the storm I guess.

      Given idle time, weird things happen. Now we have Aphrodite Arya, Paul Bunyan Tormund, and Roderick Sinatra.

      …so the Night King gets 30 extra minutes next week to clean-up this new found whimsy.

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    12. talvikorppi:
      I don’t really care about US television viewing figures.

      GoT is global and a lot of the global viewership is streaming. In light of that, it’s amazing GoT continues to get such huge US television ratings. It’s the one show that defies the change, is able to bridge the gap at old-fashioned push-tv and modern pull-streaming.

      I gave up trying to find a Global-by-the-numbers years ago, the show is now very popular around the world , but I only know of Great Britain having a tally , which I have not seen for a long time, while the numbers from Germany and Spain are never seen, that I know of. ‘Mature’ numbers, like months cumulative, DvD , final numbers , not counting pirating , only HBO seems to know.

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    13. talvikorppi,

      Hi there!

      I think after Episode 2, “Arya Super Ninja Assassin Warrior Princess” (ASNAWP™️) is due for an upgrade. We saw a new skill set demonstrating that she does not only excel in the martial arts.

      Any suggestions?

      ™️ talvikorppi 2018. All rights reserved. Any reproduction of retransmission without the express written consent of talvikorppi is strictly prohibited.

        Quote  Reply

    14. The season opener didn’t make the audience feel, honestly. So a little drop-off make sense. These days, I have to be super emotionally into something to watch a show same-day.

      The second episode was amazing and beautiful though, so between that and #3 being an action episode, I’m sure the numbers will be sky high next week.

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    15. Boojam,

      If you are looking for a global tally of all viewers, it’s at the very least in the hundreds of millions.

      Episode 7 of last season was downloaded illegally about 150 million times just around 10 days after it came out. The total number is likely around 200 million at least. This is assuming that the person who pirates it watches it on their own – they may very well watch it with friends/family or share the download with them. Meanwhile, in terms of legal American viewers that watch weekly, there were 30 million last year. Then there are the legal weekly viewers everywhere else in the world, as well as those who don’t show up in ratings but watch legally when the season has finished airing, or when the box set comes out.

      In total, I would say the number is 250 million + if we are being conservative, and more than likely is 300 million +.

        Quote  Reply

    16. I consider myself lucky that I can even receive Sky Atlantic being so far south here in the Spanish Canary Islands. The time zone is the same as in the UK.

      I’ve got into the habit of watching the ‘simul’ broadcast at 2am and then again on Sky Atlantic +1 hr (but miss the start if the 2am showing runs over an hour). However, I then watch it again on Monday night at the more civilised time of 9pm followed by the Thronecast review. It repeats a few times during the week also, so I probably get to see it 5 or 6 times, before the next episode is shown.
      A good job I do as my hearing is not so good these days (I’m a year older than GRRM) and often miss whats being said fully the first time around. Being able to check into WotW after the show and reading the comments helps also… Ah, so THATS what ‘so and so’ said to ‘so and so’ in that scene!

      I have to admit through in Podrick’s “Jenny of Oldstones” song I still hear – ‘and she danced with her goats (not ghosts), no matter how many times I hear it 😀

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    17. Pigeon:
      That photo is gold.

      Though the scene was short and the dialogue sparse, once again Sandor tugs at my heartstrings when he turns to Arya and says. “I fought for you, didn’t I?”

      S8e2 Sandor & Arya
      at 0:38 – 1:20 of clip linked below

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6aFvk5H7Ko

      (Arya sits down next to Sandor, chugs from wine skin, says nothing. Both look straight ahead. Finally, Sandor speaks.)

      Sandor: “You never used to shut up. Now you’re just sitting there like a mute.”
      Arya: “Guess I’ve changed.”

      Arya: “What are you doing up here?”
      Sandor: “What does it look like?”
      Arya: “No, I mean what are you doing up here. You joined the Brotherhood. You went beyond the Wall with Jon. You’re here now. Why? When was the last time you fought for anyone but yourself?”
      (Pause; he turns and looks at her.)
      Sandor: “I fought for you, didn’t I?”
      l

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    18. I’m very surprised at the negative reaction I’ve seen for the first two episodes, not just from reviewers but regular people out there. This is one of the only sites I have seen that seem to have universal praise. The Atlantic panned the crap out of episode 2 and thought it was hot garbage and that the show was coming to a weak and awful conclusion. Just a tad hyperbolic don’t you think. But they’re not alone in this.

