Season Two ratings overview
By Hear Me Roar on in Editorial.

Time to look at how the first airing ratings behaved over the course of the second season. First, enjoy the graphics below – as always, note that the run of shows with seasons longer than 10 episodes have been condensed to fit the scale:

Likewise, we know that many would have us compare these ratings to those of older HBO hit shows. We would like that very much as well, but the numbers are virtually unavailable (the second season of The Sopranos when HBO had some more subscribers averaged over 6 million viewers per episode, though, while the inaugural season average was lower that what Thrones reached this year).

What to say of these numbers? As an optimist, I might have expected even more before the season started, but the ratings are extremely good – and the overall numbers that matter even more are fabulous (10.3 million total per episode so far) and place Game of Thrones at third place of most watched HBO shows ever. The ratings kept stable, and the show did not shed any viewers in the course of the season, which is a remarkable feat for a highly serialised narrative like this.

The dip in episode 19 numbers was due to the holiday weekend only, and the finale uptick broke records – not only were there 4.2 million viewers in the initial hour, but also over 5 million total viewers for the night, and a 2.1 demo ratings was reached. The season opened with 30% higher numbers compared to the first season finale, and ended with 40% more compared to that same benchmark. Over its entire run, the show’s initial airing ratings have increased by over 90%. It seems that the final episodes brought in additional viewers, and the strength of those instalments should make sure that they stay tuned.

Hear Me Roar: Great so far, and there is still room for growth. Once the third season gets closer, we can start speculating on the ratings again. I believe we can expect another between-season uptick, though smaller than this year. Starting at around 4.5 mil would set the 5 million mark as the next goal to reach … we will see about that in a year.


133 Comments

  1. Superdeluxe
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Hopefully we start season 3 with a nice uptick and keep level at around the 4-4.5 million range all year next year.

  2. MockingTheFlayedLion
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Great news. So looking forward to next season. Storm of Swords is my favorite book, even though a lot of the cool stuff will not happen until season 4. If they get that far that is.

  3. Paul
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    I wonder what these ratings would be like if HBO could’ve gotten a buck from (and kept a tally of) each torrented copy of the show.

  4. LordStarkington
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Very healthy growth in ratings and the show remains really popular as well, in general. With ASOS material upcoming, I can’t wait.

  5. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    A woman is pleased. The show must go on.

    An afterthought…how many named characters have met their demise in each season? Has anybody counted that? Would give those who are curious an idea of the large number in the cast and why some deaths are moved around as a casting decision? Anybody?

  6. jdp13
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Good numbers, but I have to admit I did think there would be more of a jump this year. Hey, as long as HBO is happy and keep renewing I’m fine with it.

    Also, I’m curious what Rome’s numbers were in their 2 season vs. GoT’s.

  7. MockingTheFlayedLion
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Let us just hope that the dvd/blu-ray sales numbers will go up as well. That would’ve been awesome.

  8. The Young Wolf
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Even though I know why, I still find it funny that the best episode of the season got the lowest ratings.

  9. MockingTheFlayedLion
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    jdp13,

    HBO have said that they later regretted cancelling Rome and that they would give shows a second chance this time around.

  10. Hear Me Roar
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    jdp13,

    Knurk may have some idea about those Rome numbers.

  11. SugarVampire
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    The rating is good and the buzz is even better. Check this article to see why GoT makes HBO matters once again: http://paidcontent.org/2012/06/06/why-hbo-is-once-again-tvs-most-relevant-network/

    GoT, at this point, is too important for HBO, both in USA and aboard. The series will continue to the very end if the quality holds up. Hopefully, HBO, the exec. producers and writers will spend more time to refine and elevate the storylines.

  12. Winter Is Coming
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    Probably better to compare total viewers versus initial airing ratings when looking at Rome, since time-shifted viewing wasn’t as prevalent back then. I think Rome and Game of Thrones are about equal when you look at just the ratings, but when you take into account total viewers, the second season of Thrones trounces the second season of Rome (10.3m to 6.5m).

  13. Justin Tran
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    I’m curious to as whether it really was the holiday weekend that did it in for Blackwater – non of the other shows seem to have had a drop in viewers. In fact, True Blood SPIKED at that time…

  14. Michael Tschuertz
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    I am more interested in getting the total over 11 or even better 12 million.

  15. DH87
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    MockingTheFlayedLion: Let us just hope that the dvd/blu-ray sales numbers will go up as well. That would’ve been awesome.

    Let’s remember, though that sales of these products are soft across the board in all markets and are forecast to continue to erode. GOT may buck that trend but I suspect HBO is revising its projections downward and sinking due to decreased demand.

  16. Duvall
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    Justin Tran: I’m curious to as whether it really was the holiday weekend that did it in for Blackwater – non of the other shows seem to have had a drop in viewers. In fact, True Blood SPIKED at that time…

    Has True Blood ever aired in the spring?

  17. OhDanyBoy
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Duvall: Has True Blood ever aired in the spring?

    No. He’s just reading the graph wrong.

  18. Impi
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Justin Tran: True Blood

    Episodes 10 and 11 of S2 True Blood aired on 8/23/09 and 8/30/09. So no holiday weekend issues akin to Memorial Day.

  19. Not Today
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    I guess he just meant to say Mad Men instead of True Blood.

  20. Arthur
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    I’d like to think these first two seasons are just D&D sowing the seeds and over the next few seasons we will see some nice ratings growth.

    They can take their time now and really build up some awesome payoffs. Can’t wait. These first 2 seasons were just a lot of introductions.

    Now we get to see what D&D can really do as far as storylines and character building…

  21. Robbet
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Great numbers, great numbers really!!! I wasn’t expecting to pass the 4 million mark in the finale.
    My hopes for next year is to start with 5 million (my more realistic hopes: 4.4 million). But if GoT gets to 5 million in the end of the season, I’ll be veary happy!!

  22. sjwenings
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    I don’t really understand why exactly people expect the ratings to grow.

    Glad that they probably don’t need to for this show to get renewed and keep the quality up.

