Episode 8 ratings at season high
By Hear Me Roar on in News.

This time around, the weekly overnight figures are brought to us by the TV by the Numbers crew. It is the biggest number of viewers reached so far, and the largest week-to-week increase as well: episode 8 garnered 2.7 million viewers in the initial airing (2.715 to be really precise).

To complete the picture, Deadline.com provides the combined number for the night: 3.6 million viewers, or an additional 900,000 for the repeat.

Hear Me Roar: I will go on a limb here and predict that by the end of the season the 3 million mark will be exceeded.

UPDATE: Lynette Rice reports that the average gross audience (linear plays, DVR and HBO On Demand) of the season to date is 8.3 million viewers.


107 Comments

  1. juseas
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Great News, the high quality of this production pays off rating wise

  2. dtb
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    yessss

  3. DrNickVC
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    Fantastic news!

  4. Mike Kerns
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    If not by seasons end, the premiere next year will easily top 3 million.

  5. Cristian Far Arnedo
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    In Deadline they say that the repeat added 900,000 to the sum
    http://www.deadline.com/2011/06/game-of-thrones-hits-new-series-high/

    Edit: HMR you just beat me to it!

  6. Jonathan Leard
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    I would be quite pleased to see the season get to 3 million for HBO’s first Sunday night viewing.

  7. Rhaegar
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Very nice! Can we expect an update for that graph from a few weeks back?

  8. burth
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    These positive rating news seem really strange to me for some reason, possibly because most other shows that I enjoy have constantly falling ratings. It almost seems unnatural :D
    (and yes, I know that there are many other shows whose ratings have increased and much more so than GoT in some cases)

  9. Jon
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    I think that the series finale, with the NBA Finals out of the way already, the series could reach around 3.5 and 4 million viewers. Perhaps that would make the HBO consider broadcasting season 2 of the show at a different schedule.

  10. Cawk Gawd
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Keep getting the word out there people about this show!!!!

  11. Mark
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    I think the thing that distinguished this episode from the rest was Hodor’s cameo.

  12. Hear Me Roar
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Rhaegar,

    We’ll make an analysis at the end of the season, no worries.

  13. The Rabbit
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    You see? What couple of whores and Littelfinger can do?

    :D

    (It is awesome news!)

  14. Prankster
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    I hope next season’s premiere does a LOT better than 3 million, because that wouldn’t be a very impressive improvement. This season the so-so ratings aren’t a huge deal because the audience has been building. It’s hoped that the DVD sales will lead to a huge jump in viewers (and hopefully subscribers) for next season, a la True Blood. Of course, again, the individual ratings aren’t a huge deal in and of themselves, but they should still shoot up with a surge in subscribers. If they don’t, it could be a bit of a problem.

  15. Knurk
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Jon,

    nah, maybe that a huge chunk of the 900.000 late viewers will check in early, but going for 4 million is a big stretch. Let’s be happy with 3 million!

  16. sjwenings
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Hooray!

    I dare not hope for yet another rise next sunday, but i hope we can keep these numbers – even just a small drop, would be very acceptable, actually.

  17. Paco
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSS!!!! JOUSTING AND CRYING RIGHT NOW!

  18. MUGger
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Sadly, I’m one of the people who has to wait until the 11 pm rebroadcast to watch the show, because of young ‘uns and my (non-reader) wife’s insistence that she watch it with me so that I can explain everything that confuses her (her best question the last episode – “Is Syrio dead or isn’t he? What does the book say?). My view is that the ratings should account for all of us who cannot watch the original broadcast, given that it gets repeated at least twice the same night, and then on demand (and on other nights) after that. I suspect that those are the numbers that HBO really values.

  19. Tom Hilton
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    I had a feeling there would be a significant jump after the ratings held on over the holiday weekend/early HBOGo release.

    Purely anecdotal, but I am seeing water-cooler talk about it among people who are not readers. Consensus yesterday: The Pointy End was the best episode yet. Unless the loss of Sean Bean has a huge negative impact, I expect the audience to keep building.

  20. Prankster
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    I don’t really get why people think Ned’s Death is going to turn the viewers off in droves. There’s a difference between a show shocking people and making them stop watching. I’m sure people will be saying “Oh no they didn’t!” but will they actually want to stop watching? If anything that seems like it’ll just hook them in deeper. Especially since people are increasingly shaking their heads at how stupid Ned’s been–I’m sure no one wants to see him die, and his death will of course be bad news for all the Starks, but I don’t think he’s anyone’s favourite character or anything. Now, if they killed Arya, or Tyrion, they could easily lose a lot of viewers. But I doubt even GRRM is going to do that in future books, for all that they’re advertised as “anyone can die!” If either of those two die, it’ll be at the very end of the series.

