Despite some lackluster reviews of the eighth and final season, people are freaking pumped for the series finale of Game of Thrones, and the ratings are sure to be record-breaking. What people will be decidedly less pumped about however, is getting up to go to work on Monday morning — whether due to the approximately 80 minute run time, or just trying to process emotions in saying goodbye to the beloved series.
The Workforce Institute at Kronos reports that an estimated 10.7 million Americans will play hooky the morning after Thrones, by calling in sick, taking last-minute personal or vacation days, or making other arrangements. For comparison’s sake, an estimated 17 million people called out the Monday after the Super Bowl back in February:
The think tank’s “Absence Is Coming” survey conducted by The Harris Poll questioned 1,090 adults about the long-awaited ending to the television adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s bestselling book series, and found that one-third plan to tune in to finally learn which ruler will end up on the Iron Throne, and about 22% plan to skip work Monday. The researchers then extrapolated that percentage to the 143.1 million employed U.S. adults, according to the 2010 Census, to come up with the 10.7 million figure. And 5.8 million employees who typically work Sunday nights also plan to use a vacation day, sick day or personal day to watch the finale live.
On top of that, the poll predicts that somewhere in the neighborhood of 27.2 million people who watch the finale live will miss work altogether, arrive late, work remotely, or see a dip in productivity.
So far, this season of Game of Thrones has cost employers around $3.3 billion in lost productivity, according to the executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., as people can’t get enough chatting about the show around the water cooler or reading and posting theories and spoilers online. An estimated 20.4 million employees have had their attendance and/or performance affected, and are said to have spend at least one hour per week on the company dime obsessing about Thrones so far this season. (Which even seems like a bit of a low estimation.)
And those numbers don’t even account for folks who responsibly took off work in advance. Honestly, with President Trump’s apparent obsession with the series, the least he could have done was declare Monday, May 20 a national holiday. It would be one indisputably positive thing to come from his presidency.