  23. Petter K. Vikestad
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    5 million by the end of season 3 would be quite optimistic. I’ll say 4,7 million at the finale

  24. DH87
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    TB S5 first episode ratings are down, slightly (4 percent from last year’s premiere), and its Metacritics score is also down—to 73, from 79 pre-episode airing, so it may be that TB will drop enough to allow GOT to close the gap without doing too much more.

  25. dizzy_34
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    I’m interested in what True Blood drew last night. OT but not a bad episode last night (sorry DH87 :))

  26. DH87
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    dizzy_34,

    Dizzy,

    5.2 million, down 4% from last season’s premiere.

    Hey, each to his own: I watched Hillbilly Handfishing instead, followed by Mad Men (which ended on a series ratings high), so I had an enjoyable evening myself.

  27. Pastor_of_Muppets
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    DH87,

    Watched True Blood, then switched it over to Mad Men for the surprisingly underwhelming finale to what has been an excellent season, overall. I’ve really started to embrace the campy, bat-shit crazy nature of True Blood by this point, which is probably why I’m still able to enjoy it for what it’s worth. It’s kind of like HBO’s version of The Walking Dead for me – pulpy, non-sensical, but an enjoyable guilty pleasure (although a lot more fun than TWD) nonetheless. Now I get to look forward to The Newsroom later this month, Breaking Bad in July, and Tremè, Boardwalk Empire, and Sons of Anarchy later this year. It’s a great time to enjoy good television, all in all, I’d say.

  28. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    DH87,

    I’m wondering if True Blood will dip below 5 million viewers for the initial airing at any point this season? I only watch for the comedy now. I don’t really care about any of the characters.

  29. DH87
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Pastor_of_Muppets,

    I’m pretty much out of the drama loop til Homeland fires up again in the fall. That is a tremendous show: I think Danes and Lewis are the most accomplished couple on TV right now.

    If you’re looking for a cheesy guilty pleasure, go for “Magic Mike,” in theatres at the end of this month: all the sex and nudity without the Michelle Bachman-inspired TB plotline…!

  30. DH87
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap: I’m wondering if True Blood will dip below 5 million viewers for the initial airing at any point this season? I only watch for the comedy now. I don’t really care about any of the characters.

    Psychologically, that would be great PR (from my twisted perspective) since defeat tends to snowball and rats abandon a sinking ship (to mix metaphors) but more importantly for us here, it will cement GOT as HBO’s trophy show—I think GOT is going to clean up during the summer awards season and TB will be MIA in that department.

  31. Pastor_of_Muppets
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    DH87,

    I loved the first season of Homeland, but oddly enough, haven’t yet mustered up much excitement for the second series. With how everything played out, I almost feel like it may have been better off as a mini-series or a one-shot (but this is with me having practically no information on where the second season is going, story-wise).

    As a side-note: I hope True Blood continues to do well. There is definitely a place for that type of entertainment, and when it is as unrelentingly pulpy as that show has been since the third season started, it serves a purpose for its audience. It also means that HBO has a stable of popular shows, in addition to their critical success’. With or without True Blood, Game of Thrones is clearly HBO’s flagship series for the foreseeable future.

  32. Chris
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    why the fuck would anyone watch true blood. it’s basically twilight

  33. DH87
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    Pastor_of_Muppets,

    Remember, Alan Ball’s “Wichita” is slated for 2013 and there’s only so much Alan Ball anyone can stand, I think. (I can stand very, very little but others may LIKE three AB shows on HBO/Cinemax at the same time—pretty soon, the “B” in HBO will stand for Ball: All the Time).

  34. Zack
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    DH87: I’m pretty much out of the drama loop til Homeland fires up again in the fall. That is a tremendous show: I think Danes and Lewis are the most accomplished couple on TV right now.

    I -loved- S1, but I’m a little apprehensive about the show’s prospects for subsequent seasons. It seems like there’s potential for ever-increasing believability issues. If they can successfully milk it, I’ll be thrilled.

  35. Alex Dubrovsky
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    I have a question after watching the first episode of S5 – does True Blood have writers? I mean, actual people who think about stuff that might make some sense in the context of the show, sit and write it down for actors to read? Birdemic had better writing than this.

    Some of it is still good for comedy. Pam should be the main character.

  36. DH87
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    Zack,

    I could pretty much watch Danes and Lewis read the phone book to each other and be happy, so, see Trubie friends, DH can be a “shipper” just like you guys! And the supporting cast is first-rate, particularly Mandy Patinkin.

  37. WildSeed
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    DH87,

    I’m only 1 viewer, but I’ve quit watching the Bill and Sookie Show.

  38. WildSeed
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Chris,

    It’s a non intended sex- comedy only it’s meant to be a drama. Have you heard
    of ” Ghost Daddy ” last season ?

  39. Varamyr Fourskins
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    All great news… and as someone mentioned, I’d have to think GoT is outselling the other shows in merchandise by a long shot (that’s pure speculation, granted, but I’d be willing to bet on it). So, I’d venture to say GoT isn’t going anywhere anytime soon (which is great news, because I can still remember a time on this site when everyone used to qualify their statements with an “assuming we get more seasons”).

  40. Mike Chair
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    Chris: why the fuck would anyone watch true blood. it’s basically twilight

    Whoa! I’ve seen Twilight. This is not Twilight. Kristen Stewart is a cutie, but Deborah Ann Woll is all woman. Woman vampire, that is. I’ve seen Twilight. This is not Twilight.

    I love Game of Thrones above all. But, it’s summer.
    And Russell. Edgington. Is. Back.

  41. Alex Dubrovsky
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    BTW, does anyone here watch Borgias? The second season is simply phenomenal.

  42. SillyMammo
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    Alex Dubrovsky:
    BTW, does anyone here watch Borgias? The second season is simply phenomenal.

    Really? I almost gave up on it mid-season, but I decided to stick it out. Something about the pacing I’m not keen on. And imo none of the characters are likable, though the assassin is cool. I could see him in the GoT universe.

  43. DH87
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    Alex Dubrovsky: I have a question after watching the first episode of S5 – does True Blood have writers?