  21. Steven Scott
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    VERY NICE!

  22. koinosuke
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Good stuff! All my non-book reading friends though last night’s episode was by far the best so far, and I’m inclined to agree. Glad it go such good ratings and i’m excited to see how we do next week (almost as excited as I am to see the damn episode, oy!)

  23. Johan Sporre
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    That was better than I expected – I thought the MTV movie awards would grab viewers.

    On the IMDb-front GoT now has more voters than True Blood, and its voting average is slowly nearing 9.6. Is there anyone except me who’s waiting until the first season is aired before voting?

  24. Tom Hilton
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Prankster,

    I don’t really think it is going to turn off a lot of viewers. That said, losing the biggest ‘name’ star in the production does entail some (hopefully minimal) potential viewer loss (I do know people who started watching just because of Sean Bean, for whatever that’s worth). On the other hand, the story is enormously compelling, and the unknowns have really stepped up to the plate and are getting their share of viewer love (especially Maisie Williams), so it’s probably much less important to have a ‘star’ in Season 2.

  25. Maxwell James
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Good to hear.

    Just don’t be disappointed if the ratings hold steady or even peter off a bit in the next two weeks. Any statistical approach has noise in it, and the Nielsen ratings have more than most. The trend over the season is a slow rise, and that’s the important thing.

    & FWIW, the book set is still #1 at Amazon.

  26. Knurk
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    So the totals average 8.3 million. Nicely between True Blood’s 6.8 and BE’s stellar 10.7! (well, not nicely as in precise between but you get my point)

  27. Ramon Carlos
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if Sean Bean can be coaxed to play Mance Rayder… *boggles the mind*

  28. Ryan E
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    So apparently the theory that the gratuitous lesbian sex scene would drive viewers away is as stupid as it sounded to me? Shocking!

    Great news. Positive momentum in the ratings this season, coupled with great critical reviews and word of mouth is a killer combination and bodes well for the future of the series!

  29. Ivan Popić
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    Good news I guess. Before Game of Thrones I didn’t know first thing about ratings in USA but I think this is positive.

  30. Ivan Popić
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    A bit off-topic but I had no idea Game of Thrones has more viewers then Killing. Isn’t AMC available on basic cable in USA?

  31. Elena Amici
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    @hear me roar, we all hope you’re right!!!

  32. Ryan John
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Maxwell James:

    & FWIW, the book set is still #1 at Amazon.

    I have at least 6 friends who started reading the books after watching the show. A few of them only started watching because of how often I talked about it, and now they are absolutely obsessed and addicted to the series. I think Game of Thrones is in good shape.

  33. Liesie
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    YAYYY!!!!! More prove that ‘the pointy end’ is the best episode as of yet :)

  34. Ryan E
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    Maxwell James: don’t really think it is going to turn off a lot of viewers. That said, losing the biggest ‘name’ star in the production does entail some (hopefully minimal) potential viewer loss (I do know people who started watching just because of Sean Bean, for whatever that’s worth). On the other hand, the story is enormously compelling, and the unknowns have really stepped up to the plate and are getting their share of viewer love (especially Maisie Williams), so it’s probably much less important to have a ‘star’ in Season 2.

    The huge numbers of people buying the books recently is a great thing for viewership next season and in the future.

  35. DH87
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Prankster, I’ve deleted my quote of your comment because the spoiler tags didn’t transmit with the quote, but that is the reference of my comment below.

    As I’ve said before, it is industry wisdom of very long-standing.

  36. DH87
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Okay, I over deleted.
    The answer to your question in the spoiler tags is: Because it is iron-clad industry wisdom of long-standing.

  37. James
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    Knurk,

    I dont think that 10.7m million viewers a week is accurate for Boardwalk Empire. I’m pretty sure thats the number of people who just watched the show in general not each week. The show was available ondemand for months after the season ended and I’m pretty sure HBO added those viewers who watched it after the show ended.

  38. Hollyoak
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    It’s really great to come here and see these positive ratings. I always take a breath and hope I don’t see: “Thrones falls in ratings.”