      Was it too long of a wait to ever meet expectations or something? I don’t know but I’m confused as to what people want or were expecting.

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    19. Ten Bears & Talvikorppi,,

      I’m sure Ten Bears will come up with new abbreviation for Arya now we see she’s skilled in the bedroom also?
      He’s forever going on about her in most of his posts. He reminds me of Yoren when he told Arya how he remembered Willem who he saw kill his brother which gave her the idea to make her list? e.g.
      Ten Bears: I remember her when I was working, when I was drinking, when I was having a shit – Arya, Arya…Arya – Then this young blacksmith dude came into her life and gave her the weapon she desired so much and not the one I had to offer 😀

        Quote  Reply

    20. Ten Bears: Though the scene was short and the dialogue sparse, once again Sandor tugs at my heartstrings when he turns to Arya and says. “I fought for you, didn’t I?”

      S8e2 Sandor & Arya
      at 0:38 – 1:20 of clip linked below

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6aFvk5H7Ko

      (Arya sits down next to Sandor, chugs from wine skin, says nothing. Both look straight ahead. Finally, Sandor speaks.)

      Sandor: “You never used to shut up. Now you’re just sitting there like a mute.”
      Arya: “Guess I’ve changed.”

      Arya: “What are you doing up here?”
      Sandor: “What does it look like?”
      Arya: “No, I mean what are you doing up here. You joined the Brotherhood. You went beyond the Wall with Jon. You’re here now. Why? When was the last time you fought for anyone but yourself?”
      (Pause; he turns and looks at her.)
      Sandor: “I fought for you, didn’t I?”
      l

      I’m serious, I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself when/if he dies. 😢

      I’ve mentioned it before, but quite a few years back, Rory was in The Book Group, which was a sort of comedy/drama Scottish TV series. It’s where I first saw him, and I think perhaps one of his very first roles. He drew on his own experience of a serious hiking fall injury to play the character of a man in a wheelchair, and he’s excellent. Michelle Gomez is in it too. Completely different from most of his roles.

        Quote  Reply

    21. Pigeon,

      It sucks that TV shows and movies made outside the U.S. are rarely on cable or broadcast networks here. I regularly search for “The Book Group” and other films and shows recommended here, particularly those with GoT actors, and they’re never listed on any of the channels.

      One of my all-time favorite movies, “Hear My Song” with Tara Fitzgerald (Selyse Baratheon) has never been on cable. I think it’s only available on a DVD copy of the original Irish (?) film.

      I’ve wanted to see Rory M. in “Hot Fuzz” too, but it’s never on. I think after GoT ends I’m going to cancel my cable subscription entirely and just watch stuff on Netflix.

        Quote  Reply

    22. Black Raven,

      “…. as my hearing is not so good these days.”

      Have you tried the “Duett Comfort” amplifier by Harris Communications, or the “Pocket Talker” made by Williams Sound Co.? They come with iPhone earbud compatible plug in ports, but tye volume and clarity are better with separate earphones or headphones (which are more comfortable anyway, and fairly inexpensive.)

      My hearing’s not what it used to be either. I’ve tried hearing aids but they pick up too much background noise, and I it’s so annoying having objects stuffed in my ears that after a few hours I want to grab a pair of pliers and rip my ears off.

      The Duett and Pocket Talker amplifiers are great for watching (listening to) TV shows.

      Thought you might be interested in looking into them. I find them indispensable for GoT so I can understand what the actors are saying without relying on closed captioning. (Which these days I’m convinced is transcribed by drugged out chimpanzees at a typewriter.)

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    23. Thanks for showing this, appreciate these articles

      Fascinating to see the steady progression

      I expect next week to be a major episode, and give a bump to the aftermath of Battle of Winterfell in E4

        Quote  Reply

    24. Pigeon: I’m serious, I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself when/if he dies.

      I’ve mentioned it before, but quite a few years back, Rory was in The Book Group, which was a sort of comedy/drama Scottish TV series. It’s where I first saw him, and I think perhaps one of his very first roles. He drew on his own experience of a serious hiking fall injury to play the character of a man in a wheelchair, and he’s excellent. Michelle Gomez is in it too. Completely different from most of his roles.

      Tbh he may not have had as much dialogue here because I reckon he does survive (Cleganebowl).