    I must report that TB does have writers, a couple of whom have been long-time collaborators of AB, but the best writer of the bunch, veteran screenwriter Nancy Oliver, left the show, and it has been downhill since then. Raelle Tucker, Alexander Woo, Mark Hudis—each has his own version of Sookie (needy, psychotic, loving)—then of course there has been Alan Ball himself (he writes “Vulgar Sookie”: every other word is Fuck, which you think would affect her tips at the roadhouse, but thus far it hasn’t).

    I’m sure if you wanted to submit a spec script, you’d get some serious consideration (no prior knowledge of the characters or plot required).

    That said, two (now departed) writers had only written a TB comic book prior to being invited to submit a spec script, then were given four of 12 eps to write, in a real Horatio Alger story that for the audience had a less than happy ending.

  44. jonsgrl
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    True blood IS great summer entertainment and defenitely not twilight… The first episode was good and Pam Is the best and can do no wrong :)

  45. Knurk
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    Hear Me Roar:
    jdp13,

    Knurk may have some idea about those Rome numbers.

    Winter Is Coming:
    Probably better to compare total viewers versus initial airing ratings when looking at Rome, since time-shifted viewing wasn’t as prevalent back then. I think Rome and Game of Thrones are about equal when you look at just the ratings, but when you take into account total viewers, the second season of Thrones trounces the second season of Rome (10.3m to 6.5m).

    Rome tanked in season 2, the premiere only gained 1.5 million viewers. Of course this is also largely due to it already being canceled when the premiere of season 2 aired so there was absolutely no buzz for the show anymore.

  46. Alex Dubrovsky
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    SillyMammo: Really?I almost gave up on it mid-season, but I decided to stick it out.Something about the pacing I’m not keen on.And imo none of the characters are likable, though the assassin is cool.I could see him in the GoT universe.

    Well, it’s a show about the Borgia family, so they aren’t supposed to be likable. However, the cast is strong and even if Cesare and his assassin friend do a lot of bad stuff, I like those characters. Those two seem to stand out the most, but the rest of cast is very good too.

  47. Varamyr Fourskins
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    Knurk:
    Rome tanked in season 2, the premiere only gained 1.5 million viewers. Of course this is also largely due to it already being canceled when the premiere of season 2 aired.

    The pacing for the second season was completely fucked as well. They needed at least two seasons to tell the Antony/Cleopatra story without rushing through it. They actually could’ve pulled off the Julius Caesar story in fewer episodes, but Antony/Cleopatra covers a fairly long period of time in comparison, and they just didn’t have enough episodes to make it work, IMO

    Disclaimer: I still loved the show, including the second season. And I have both seasons on DVD. But, I just re-watched it again recently, and that really stuck out to me. The fact that Octavian goes from 16 years old to 25 over the course of a couple episodes pretty much proves my point.

  48. SillyMammo
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    Alex Dubrovsky: Well, it’s a show about the Borgia family, so they aren’t supposed to be likable.

    But there’s a difference between being a despicable character who is likable and a character that just isn’t all that interesting (to me). Bronn, Jamie and Tywin aren’t very nice people, but they are very charismatic. I want to like the show, but something just isn’t clicking for me.

  49. Mike Chair
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    Alex Dubrovsky: Well, it’s a show about the Borgia family, so they aren’t supposed to be likable.

    Blasphemy! Pope Alexander VI was an accomplished diplomat and politician! The allegations of poisoning, adultery, slavery and … murder are hearsay! Of course, he was Pope over 500 years ago, so percipient witness are hard to come by. Nonetheless, Roderic Llançol i de Borja was integral to the preservation or the arts, and his legacy endures today. Why, without his influence we may never have seen such creativity as The Mafia and its most important contribution to entertainment, The Godfather.

  50. Alex Dubrovsky
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    SillyMammo,

    I think there are enough characters to like – aforementioned Cesare and his assassin friend, Julia Farnese, the Pope, Machiavelli. Lucrezia has her moments, Caterina Sforza was very good in her scenes (especially the “10 more sons” one).

    And then there’s Juan, who’s probably a close second to Joffrey as far as crazy worthless piece of shit spoiled brats go. Nothing to like about him, but David Oakes seems to be great at playing this type of characters. Can he be Ramsay Bolton, please?

  51. Alex Dubrovsky
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    Mike Chair,

    Blasphemy! Pope Alexander VI was an accomplished diplomat and politician! The allegations of poisoning, adultery, slavery and … murder are hearsay!

    You are probably right, since almost all that is known about them was written by their enemies. However, even if 10% of what’s written about them is true, they weren’t very nice. This is probably the same case as with Caligula.

  52. Mike Chair
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    Alex Dubrovsky: his is probably the same case as with Caligula.

    Ha Ha. Without Caligula, we may never have had … Joffrey.

  53. Brandon Stark
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    Why do people think True Blood going down the toilet would help GoT? It’s not a matter of, “Beat TB or get canceled!” GoT will be fine on it’s own as long as it manages to be one of their four mega dramas every year, and at this point, it has a firm grip on spring. GoT’s performance has no bearing on the other shows and vice versa.

  54. Pastor_of_Muppets
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    Brandon Stark,

    Actually, the success of True Blood is a positive thing for Game of Thrones. A successful show on HBO is good for every other series, all-around. It’s the success of True Blood that likely inspired HBO to take a chance on a fantasy series, and it’s the continued success of these shows that allow them to continue excellent shows like Tremè (and possibly Boardwalk Empire, if it doesn’t see a jump in ratings this season, although I suspect it will as the second season was excellent). With the failure of Luck, HBO really needs The Newsroom to come through for them, as it’s fairly obvious to me that they’re trying to expand their line-up of high quality programming.

  55. jonsgrl
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    Brandon Stark:
    Why do people think True Blood going down the toilet would help GoT? It’s not a matter of, “Beat TB or get canceled!” GoT will be fine on it’s own as long as it manages to be one of their four mega dramas every year, and at this point, it has a firm grip on spring. GoT’s performance has no bearing on the other shows and vice versa.

    I agree completely…

  56. The Kingslayer
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    I just read True Blood drew 5.2 million.

  57. DH87
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    Remember, “Wichita” and “American Gods” are at this point still in the hopper for the HBO drama line up.