    This is truly great. By the time the season ends with all the great stuff yet to happen, it will freaking blow people’s mind. And then, the water cooler buzz will pick up, and people who didn’t watch will be clamoring to catch it on HBO go or wherever.

    It can only get better. And we know what these next two episodes hold.

    Woo Hoo!

    Hot damn!

    I never say hot damn but it seemed appropriate.

    Still never watched a preview. BWP!

  39. Belwas's stool
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Yes, I believe the 10.7 number was as of April.

  40. Zmajevic
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Not sure if it matters that much, but GOT facebook page is picking lot of likes lately -540.000 at the moment, just a 100.000 short of BE. Considering that GOT season one is not over yet, it will certanly surpass it soon..

  41. DunktheLunk
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Note for season 2: MORE Episodes written by George!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  42. Hollyoak
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Prankster:
    I don’t really get why people think Ned’s Death is going to turn the viewers off in droves. There’s a difference between a show shocking people and making them stop watching. I’m sure people will be saying “Oh no they didn’t!” but will they actually want to stop watching? If anything that seems like it’ll just hook them in deeper. Especially since people are increasingly shaking their heads at how stupid Ned’s been–I’m sure no one wants to see him die, and his death will of course be bad news for all the Starks, but I don’t think he’s anyone’s favourite character or anything. Now, if they killed Arya, or Tyrion, they could easily lose a lot of viewers. But I doubt even GRRM is going to do that in future books, for all that they’re advertised as “anyone can die!” If either of those two die, it’ll be at the very end of the series.

    Your spoilered text is what’s really incredible.
    Can anyone think of a show–cable or network–where the main character, the person the audience is supposed to connect with, gets whacked in the first season? Remember the first time you read the book, and couldn’t belive that GRRM killed off Ned? Well, just think how it will actually LOOK on HBO. We’ve seen, not just read about these characters now, and the main good guy is going to get his head lopped off! What will people think? Good lord, this will be amazing.

  43. Petyr
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Hollyoak,

    If you read the unspoiled speculation thread at TWOP, a lot of those non readers already are pretty sure Ned is dead, probably by the end of the season. So I don’t really see it driving away viewers who kinda see it coming.

  44. Knurk
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    James:
    Knurk,

    I dont think that 10.7m million viewers a week is accurate for Boardwalk Empire. I’m pretty sure thats the number of people who just watched the show in general not each week. The show was available ondemand for months after the season ended and I’m pretty sure HBO added those viewers who watched it after the show ended.

    Belwas’s stool:
    Yes, I believe the 10.7 number was as of April.

    No those are december numbers, see here and here.

  45. Ivan Popić
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Hollyoak: Your spoilered text is what’s really incredible.
    Can anyone think of a show–cable or network–where the main character, the person the audience is supposed to connect with, gets whacked in the first season? Remember the first time you read the book, and couldn’t belive that GRRM killed off Ned? Well, just think how it will actually LOOK on HBO. We’ve seen, not just read about these characters now, and the main good guy is going to get his head lopped off! What will people think? Good lord, this will be amazing.

    Some people have already guessed Ned isn’t appearing in next season because he is cast in another series. I remember that Oz killed its biggest name in very first episode after the whole pilot revolved around him so yeah – there is a precedent.
    People came to the show because of the Sean Bean but
    if they aren’t hooked by now I don’t think they ever will be.

  46. hornhillbilly
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Great news.

  47. Belwas's Stool
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Knurk: No those are december numbers, see here and here.

    Both of those say 10.5 which is still way higher than I thought. But I believe the 10.7 number is as of April.

  48. Clob
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    awesome stuff! Here on my work computer I have a habit of googling “Game of Thrones” and selecting Realtime. I’ve been doing it near daily since the first episode and I don’t think I’ve ever seen it go more than a couple minutes without a new tweet. The buzz just continues. I love it

    Regarding any characters that may perish in the series… It seems to me that most people have multiple favorite characters and it doesn’t really matter who they are or were in real life to a lot of viewers. I mean nobody knew Maisie or Isaac before, most probably didn’t know Kit and others, yet the lovers of the show are making them “big names” – or their performances are I should say. Well-known actors are probably important for initial viewer draw, but to me it seems less important now after we’ve seen how great these newcomers are doing – along with the rest of the seasoned professionals.

  49. Tysnow
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    Ryan E,

    Maybe after word got out, people tuned in hoping to see more girl/girl action, hopefully they weren’t to dissapointed (maybe Hodor shocked them enough) to keep watching, they should therefore be pleased cause we get Shae next episode, WOOT!.