        Quote  Reply

    25. Ten Bears:
      Pigeon,

      It sucks that TV shows and movies made outside the U.S. are rarely on cable or broadcast networks here.I regularly search for “The Book Group” and other films and shows recommended here, particularly those with GoT actors, and they’re never listed on any of the channels.

      One of my all-time favorite movies, “Hear My Song” with Tara Fitzgerald (Selyse Baratheon) has never been on cable. I think it’s only available on a DVD copy of the original Irish (?) film.

      I’ve wanted to see Rory M. in “Hot Fuzz” too, but it’s never on. I think after GoT ends I’m going to cancel my cable subscription entirely and just watch stuff on Netflix.

      Confession: I watched the entirety of The Book Group on YouTube (I had to find it in parts) – I couldn’t find it anywhere, and as it’s over 15 years old I don’t feel too terrible about it. I’m in Canada, and a lot of videos are also blocked from my country. Hell, even Conan O’Brien’s clips aren’t available! It’s maddening.

        Quote  Reply

    26. Ghost’s Lunch: Tbh he may not have had as much dialogue here because I reckon he does survive (Cleganebowl).

      Oh, I agree that it’s possible he survives E3, but I don’t have high hopes for the season itself. I should be thankful, both Jorah and Sandor have been in it since S1E1, and I really can’t ask for more than that, can I?

      It’s going too fast.

        Quote  Reply

    27. Orange

      The people giving lukewarm reactions and disappointed reviews are the bandwagon jumpers, who want a red wedding or battle of the bastards every week.

      They do not appreciate the subtle character development of early seasons, so when we get an episode like that, they moan and complain. The true fans rejoice.

      I truly believe you can’t have what we will have this Sunday coming with out the previous two episodes. If it started with the battle it would completely cheapen the whole experience.

      Game of thrones has always been best when concentrating on the characters and allowing scenes to breath which was almost the whole of episode 2. Now we can enjoy episode 3 knowing it has been entirely earned.

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    28. Just to add to the previous comment, binge watching something leads to a problem with expectations I think.. Hardhome would seem closely followed with Battle of the Bastards. Fire and Blood followed closely by Blackwater.

      If you watch it stretching over the years.. wondering if Jon Snow was alive or not, there were tonnes of slow episodes, the start of Series 3, the middle of series 2. The story needed this. Of course there were missteps along the way, nothing can ever be perfect.

      I absolutely loved “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” because it reminded me of series 2 and 3…. but that’s not to say I don’t want to cryogenically freeze myself until Sunday. I am soooooo excited and scared.

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    29. This show is truly unbelievable. I had a terrific Easter, especially knowing as I did what awaited me at 9. And sure enough, shameful non-fan uncle knew to promptly skedaddle when the rest of us focused our attention on the telly. I then did my standard practice of re-watching on my own DVR, and jotting my initial reactions on my blog. Without that, I have no clue how I’d organize and gather my thoughts. WHAT AN EPISODE, though. If the premiere left some things to be desired here and there, this one was tough to find fault with and just so satisfying…still, it wasn’t the premiere and it wasn’t the much-hyped Battle of Winterfell, so I can in that sense understand a slight drop-off on the live viewership. BUT, I can only imagine the insane numbers for episode 3. And of course the finale. And even 4 and 5, depending perhaps on what goes down in 3.

      I’m afraid for everyone. From now on, “nobody is safe” is truer than ever. I’m actually tired of trying to predict who’s gonna die and when and how; just give us the rest of the show in one big marathon, dagnabbit!! I won’t move from the screen! Every storyline could go just ever so many ways. ;-;
      I’m also stoked for the sure-to-be-epic return of Melisandre, whom I suspect will have some significant interactions with certain people (such as Varys, Beric, Arya, perhaps the Hound…maybe Bran, Jon & Dany, Davos…)

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    30. orange,

      These are people who do not appreciate the subtle moments of the show, the character interactions, they want shock scenes and battles every episode. There are so many new character interactions and reunions that we needed episode 1 and 2 like this. Also, we have seen all these characters separately, but now they are together and they really have to make us feel that they are in fact there to fight the great war, to fight for the living, and that they are all on the same page.

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    31. Ten Bears:

      Hi there!

      I think after Episode 2, “Arya Super Ninja Assassin Warrior Princess” (ASNAWP™️) is due for an upgrade. We saw a new skill set demonstrating that she does not only excel in the martial arts.

      Any suggestions?