  58. dizzy_34
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    DH87:
    dizzy_34,

    Dizzy,

    5.2 million, down 4% from last season’s premiere.

    Hey, each to his own: I watched Hillbilly Handfishing instead, followed by Mad Men (which ended on a series ratings high), so I had an enjoyable evening myself.

    In that case may I recommend Call of The Wildman on Animal Planet.

  59. The Kingslayer
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    True Blood has sex, vampires and hicks what more could you ask for ?

  60. DH87
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    dizzy_34: In that case may I recommend Call of The Wildman on Animal Planet.

    Thanks, but “World’s Largest Man-eating Alligator” looks mighty tempting and may win out over your very good suggestion.

  61. Abyss
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    OT:
    Found an video interview with Eugene Simon from before season two was even started, but it seams new to me. Since interviews with him are fairly rare, I figured I post it here.

    And because I am on it here is one with Finn Jones (SPOILERS for future books):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02bqbIsfFpo&feature=related
    and one with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2q6gK62sHTQ&feature=related

  62. Abyss
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Permalink


    !!! WARNING!!!
    I just realised that the interview with Finn Jones has a big spoiler in it! Sorry, didn’t watched until the very end. If you haven’t read the books, don’t watch it!
    !!! WARNING!!!

  63. Knackerednun
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    I used to really enjoy True Blood, but it has strayed so far from the books (talk about deviations!) that I am no longer too excited about the series, the characters have become annoying and some of the writing is just plain bad-
    That being said, I will watch TB to be amused here and there, but honestly…GoT’s quality has ruined TB for me! :) Not trying to critize, I’m just saying-
    I think TB’s ratings will dip a bit this season

  64. Entropy
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    If HBO can somehow substantially slow the bootleg copies of GOT next year, I wonder if those people will be hooked enough to buy HBO? It was the most bootlegged show wasn’t it? I don’t know how many people watched illegally or if HBO can even stop it. Just a thought.

  65. Ed
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    No, no – that’s not a concern, remember? Cause all the people that illegally download it don’t have HBO in their country, so they can’t see it.

    Right….

    Entropy:
    If HBO can somehow substantially slow the bootleg copies of GOT next year, I wonder if those people will be hooked enough to buy HBO?It was the most bootlegged show wasn’t it?I don’t know how many people watched illegally or if HBO can even stop it.Just a thought.

  66. SugarVampire
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    The most important measurement for HBO is the cultural buzz GoT generated. In this brutal showbiz environment and the emphasis on foreign markets, HBO is once again placed among the must-haves in people’s minds.

    Word of cautions – even though I have converted several of my friends/colleagues into fans of GoT by lending them the Season One blu-ray, all of them (non readers) were slightly disappointed by season 2’s final for various reasons. Unfortunately, I will not purchase Blu-ray season 2 and will join the cord-cutting masses by cancelling cable and HBO. Given my limited resources, it is hard for me to justify the sacrifice that has to make with the direction GoT is going.

    D&D deserves a lot of accolades by bring GoT to HBO. Now that they have more security and time to fully explore the story, wish them the best.

  67. Joshua Taylor
    Posted June 11, 2012 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

    SugarVampire,

    Wow. Harsh. Sorry you feel that way. :-(

    I was disappointed with aspects of season 2, but never in that degree. I wonder how many disappointed fans there are going to be and will it effect the video sales?

    With fans like you abandoning the show and Westeros.org burning all bridges with the television series, I fear the fallout from season 2 is going to be much worse than we anticipated. And the worst thing is with these viewers D & D have no second chance to make right what many feel went wrong. :-(

  68. Mike
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    SugarVampire,

    Interesting, nearly all my my friends (both book and non-book reader alike) really enjoyed season 2 and plan on buying it on DVD/Blu-ray next year…

  69. Lex
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 12:02 am | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor:
    SugarVampire, I fear the fallout from season 2 is going to be much worse than we anticipated.

    I don’t think so. I loved Season 2, most of my friends loved it, word of mouth is still spreading, and ratings are still climbing. I’m not worried about any “fallout”.

  70. Knackerednun
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 12:11 am | Permalink

    SugarVampire,

    Sheesh! That is too bad! :(
    I too have “recruited” many of my friends to GoT-their experience has been a completely different one……season 2 was a great ride, that kept them wanting more.
    I freakin love this show, deviations from the books or no deviations.
    I will keep paying way too much for cable, and I will like it!

  71. Meg
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 12:12 am | Permalink

    Anyone know if that Trent Reznor project for HBO is still going to happen?

    I’ve been waiting for HBO to tackle sci-fi…guess this is as close as I’ll get.

  72. Mike
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 12:17 am | Permalink

    5.8 million for Season 3 premiere. Calling it now.

  73. Knackerednun
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    Mike,

    Agreed!

  74. DH87
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 12:26 am | Permalink

    Meg: Anyone know if that Trent Reznor project for HBO is still going to happen?

    That Year Zero project? I haven’t heard anything about it, Meg, in about a year. It’s a mini-series, not a continuing drama, so it would be on a completely different scheduling arc from the tentpoles if it’s still moving forward. Haven’t seen any info on casting or anything else, but it’s a co-sponsored BBC project so perhaps it’s being created there and HBO is just throwing money in the pot.

  75. DH87
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 12:29 am | Permalink

    Mike: 5.8 million for Season 3 premiere. Calling it now.

    Mike, I think a re-check on the dosages of your hay fever medication might be in order: just a suggestion. :) HBO would have to add 5 million subscribers between now and February, so that second quarter U.S. jobs report had better be a humdinger.

  76. SugarVampire
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 12:53 am | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,

    Have no worry. See my response on the other thread. GoT’s continuity is assured. At this point, video sales and ratings of GoT are really secondary to HBO (piracy abound). Unless someone else captures the buzz all around the world, have no worry.