  50. Knurk
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Belwas’s Stool,

    well yeah, but the 0.2 difference is of course not important. I tried to say that being more than 2 million behind BE is not because of BE has been on On Demand for 6 months longer than GoT.

  51. Belwas's Stool
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    I wonder how on demand of GoT will work. I imagine there should be quite a few resubs coming for True Blood, where as i imagine people were cancelling after Boardwalk.

  52. Mike Chair
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Mark: I think the thing that distinguished this episode from the rest was Hodor’s cameo.

    In celebration of the high ratings I’ve decided it’s time for my first round of Hodor jokes.

    I’m waiting for the new t-shirts in the HBO shop:

    “Hodor ‘Family Tree’ ”

    “I made the eight. Hodor is much longer.”

    “House Arryn: As High as Honor, As Hung as Hodor”

    “House Martell: Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken — Just Like Hodor”

    “House Lannister: Hear Me Roar, Hodor Made Me Sore”

    “House Baratheon: Ours is the Fury. Hodor’s is Ridiculous!”

  53. NousWanderer
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    I’d just like to point out that last week’s episode (and those prior) likely had a greater impact on these ratings than this week’s episode did. Put otherwise: the ratings for the initial airing of episode 8 owe more to the buzz surrounding the show in the week prior and any other external factors which influence viewing. Initial ratings aren’t determined by the quality of a given episode but rather how many people tuned in to check the episode out, and that’s determined by preexisting factors.

    This means that the improved ratings are less about episode 8 being so much better than the previous episodes or people hating the whoregate scene and preferring this. The fact that George R.R. Martin wrote the episode probably had some effect, but this effect was likely more prevalent among preexisting fans or curious adopters who made sure they caught this early on account of their excitement.

    I’m trying to preempt more people claiming that these numbers are somehow indicative of the fact that episode 7 and ‘whoregate’ was a failure, since you can’t just spin the statistics that way. If anything, episode 7 probably helped create more buzz and drew more people to episode 8.

    My own personal reaction: FUCKING AWESOME. I’m hoping we breach the 3 million initial viewer mark by episode 10.

  54. Knurk
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    NousWanderer,

    but nobody is saying such. All I’ve read is: the Petyr-whores didn’t hurt the ratings. So they’re saying the exact same thing as you. I actually think the viewership was already won in episode 6 but didn’t show because of HBOGO viewers,

  55. Moe
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Petyr,

    I’m pretty sure over half the people on that thread have already read the books , the general theme of predictions is way to accurate to be unspoiled speculation ( kind of pathetic actually)

  56. NousWanderer
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Knurk:
    NousWanderer,

    but nobody is saying such. All I’ve read is: the Petyr-whores didn’t hurt the ratings. So they’re saying the exact same thing as you. I actually think the viewership was already won in episode 6 but didn’t show because of HBOGO viewers,

    It’s possible that I misread a few previous comments, then. Oh well, just treat it as a preemptive attempt against any illogical thinking. :)

  57. Eleanor
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    Moe: I’m pretty sure over half the people on that thread have already read the books , the general theme of predictions is way to accurate to be unspoiled speculation ( kind of pathetic actually)

    I don’t think anyone’s quite that pathetic. No, they’re just people who love the show and love analysis.

  58. morbiczer
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Ryan E,

    Ryan E,

    Ryan E: The huge numbers of people buying the books recently is a great thing for viewership next season and in the future.

    Even my 60 year old mother is completly hooked on the books after she was “forced” to watch one episode with me while she was visiting. Incredible, she never reads stuff like that. Heck, she even reads it in English, a language she hasn’t used much since university!

  59. Prankster
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Hollyoak: Your spoilered text is what’s really incredible.
    Can anyone think of a show–cable or network–where the main character, the person the audience is supposed to connect with, gets whacked in the first season?

    Sorry to say, GoT isn’t actually breaking any new ground here, as there are a couple of recent series that have killed off their main (or at least “a very major”) character, played by a big name actor, in their first season. Don’t want to name names for the sake of spoilers, but at least two of them were on HBO…

    GoT is interesting, in that when a series gets a “name” actor, they’re usually given a really juicy role. But this show has given their big star the blander hero role, the “Luke Skywalker” as opposed to the “Han Solo”, as it were. So while it’s true that in most shows losing their big name would theoretically lose them some viewer interest, that’s often because you’d be losing a compelling character rather than the actor per se. The star will draw people in, but the character will keep them watching. In this case, the characters that will keep people watching are separate from the one played by the star. In that respect, the show has positioned itself well.

