That smirk on Arya’s face in “The Winds of Winter” wasn’t because she slit Walder Frey’s throat (after learning how to bake a pie). Okay, it wasn’t just because she slit Walder Frey’s throat. She was also happy to be a part of the most-watched episode of Game of Thrones to date. The previous record-holder was last season’s finale, “Mother’s Mercy,” with 8.11 million viewers. The season six finale obliterated that number: 8.89 million people tuned in to see Daenerys finally do what she’s been talking about since, like, forever.
Among the 18-49 demo, the S6 finale scored a 4.4 rating – also a GoT best ever result and beat the 4.0 that the show had pulled twice earlier this season. That demo rating on the ad-free premium cabler puts GoT up high in the scripted world, only behind the likes of The Walking Dead and Empire among the 18-49 this season. Overall, GoT viewership across all platforms is up 15% over last year. (Via)
Last week’s equally hyped episode, “The Battle of the Bastards,” probably could have approached 8.89 million viewers, but it aired against the NBA Finals, just like the season five finale. “Winds'” only real competition on Sunday was the BET Awards, which also broke its own ratings record. Kendrick Lamar and Beyonce are big — dragons are bigger, apparently.