    My decision has more to do with my own situation. Many GoT and D&D supporters here didn’t have cable, HBO or purchase season 1. My decision won’t make any difference. Lots of people have yet to see GoT, so please keep spread the words around as I will continue to do so. One thing I do tell my friends/colleagues is to NOT to read the books before they see GoT as they are quite a bit different. They are all independent minded people and they will judge the work on their merits. GoT is a good show, among the best in TV right now. Hopefully, with more time, it will be a great show in season 3 and 4.

  77. Joshua Taylor
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 1:24 am | Permalink

    SugarVampire,

    Oh okay. Good to hear! :-) I just got another friend hooked after i lent him the first season. The first text from him was pretty much to the effect that Game of Thrones is awesome. And then his reactions to Ned’s death and many texts of “I hate Joffrey”.

    I think the show owes Jack Gleeson big time. I know people who watch the series just hoping that he will die. He not Sean Bean is what made the series what it is.

  78. Yeekim
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 2:19 am | Permalink

    Ed,

    One of my cable channels shows GoT. I still downloaded it.
    What, you expected me to wait through the two week gap between the premiere and their schedule?

  79. Hear Me Roar
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 2:33 am | Permalink

    Alex Dubrovsky,

    I watch it, but very slowly, I’m a few episodes behind. I think it’s picking up, better season than the first (however Irons, who singlehandedly kept the first season from being crap, disappointed me in the first half of S2). Final verdict after I see the entire season. Agreed on the pacing, slightly stuttery.

  80. Hear Me Roar
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 2:43 am | Permalink

    Varamyr Fourskins,

    Yeah, definitely rushed. But that was due to cancellation, once they learned that was to be their last season, the writers folded what they had originally planned for S2 and S3 into one season.

  81. SugarVampire
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 3:11 am | Permalink

    Sean Bean is the one to open many doors. Ned Stark’s death and birth of the dragons are the reasons why people are both shocked and reassured in GoT. It’s always good to have a great villain. Gleeson’s performance is truely amazing. The writers have done a great job in that.

    Contrary, imho, even though Maisie has been great in season 1, I am starting to worry about her based on the off season interviews and season 2. She seemed to be greatly affected by the praises she got and was too eager to grab the spotlight in the Q&As in TitanCon: http://winteriscoming.net/2011/09/titancon-the-panel-before-the-panel/

    Although Arya’s scene with Tywin was initially great, by the time it got to the littlefinger visit, it had become a cliche of forced suspension of will he/won’t he blow her cover. A major part of the reasons why Arya is a fan favorite is because she has suffered so much yet has the nerve of steel to control her own destiny through killing the northmen guard and escape. Unfortunately, D&D have greatly lessened Arya’s suffering and took the easy route of avoiding the controversy of having Arya be more cold blooded. ( Granted it is not an easy call for D&D in the whole Harrenhal plotlines for various reasons unlike the one with Jon and Qhorin)

    Maisie is now left with the unevitable position of portraying a smartass kid way over her head and an entitled brat. The slightly redeeming and sympathetic performance happened when Arya said she had to find her sister.

    When Sophie (Sansa) became as much or more sympathetic and praise worthy at the end of season 2 than Maisie (Arya), something is definitely wrong.

    Just my 2 cents.

  82. Eleanor
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 3:18 am | Permalink

    I love your optimism. :)

    Edited to say to SugarVampire – there is nothing wrong with Sansa being more praiseworthy at any particular juncture than Arya!

  83. HouseLark
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 4:06 am | Permalink

    Ratings seem to be strong but I don’t see them growing too much. To hit 5m would be great but my hunch is that we’re about at the peak. On the other hand, there should be a bigger buzz around season three. ASOS it’s a much more eventful book, even just the first half, than ACOK so that might hook push GoT towards that 5m mark.

    @SugarVampire

    Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner have arguably given the strongest performances in season two. Arya’s story has changed but Maisie dealt admirably with what she was given. Everyone highlights her scenes with Tywin but the scenes with Yoren and Jaqen were equally good, I loved the scene where she gives Jaqen his own name and adopts his diction. Sophie Turner has been great but in both season one and two her best performances have been in GRRM-scripted episodes. I think the other writers have trouble with Sansa but GRRM knows her worth in the story.

  84. Udi
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 4:34 am | Permalink

    Mrs. H’ghar,

    You have already filled in your death quota Mrs. H’ghar. A woman wants more names?!
    Valar Morghulis!

  85. Ross
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 5:13 am | Permalink

    I get why people look at the ratings as it’s obviously a major indicator of approval of future seasons, but I wouldn’t get too hung up on it – and certainly not the week-to-week figures. The fact that seasons 2 and 3 were both green-lit at the very start of the run of seasons 1 and 2 shows that HBO don’t hold a huge amount of stock by this.

    The biggest factor to monitor / worry about is quality. My concern is after season 4 when we’ll move onto books 4 and 5. At this point the quality of the plotting / story (but not the writing itself if that makes sense) diminishes significantly in my opinion. And this is a big deal for the television programme as it obviously relies so heavily on the fundamental plots of the books. I enjoyed books 4 and 5 but too many existing characters and plotlines stagnate or go in random and quite unsatisfying directions, and the new characters / plots that are brought in are generally quite dull. I just can’t see books 4 / 5 making good television without HUGE deviations.

    So my prediction is that we will see season 5 due to the quality of season 4, but season 5 will be the last.

  86. wyvernwood
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    UK figures available for S2 up to E9 – they show an overall decline in total viewing from S1E1 with occassional peaks.

    Chart Showing UK Viewing S1 + S2

    It still out performs True Blood (average S4 viewing approx 520k) and Boardwalk Empire (S1+S2).

    Still, a bit disheartening that the trend is one of declining total views. I suppose that has to be seen in the context of greater numbers waiting for boxed sets on DVD – although other series do seem to maintain more constant viewing.