  60. dtb
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    If anything, “whoregate” just got more discussion about the show going, which is really never going to be a bad thing for tv ratings.

  61. Ed
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Hahahahahahahaha!!!! ROTFL!!!!

    Mike Chair: In celebration of the high ratings I’ve decided it’s time for my first round of Hodor jokes.

    I’m waiting for the new t-shirts in the HBO shop:

    “Hodor ‘Family Tree’ ”

    “I made the eight. Hodor is much longer.”

    “House Arryn: As High as Honor, As Hung as Hodor”

    “House Martell: Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken — Just Like Hodor”

    “House Lannister: Hear Me Roar, Hodor Made Me Sore”

    “House Baratheon: Ours is the Fury.Hodor’s is Ridiculous!”

  62. dizzy_34
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    This is encouraging. Lets hope the finale does 3 to 3.5 mil.

  63. Mormegil
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Great news on the Ratings.

    Eleanor: I don’t think anyone’s quite that pathetic. No, they’re just people who love the show and love analysis.

    I can’t recall their names without looking at early posts so no idea if they are still posting in that thread but there were people who had read the books (or at least Wiki) posting in there at the start.

    Someone not only gave a detailed account of Rhaegar plus Lyanna = Jon but bolded the Initials so the equation could be clearly seen.

  64. Knurk
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    I see WiC is very busy sweeping the threads haha.

  65. AlwaysFan
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Mormegil:
    Great news on the Ratings.

    I can’t recall their names without looking at early posts so no idea if they are still posting in that thread but there were people who had read the books (or at least Wiki) posting in there at the start.

    Someone not only gave a detailed account of Rhaegar plus Lyanna= Jonbut bolded the Initials so the equation could be clearly seen.

    I agree. From my reading of those boards, some people have definitely read the books. I’m sorry but there is no way you can pick up some of the stuff they are picking up purely from the TV show. Most people don’t even pick them up when reading the books, but only discover such things in message forums.

  66. ingrin
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Mormegil,

    Or the person who said something about Essos, even though it has never been called such, and they couldn’t explain where they heard the name.

    Also, given that less half of the people who read the book figured out the Renly/Loras relationship. I find it suspicious that it seems that almost all of the commentors in the Unspoiled thread have figured it out … (joking)

  67. Alwyn Joseph
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    HODOR !!! HODOR !!! HODOR !!!!

  68. Tom Hilton
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Interesting: the episode they submitted in the Costumes category was The Pointy End. I’m pretty sure they had Hodor in mind. ;-)

  69. Knurk
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Tom Hilton,

    and the only writing submission is for the next episode, so apparently HBO thinks it’s one badass episode!

  70. Kate
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Hear Me Roar,

    This week the article from EW is not Hibberd’s, but Lynette Rice’s. You should change the post. :)

  71. Hear Me Roar
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Kate,

    Thank you, fixed! That was an update from WiC, though :P hehe.

  72. Jeda
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Ah! Fantastic, this one I saw coming, or at least was hoping for. I kind of expected ep7 ratings to go lower since it first aired on HBO Go (but was pleasantly surprised by the real number), and always thought ep8 would be the real indicator (and again having it on HBO Go early was maybe a good thing since it gave 2 weeks to create buzz). Anyway, guess-timating ratings is definitely a dark science… All good stuff, all good stuff…

  73. PatD
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    I know it doesn’t matter to us, but I think the casting director for Season 2 would be well advised to try and secure at least one big name star.

  74. Flayed
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    Ned’s death won’t turn viewers off, it will suck them in, just as it did in the books. If you read the newbie forums, you’ll see that one big thing sucking people in is that they hate the Lannisters. By the season’s end you can bet that sentiment will be doubled. By the time the show gets to Oberyn Martell, Roose Bolton, and the Red Wedding, the show will stomp the competition in ratings.

  75. Maxwell James
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    One encouraging sign (I think, anyway) is that Game of Thrones is performing similarly to Rome, which had very similar pilot ratings, and US weeklies of around 7 million during its first season. UK ratings are lower of course, but that’s all about being on Sky Atlantic as opposed to the BBC.

    And Thrones’ production budget is much lower (for now, anyway).