      ™️ talvikorppi 2018. All rights reserved. Any reproduction of retransmission without the express written consent of talvikorppi is strictly prohibited.

      Hi there yourself! 😀
      I’m sure you have some suggestions 😉

      Arya Super Ninja Assassin Vixen Warrior Princess, or ASNAVWP for short?

      That Arya/Gendry scene was probably my second favourite in the episode – though I’m not sure playing the game of faces as a prelude to a seduction isn’t a bit disconcerting to the seductee. 😀 Joe Dempsie said his character is fascinated by Arya, attracted to her but also not a little bit scared.

      My absolute favourite scene was Jaime knighting Brienne (well, duh! :-D), but I also liked how the two scenes were juxtaposed. The two consummations. On the eve of the battle, facing probable death. The youngsters do something very physical and life-affirming. The oldies upstairs have a more spiritual consummation. Both were just wonderful.

      Also awful because this being GoT, Gendry and Brienne are now both probably marked for death. 🙁 I’m 95% sure Arya will survive next episode, 66% on Jaime (33% on Brienne. That leaves 1% for both Jaime and Brienne.)

      Also, I relinquish all my trademark rights to the ASNAWP (and possible future ASNAVWP) moniker. Sometimes things just get bigger than you intended. 😉

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    32. asfa,

      I have no idea of global viewership numbers but they must be huge. Legitimate HBO and partners in hundreds of millions, plus all the pirating – which I hate. Pirating steals the creative work of all the amazing people – cast, crew, production – who make Game of Thrones. Imagine having your car serviced and then saying, “Well, I’m not going to pay you because I want it for free and your skills and expertise are worth nothing.”

      I can understand the obsession with ratings during the first couple of seasons. It was important. It could mean renewing or cancelling the show by HBO. However, for the later seasons, it was more of a question of HBO wanting more of their cash cow, D&D saying nope, only 8 seasons. So the ratings now are only for bragging rights, like, what is the biggest show that ever was and ever will be.

        Quote  Reply

    33. orange,

      for 6 episodes left and 7 seasons of story i think people expected some action and urgency to it as we are in the final stage and after waiting so long, any criticisms by critics are defiantly justified, it should of started urgent with a were all going to die omg stance, not rushing and more boobs we have done that already,
      last ep was good 1st one lets be honest sucked

        Quote  Reply

    34. sellsword:
      it should of been the first episode, the first one was such a waste of precious time,

      “should’ve”, short for “should have”, my dear. You’re welcome.

      As to the episodes, S8E1 did a lot of set up, clearing the decks for Ep3, some of it carried over to early S8E2 (Jaime’s “trial”, Sansa/Dany reprochement).

      You cannot have a major battle without introducing the guys you’re supposed to root for. You have to be reminded who is who, why we love these characters, so that when they die, when their nearest and dearest die, we also feel the gut punch. It’s the first rule of humanity: empathy. Reaffirming that basic fact of the human condition. Without empathy, we’re just animals. White walkers, whights, psycopaths, whatever.

        Quote  Reply

    35. “Should’ve” and “should of” sound indistinguishable when you say them, which causes a lot of people who aren’t particularly brilliant at spelling to think it’s the latter when it’s actually the former.

        Quote  Reply

    36. sellsword:

      Hmm.

      I’m a Finn.

      Why do you throw around being “American” as an insult? What is your problem? Is it a GoT/ASoIaF problem or just another problem in your IRL life. Chill, mate, chill.

        Quote  Reply

    37. Chilli:
      sellsword,

      No, I noticed it too, and I’m European. I just don’t get it why people would use the word ‘of’ when they mean ‘have’.

      Sergei Walankov:
      “Should’ve” and “should of” sound indistinguishable when you say them, which causes a lot of people who aren’t particularly brilliant at spelling to think it’s the latter when it’s actually the former.

      Not particularly good at spmelling.

      I think it’s actually a grammar or pragmatics thing. “Should of” makes no sense, except when people actually mean “should have”.

      It distinguishes anybody with an idea, any idea for us all foreign English speakers, noticing things and making GoT our own. It’s kind of funny that non-English speaking fans are driving the fandom now. It’s global, not just US American.

        Quote  Reply

    38. Wimsey,
      EDIT: Oh, and I’ll do the HODOR. A baby turns into a White Walker every time someone forgets to do that.

      THANK YOU Wimsey, glad someone is looking out for this! Sheesh =)

        Quote  Reply

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