  87. The Red Avenger
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    The dip in the Blackwater episode ratings means nothing. Does anybody actually believe that less people watched that episode. They more than likely recorded it and watched it later in the week. It’s not a show you can jump in and out of. Ratings and viewing totals are outdated. They are meaningless as it is almost impossible to calculate due to the number of different ways a show can be watched. TV live, recorderd, iTunes, tablet, smartphone, PC, stacked up to watch at your own leisure. Waiting for it to come out on DVD or BluRay. It is impossible to calculate. It’s time they came up with a new system that incorporates trends, interest etc… Otherwise we will end up with TV that consists entirely of Talent shows and reality TV

  88. The Red Avenger
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    Wyvernwood, Thrones is on Sky Atlantic and only available with Sky equipment and we have the rather wonderful Sky Plus and Sky Anytime as well as Sky Anytime Plus which means you can watch it anytime you like. There are also about 4 repeats a week, so if the ratings are based on the 9 o’ Clock Monday showing then that is only a fraction of viewers. I assure you a lot of people are watching this show at their own leisure. Plus it’s very easy to record the show on Sky and fast-forward through the adverts. Or wait until the next day when Anytime has it on without any adverts. Once again, live viewers are a fraction of the viewers. For example. On our own Skybox we have backed up, 5 Episodes of Touch, 8 of Bones, 7 of Awake, 7 of Justified. We will watch them all. Why are they backed up. Well we just don’t have time to watch everything the week it’s broadcast as we also watch Dexter, The Killing, Thrones, Revenge, Hawaii 5 0, Fringe , but with three of those now finished and another coming to the end of the series we now have time to catch up on the others. Nearly everybody who has a Skybox watches TV this way. So ratings are absolutely meaningless in the UK as they impossible to calculate. Whilst you can tailor your own Sky Package, everybody has Sky Atlantic which shows Thrones as it comes with the very basic package. People are watching the show in the UK, just not at the same time.

  89. SugarVampire
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    Eleanor,

    Sansa is a hard figure to like up till late book 3. Arya, though, is given every opportunity to shine. Sansa’s role is tough for an actress initially but it gets better later on. Arya’s role is easier in the beginning. However, to truely capture Arya’s full dimension as described in the later books is going to be a challenge.

  90. wyvernwood
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    The Red Avenger,

    Yup – all true, and all taken into account in BARB’s totals – they include delayed views in their figures which are released initially 7 days after the end of the week (and so include views on multiple platforms and those that have been delay viewed within that week). The figures are then updated again a number of weeks later to mop up any views that were delayed beyond those 7 days.

    They are not 100% accurate of course as they work on samples – not a direct measurement of actual viewing. What they do provide however is a more reliable comparison of trends across a series / show etc. as there is a stable approach to data gathering and compliation across all the shows broadcast within the UK. BARB is the ‘Broadcasters Audience Research Board’ – and it the UK’s main organisation for compiling such data.

    I personally would doubt that their totals are totally accurate for eg. but I would accept the trends and comparisons that they indicate.

  91. Vanderhook
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    SugarVampire,

    Did you read the Bryan Cogman interview posted a few days ago? He’s come out and said that Arya’s cold-bloodedness is being drawn out. They wanted to make her transition from wild child to straight up killer more gradual, thats why they didn’t have her kill the guards in the escpae from Harrenhal. Don’t worry, Arya will totally have her cold blooded moments. In Cogman we trust.

  92. The Red Avenger
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    7 days grace isn’t much, like I said people stack up shows. Especially ones that have continuing storylines where people will watch them at their leisure. Our viewing habits have changed. I still don’t think this recognised properly.

  93. sjwenings
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    SugarVampire: Unfortunately, D&D have greatly lessened Arya’s suffering and took the easy route of avoiding the controversy of having Arya be more cold blooded.

    Cogman specifically mentioned Arya as a character (amongst others) that they felt developed a bit too quick in the novels. They want to stretch it out over the seasons, so I think we can expect more of a growth/decline later on.

  94. wyvernwood
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    The Red Avenger:
    7 days grace isn’t much, like I said people stack up shows. Especially ones that have continuing storylines where people will watch them at their leisure. Our viewing habits have changed. I still don’t think this recognised properly.

    The initial figures are based on the a period of 7 days after broadcast (and that runs from a given screening, so the later Saturday repeat is totalled in the 7 days after that day, not the 7 days from initial broadcast).

    As stated, figures are then updated a number of weeks later to include viewings delayed beyond that date.

    Because it is sample based with registered households – it can also include viewings on different platforms (ie via Sky-online, BBC iplayer, On-demand etc.) and perhaps better reflects actual viewing than one may think.

    of course it is still reliant on the size and make up of the sample, and upscaling those results is prone to margins of error – but, for comparative purposes it works well enough – cetainly well enough for the industry to use these results as the UK standards.

  95. Dr. Kenny Noisewater
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Season 1 had the King in The North, Ned Stark’s death and the birth of the dragons. Season 2 seems like it had less at the end because it did. It is this way because A Clash of Kings had less at the end.

    Figure it out people.

  96. gfp
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    This is great, except for the Blackwater episode!! I think that was the best episode of the season. Some networks air a re-run during holiday weekends. Next year, if we have a similar schedule and go into Memorial Day, HBO should do the same. By not doing that, we will never know how well that episode could have done. I think it (Blackwater) had a lot to do with the big numbers for the season finale.

  97. Arthur
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    You know…

    You can’t even compare TB and GoT.

    TB is a tongue and cheek fun , entertaining sitcom. Cheap to film and yields high return. It is a cash cow for HBO and I wish it the best because without TB we probably couldnt get GoT.

    GoT is an epic saga with groundbreaking visuals and very complex plot/storyline and character development with an unconventional flow. But it is also probably very expensive for HBO to fund and because of that the return isn’t as high. Don’t get me wrong, GoT holds its own with DVD sales and ratings but I don’t think it will ever be the cash cow HBO can just milk like TB is. That is fine because no other cable channel is doing anything like GoT. I think HBO likes the fact they are bringing us an epic TV series that is pretty much big hollywood movie quality every episode. It really makes HBO stand head and shoulders above all the other cable channels and the HBO executives know it.

    So GoT will be here to stay for a long time folks…

  98. Jared
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Mrs. H’ghar:
    An afterthought…how many named characters have met their demise in each season? Has anybody counted that? Would give those who are curious an idea of the large number in the cast and why some deaths are moved around as a casting decision? Anybody?