  76. Jeda
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    Maxwell James,

    Not being ironic here, but the comparison scares me since Rome was cancelled at the beginning of the second season :-(… I’d be more reassured to hear it’s performing like True Blood (although performing better for s01) … I see what you mean though, I know it can’t really be compared to what happened to Rome.

  77. Peepin
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    PatD,

    I agree. Davos needs to be someone famous and popular in America. t

  78. DH87
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    PatD: I think the casting director for Season 2 would be well advised to try and secure at least one big name star.

    I’ve said this before and been mocked but I agree with you. And its not just the loss of Bean; it’s Momoa, too. You (primarily) gentlemen are perhaps not up to speed on his fandom. He has quite a following. There’s no one with the cachet of these guys left.

  79. NorwegianDevil
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    Jeda,

    And HBO has admitted that they made a mistake when they canceled Rome to early.

  80. Mormegil
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    ingrin: Or the person who said something about Essos, even though it has never been called such, and they couldn’t explain where they heard the name.

    I think I mentioned this one before and had it pointed out to me that Essos is mentioned on the HBO Viewers Guide (though a lot of the people in the thread refuse to look at that) but IIRC whoever mentioned it in the thread said it was said in the show which it wasn’t.

  81. DH87
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    NorwegianDevil,

    That was when the DVD market was booming, however. It is now tanking. Just depends on whether HBO Go brings in enough subscribers to pick up the new slack created by DVD sales and if the International sales continue to be strong.

  82. GaR
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    DH87,

    I rarely buy DVDs at all, but I’ll be getting the Blurays of GoT. I know people who never buy DVDs who say they’ll get these ones (non-readers, too).

    My anecdotal evidence says everything will be okay.

  83. Knurk
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    Jeda:
    Maxwell James,

    Not being ironic here, but the comparison scares me since Rome was cancelled at the beginning of the second season :-(… I’d be more reassured to hear it’s performing like True Blood (although performing better for s01) … I see what you mean though, I know it can’t really be compared to what happened to Rome.

    Rome premiered with 7,5 million viewers for it’s second season. I think HBO will be going nuts if GoT delivers a number close to that.

    But now I followed the link to Rome’s wikipedia and I don’t know if the 7.5 number is legit, because when you click on the reference for the number, it brings you to tvbythenumbers and there in the comments they claim that 7.5 million is the number because Wikipedia says it’s 7.5. Wut?!?

  84. Pau Soriano
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    Well I said this many many times, but u can’t compare GOT to TB…the right comparison is Rome.

    Having stablished that, if they have acknowledged that they did wrong cancelling Rome and if Rome budget was higher with GOT ratings being similar…all is well, really :)

  85. Girth of Hodor
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Long time lurker, first time poster. I just wanted to say how thrilled I am with the rise in ratings and the support of the book fanbase. Love reading what you guys have to say!

  86. Jeda
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    Pau Soriano,

    As far as the audience is concerned, GoT’s audience is a lot closer to Rome’s audience, yes. GoT is fantasy but sill very political, very adult with a lot of historical settings. I was just refering to the ratings that keeps going up and up and up for the vampire show, that’s what I wish to happen to GoT. I’d doubt very much if GoT reaches 7.5 at the early second season, but HBO would go nuts indeed. It’s not impossible given the average accross all platforms have been 8+ though… If you guys liked Rome, I highly recommend ‘I, Claudius’. BBC which participated in Rome considered Rome its spiritual prequel. The old show had a very low budget and is slow to start with, but boy those dialogues were clever!

  87. Tar Kidho
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    Tom Hilton:
    Interesting: the episode they submitted in the Costumes category was The Pointy End.I’m pretty sure they had Hodor in mind.;-)

    Would love to see Hodor’s Hodor getting an award :-)

  88. Knurk
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    I think it’s fair to say that the ratings last week probably would have been around 2.7 million too if they hadn’t put the episode on HBOGO. The shows has been a steady 1.2 in the 18-49 demo and dropped to 0.9 while keeping a total viewership of 2.4 million. That 0.3 (demo) probably watched it on Go, and low and behold the demo is back to 1.2 this week to raise the number to 2.7 million!

  89. Chris
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    I can’t see a cancellation happening as long as ratings are rising. That’s probably the best news out of everything. We may end up with GoT having very similar finale ratings to Boardwalk Empire. But there’s such a huge difference because GoT rose to those ratings, whereas BE fell quite largely to those ratings.

