Depending on who you ask, Sunday’s Game of Thrones finale, “The Iron Throne,” was either a fitting end or yet another convoluted mess of an episode to finish this season. Regardless of its critical merits, however, one thing is indisputably clear about the hit HBO program’s last episode ever: a lot of friggin’ people watched it. Sure, last weekend’s penultimate “The Bells” broke all of the previous ratings records that Thrones had set, but the finale took the cake. It even took a record previously set by The Sopranos.
According to Variety, “The Iron Throne” garnered 19.3 million viewers between the 9 p.m. telecast, HBO GO, and HBO NOW. This means that the series finale was nearly one million ahead of last weekend’s 18.4 million overall ratings record. As increasingly massive as these numbers are, however, it was the initial broadcast’s whopping 13.6 million viewers figure that takes the cake. Yes, that’s right — 13.6 million people tuned in to HBO itself to watch the final Thrones episode.
Most of the ratings records set by Thrones‘ final season have overtaken records the show had previously set. Sunday’s 13.6 million, as Variety added, actually surpassed a biggest single telecast record for HBO that was attained by the season four premiere of The Sopranos in 2002. That’s a pretty spectacular accomplishment for Thrones, especially considering how much more “Peak TV” content it has had to compete with when compared to what The Sopranos was competing with over 15 years ago.