    At first glance, here’s a list of characters that were explicitly named in the show who were subsequently killed off. There’s a very good chance that this list is incomplete, so please add to it as necessary. The list is also a little misleading, because some of these characters only appeared in the episode that they died in, and therefore can’t really be considered ‘recurring’, but I’ve done my best to note that. Nevertheless, it gives an idea of about how much turnover there is per season.

    Season 1

    Waymar Royce*, Gared*, Will*, Mycah*, Ser Hugh of the Vale*, Jory Cassel, Vardis Egen, Viserys Targaryean^, Robert Baratheon^, Septa Mordane, Mago*, Qotho, Eddard Stark^, Khal Drogo^, Mirri Maz Duur
    Possibles/Offscreen: Benjen Stark, Syrio Forel

    Season 2:

    Maester Cressen*, Barra, Rakharo, Yoren, Lommy Greenhands, Renly Baratheon, The Tickler, Rodrik Cassel, Amory Lorch, Irri, Alton Lannister, Torrhen Karstark*, The Spice King, Matthos Seaworth, Mandon Moore, Qhorin Halfhand, Maester Luwin, Pyat Pree, Doreah, Xaro Xhoan Daxos

    * = Appeared in only one episode
    ^ = Main Cast

  99. Prankster
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    I’d really like to see more focus on the overall viewers, since as even this article admits those are more important than first-viewing numbers.

  100. Shinyteapot
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Mrs. H’ghar,

    Based on the WiC cast lists (imagine the cast pages with lots of red lines through pictures!):

    S1- Eddard Stark, Jory Cassel, Septa Mordane, Robert Baratheon, Hugh of the Vale, Jon Arryn, Vardis Egen, Viserys Targaryen, Khal Drogo, Qotho, Wine merchant assassin, Mirri Maz Duur, Waymar Royce, Gared, Will, Catspaw assassin, Stiv, Mycah, Stableboy=19

    Plus- Old Nan (I read that D&D decided she died offscreen, rather than recast her- and who could match Margaret John?) and Mago, who really deserves to be on the cast list for that impressive death! Possibly Syrio Forel (I’m of the opinion he died- since Trant survived- but YMMV).

    So total 21 or 22

    S2- Alton Lannister, Rennick, Lannister guard, Rodrick Cassel, Maester Luwin, Maester Cressen, Matthos Seaworth (pretty sure he died?), Renly Baratheon, Lommy Greenhands, Yoren, The Tickler, Amory Lorch, Qhorin Halfhand, Doreah (don’t see her escaping), Irri, Rakharo, Xaro Xhoan Daxos (likewise), Pyat Pree, Spice King= 19

    Plus- Torrhen Karstark, Mandon Moore, Harker, Stonesnake and Bauber (3 rangers in Qhorin’s group), baby Barra (Mhaegen’s child). It’s unclear whether or not Davos Seaworth and Daisy (unfortunate victim of Ros at Joffrey’s command) survived.

    So 25 to 27

  101. More Rice Cooks
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    SugarVampire,

    None of that is Maise’s fault though. She was given boring and often repetitive material by the writers. I and many people thought S2 would truly be her coming out party, given how strong Arya’s arc is in the novel. Instead we got something entirely different, and outside of her conversations with good ole’ uncle Tywin she didn’t do much of anything. Overall it was the most disappointing aspect of the season for me

  102. SugarVampire
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Vanderhook,

    Actually, I did read the interview. Following the books’ timeline, Arya didn’t get to kill someone till Crossroad Inn, and cold bloodedly till AFfC. That’s season 4 and 5 when Maisie will be 17-18. The story could change and will change. It is just that it will greatly reduce the impact of her actions for the audience when an adult/teenager is doing the killing instead of a child/teenager.

    I hope the writers will keep in fact or in spirit the parts in ASoS that showcases the innocence/naivete of Arya even though the passages could be a bit tedious/less exciting. That will challenge/enhance the range of Maisie’s performance. With that, hopefully, she will avoid the fate of being typecasted as a tomboy/smartass like Christina Ricci who took years to semi-successfully shred the preception.

  103. SugarVampire
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    More Rice Cooks,

    In defense of D&D, I think they were exhausted from fighting the battle for time (no. of episodes, length of each episode) and money. They are too concerned to make the show viable for season 3 that they sacrificed a lot in season 2’s planning. When the buzz became so overwelming and when Broadwalk Empire and Luck failed so badly (There aren’t much interest for those shows), it was too late to change course.

    Given that they made the decision to pare down the casts in Harrenhal, something had to fill the gap. Unfortunately, the writers/directors (Vanessa Taylor/David Nutter & David Petrarca) fell too much in love with Maisie and Charles Dance, and wanted too much to create artificial drama, they resorted to soap opera like plots that ultimately undermined the characters (Arya/Jaqen/Tywin/littlefinger) and the show.

    It was like the hunting party scene in season 1. They were too concerned with finishing that scene with individual performances that they couldn’t step back and looked at the bigger picture and realized how ridiculous it was to the viewers.

  104. Eleanor
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    SugarVampire: Sansa is a hard figure to like up till late book 3.

    What?

    Hard to like when she says “Or he’ll give me yoursHard to like when she maintains her sense of self amongst the horror of KL yet plays her role sufficiently to survive? Hard to like when she saves Dontos? Hard to like during Blackwater? Hard to like when she quietly exults in freedom from Joffrey then is brought down to earth? Hard to like talking with the Tyrells, dreaming of marrying a cripple and thinking to herself, “he’ll marry me for my claim, but perhaps he could come to love me for myself”, her illusions about reasons for marriage gone but a hope that there’s some niceness in the world remaining? Hard to like when she remembers her Septa’s words and tries desperately to find a certain someone’s beauty?

  105. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Udi:
    Mrs. H’ghar,

    You have already filled in your death quota Mrs. H’ghar. A woman wants more names?!
    Valar Morghulis!

    Haha…a woman always wants more! For this woman, more is more.

  106. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Jared: At first glance, here’s a list of characters that were explicitly named in the show who were subsequently killed off.There’s a very good chance that this list is incomplete, so please add to it as necessary. The list is also a little misleading, because some of these characters only appeared in the episode that they died in, and therefore can’t really be considered ‘recurring’, but I’ve done my best to note that. Nevertheless, it gives an idea of about how much turnover there is per season.