  90. Jahaerys
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    PatD,

    I suppose Charles Dance doesn’t count? Dude is actually a quite famous actor. Or do you mean “a famous actor on the ‘good side’s’ team?”

  91. Kingthlayer
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    Mormegil: I think I mentioned this one before and had it pointed out to me that Essos is mentioned on the HBO Viewers Guide (though a lot of the people in the thread refuse to look at that) but IIRC whoever mentioned it in the thread said it was said in the show which it wasn’t.

    See – http://iceandfire.wikia.com/wiki/Essos

    It seems that GRRM confirmed that name in an interview in 2008 but it hasn’t been used yet in the books or on the show to my knowledge

  92. garik16
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    Knurk,

    Maybe right, but not cuz of HBO-GO. Really, Memorial Day was probably, if not certainly, a greater sap of viewers than HBO-GO.

  93. Maxwell James
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    Jeda,

    Yeah, I think being scared makes sense too. It’s definitely in that middle territory – not yet a definite, must-have hit, but something that still has potential to be. Here are several reasons why I think the similarity is encouraging, though:

    - As others noted upthread, HBO has openly said that cancelling Rome was a mistake.
    - It was cancelled mainly because of costs & the BBC backing out, neither of which is as relevant for Thrones.
    - HBO has fewer US-based subscribers now than in 2006.
    - HBO has more international subscribers now than in 2006.
    - Thrones has shown a high level of appeal not only in the US and UK, but in many other countries as well. By contrast, the Wiki article I linked to above pointed out that Rome was a ratings disappointment in Italy.
    - The ongoing recession/stagnation, sad to say, will make it easier to control future costs for the show. Obviously this is worse for the world but better in this one tiny respect.
    - Rome didn’t have the positive feedback loop of a co-branded best-selling book series.
    - Thrones is better than Rome (even though Rome was pretty good).

  94. Kyles
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 2:34 am | Permalink

    Johan Sporre,

    Nope, i already gave my 10. It’s now the 4th highest rated show on imdb, behind only planet earth, the wire, and Arrested Development. Right behind my second favorite show of all time is pretty damn good in my opinion!

  95. SugarVampire
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 2:41 am | Permalink

    Maxwell James,

    GoT is way better than Rome. By the time I finished watching Rome season 1 in DVD, I was very disappointed. The plots meandered too much, the two main characters’ journeys were just sideshows, especially with revelation of the wife’s infedility and subsequent suicide story arc. It felt like a Grey’s anatomy’s season ending type story which won’t be bad for GA but not in a historic drama like Rome.

    There was nothing uplifting or hopeful by the end of Rome’s season 1, just some muddling through the history of Rome Republic. No wonder BBC decided to drop out.

    Even though Borgias in Showtime has many flaws, at least they are smart enough not to spend tons of times lingering around the sorry-ass story of Cesare’s love for Ursula. The humiliation of Giovanni Sforza and the under-current chess match between Pope Alexander VI and the French King Charles VIII brought about a semi-victorious and joyful ending of season 1.

    Even though ASoIaF is basically a very grim story, GRRM brilliantly built up a strings of powerful and emotionally satisfying chapters at the end of each of his first 3 books to let readers glimpse/wonder about the future and be hopeful.

    I can’t wait to read about the awes and accolades from all the critics and messages boards when episode 10 of GoT is finally shown. What a wonderful story!!!

  96. Jeda
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 4:04 am | Permalink

    Maxwell James,
    I didn’t know it was disapointing in Italy, that’s surprising considering…

    SugarVampire,

    Rome Gate :-) Sugar Vampire, I don’t know about way better… What I really liked about Rome was its originality. I mean we know the historical events, or at least we know of them, but putting Pullo and Vorenus as the catalysts of these events was surprising and funny (For example, the start of hostility between Mark Antony and Pompey accidentally being triggered through a butterfly effect by Pullo being drunk the night before). As a spectator, you knew the events, so they had to find a way to surprise you because the story was already known, and that was really clever I think. You knew these events, but you could never expect how they would happen. It was all a bit silly of course (i.e. Pullo father of Caesarion) but it made the show entertaining, close enough to the written historical events but with their own twist when filling the gaps… Anyway, not a Rome forum, so I’ll shut up. Cheers

  97. Lord Willum
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    DH87: NorwegianDevil,
    That was when the DVD market was booming, however. It is now tanking. Just depends on whether HBO Go brings in enough subscribers to pick up the new slack created by DVD sales and if the International sales continue to be strong.

    GaR: DH87,
    I rarely buy DVDs at all, but I’ll be getting the Blurays of GoT. I know people who never buy DVDs who say they’ll get these ones (non-readers, too).
    My anecdotal evidence says everything will be okay.

    Not sure how reliable this info is, but was at a Brandon Sanderson book-signing at the weekend (if you’ve not read his stuff, get involved – not quite GRRM level of badassery, but pretty damn close!) and someone asked him whether he was watching GOT, and his response was that he wasn’t watching the series, as he would wait for the director’s cut/extended edition….

    If HBO do go that route, a la LOTR, I’m sure those puppies will fly off the shelves (I along with most of us posting here, will be buying them whether they’re extended or not, but extra content would seal the deal for many who perhaps wouldn’t otherwise)

  98. MikeFromBraavos
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    Prankster: there are a couple of recent series …. at least two of them were on HBO…

    What series are you referring to? You can put it in spoiler tags. I’m curious b/c I watch nearly all of HBO’s shows and can’t think of any. Although someone did mention Oz already.

  99. Mormegil
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Kingthlayer: See – http://iceandfire.wikia.com/wiki/EssosIt seems that GRRM confirmed that name in an interview in 2008 but it hasn’t been used yet in the books or on the show to my knowledge

    The point being made was that someone who supposedly had not read the books or any wikipedia articles about the show/books knew the name.

  100. Knurk
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    MikeFromBraavos,

    I think Six Feet Under is a no-brainer (but eh, does that character actually count? he appears in 20 or more episodes I believe), the other one must be Oz but I’m not sure.

  101. hornhillbilly
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    Charles Dance as Tywin is the greatest piece of casting since Brando for Don Corleone. It’s really coming together. Only problem will be the wait for the second series.

  102. Syrio
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 1:27 am | Permalink

    SugarVampire:
    Maxwell James,
    Even though ASoIaF is basically a very grim story, GRRM brilliantly built up a strings of powerful and emotionally satisfying chapters at the end of each of his first 3 books to let readers glimpse/wonder about the future and be hopeful.

    You’re right, which is why the suggestion by some people that they end the 3rd season with the Red Wedding is to me a really bad idea. I know that some people think it’s cool because it is such a great moment, and it is. But ending a season there will drive away a lot of viewer without the more uplifting stuff that immediate follows that gives the audience something to look forward to.

  103. Pastor_of_Muppets
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    My hope is that the season one DVD/Blu-Ray sells by the butt-load, and the season two ratings increase is significant enough for HBO to “give back” the two extra episodes for season three that had been taken out of the first two. I think the third book could be done in fourteen episodes without skimming over or cutting too much out. But that’s a ways off. Either way, the ratings increase bodes well for the show, as does the fact that the book series is kicking ass on Amazon.

  104. Hot Pie
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Hollyoak: Still never watched a preview. BWP!

    BWP pride, Hollyoak! Neva’ 4Get! : P

  105. Hot Pie
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Eleanor: I don’t think anyone’s quite that pathetic.

    Kyles: It’s now the 4th highest rated show on imdb, behind only planet earth, the wire, and Arrested Development. Right behind my second favorite show of all time is pretty damn good in my opinion!

    lol, wait: which one is your second favorite show of all time? I’m guessing the wire, but they’re all pretty good candidates ^_^

    ma’am, all i can say is, you have a greater faith in the average internet user than I do.

  106. Hot Pie
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    MikeFromBraavos: Prankster: there are a couple of recent series …. at least two of them were on HBO…

    What series are you referring to? You can put it in spoiler tags. I’m curious b/c I watch nearly all of HBO’s shows and can’t think of any. Although someone did mention Oz already.

    Please, PLEASE do not read this if you’re planning on watching ANY shows you haven’t seen on HBO. (Seriously, you’ve been warned >_<)

    ‘Oz’ has already been mentioned, although i’m not sure that counts, seeing as the character in question was only around for 1 episode. The one other show on HBO I can think of where this happens is Treme.
    Crap, I’m already regretting posting this, even with spoilers, but I can’t resist answering a well-intentioned question O_o

  107. loco73
    Posted June 10, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Nice! Well deserved I must say, the acting, the production quality, the scripts, the direction all lend themselves to creating this outstanding show. Here is hoping to many more seasons to come!!!!!!!

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