    Season 1

    Waymar Royce*, Gared*, Will*, Mycah*, Ser Hugh of the Vale*, Jory Cassel, Vardis Egen, Viserys Targaryean^, Robert Baratheon^, Septa Mordane, Mago*, Qotho, Eddard Stark^, Khal Drogo^, Mirri Maz Duur
    Possibles/Offscreen: Benjen Stark, Syrio Forel

    Season 2:

    Maester Cressen*, Barra,Rakharo, Yoren, Lommy Greenhands, Renly Baratheon, The Tickler, Rodrik Cassel, Amory Lorch,Irri, Alton Lannister, Torrhen Karstark*, The Spice King, Matthos Seaworth, Mandon Moore, Qhorin Halfhand, Maester Luwin, Pyat Pree, Doreah, Xaro Xhoan Daxos

    * = Appeared in only one episode
    ^ = Main Cast

    Well done, a woman thanks you! This just shows how the story naturally makes room for new characters as it progresses. Some have mentioned that the cast is huge…which it still is! But it appears to have a natural leveling mechanism…war and treachery.

  107. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Shinyteapot:
    Mrs. H’ghar,

    Based on the WiC cast lists (imagine the cast pages with lots of red lines through pictures!):

    S1- Eddard Stark, Jory Cassel, Septa Mordane, Robert Baratheon, Hugh of the Vale, Jon Arryn, Vardis Egen, Viserys Targaryen, Khal Drogo, Qotho, Wine merchant assassin, Mirri Maz Duur, Waymar Royce, Gared, Will, Catspaw assassin, Stiv, Mycah, Stableboy=19

    Plus- Old Nan (I read that D&D decided she died offscreen, rather than recast her- and who could match Margaret John?) and Mago, who really deserves to be on the cast list for that impressive death!Possibly Syrio Forel (I’m of the opinion he died- since Trant survived- but YMMV).

    So total 21 or 22

    S2- Alton Lannister, Rennick, Lannister guard, Rodrick Cassel, Maester Luwin, Maester Cressen, Matthos Seaworth (pretty sure he died?), Renly Baratheon, Lommy Greenhands, Yoren, The Tickler, Amory Lorch, Qhorin Halfhand, Doreah (don’t see her escaping), Irri, Rakharo, Xaro Xhoan Daxos (likewise), Pyat Pree, Spice King= 19

    Plus- Torrhen Karstark, Mandon Moore, Harker, Stonesnake and Bauber (3 rangers in Qhorin’s group), baby Barra (Mhaegen’s child).It’s unclear whether or not Davos Seaworth and Daisy (unfortunate victim of Ros at Joffrey’s command) survived.

    So 25 to 27

    A woman thanks you for your reply! You and Jared show us with these lists that the cast is always in flux, and that even when it seems nothing is happening, something is always in the works. Next to straight up war shows like Band of Brothers and such, this is probably the most lethal show on tv right now by these numbers. The casting deartment must always be thinking a few steps ahead…kudos to Nina Gold et al! OT…Jaqen and I used to call Boardwalk Empire the “kill Jimmy show.” Lolz. We despised that guy. You can imagine what we call GoT…how long will we have to wait for that dream to come true???

  108. Theon Rules!
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    I really liked the Arya/Tywin storyline. In fact, I thought it was one of the bright spots of the season. Of course, I am not a book reader, so I don’t have a case of the whine-about-changes.

    From where I stand, the only plot that topped it was the Winterfell plot. Besides Blackwater (which I would consider an exception, simply because of what it was: a battle. It’s meant to be epic. Obviously it was the best episode of the season.), I think “The Old Gods and the New” was the season’s best hour. Theon taking Winterfell was perfectly done, and the Ser Rodrik beheading may have been one of the most perfectly executed scenes of the entire series.

    The Qarth storyline was pretty dry, Robb really did nothing of note in the North, and even King’s Landing didn’t do as much for me as the Winterfell/Arya plots.

  109. Eleanor
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Theon Rules!:

    The Qarth storyline was pretty dry, Robb really did nothing of note in the North

    Would it shock you to learn that neither Dany nor Robb did much in the second book?

  110. Theon Rules!
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    Eleanor: Would it shock you to learn that neither Dany nor Robb did much in the second book?

    Not at all. I talked to a friend about whether or not the creators of the show were doing a worse job with season 2, or if it was just the material they had to work with, and he said he though GoT was bettet than ACoK. I didn’t think the season was terrible. It’s still better than 90 % of other television in my opinion. It just felt slow, but rushed at the same time. Some episodes it felt like there was nothing going on, whereas in others, it felt like 1 hour wasn’t enough.

  111. Eleanor
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    Theon Rules!: Not at all. I talked to a friend about whether or not the creators of the show were doing a worse job with season 2, or if it was just the material they had to work with, and he said he though GoT was bettet than ACoK. I didn’t think the season was terrible. It’s still better than 90 % of other television in my opinion. It just felt slow, but rushed at the same time. Some episodes it felt like there was nothing going on, whereas in others, it felt like 1 hour wasn’t enough.

    CoK is a pretty good book, but it’s marked by some important characters not having much to do. For perfectly understandable reasons, the creators of GoT thought it would be a bad idea to sideline some popular characters, so they either stretched out a slim storyline over several episodes (Jon) or practically made one up (Dany, Robb.)

  112. SugarVampire
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    Eleanor,

    Well, Sansa’s situation in King’s Landing was quite bad. However, in the books, her naivete led her to be used/betrayed by almost everyone again and again: Cercei, QofT, Dantos, littlefinger. She didn’t seem to be able to distinguish someone with good intentions from those who are bad. That caused a lot of reader frustrations.

    GoT painted her with a much better light with much simplified plotlights.

  113. SugarVampire
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    Eleanor,

    The essence of Dany’s storyline in ACoK were about her helplessness of her initial situation and the prophecies she got from HotU. In the book, even though she had to beg for help from others, unlike Viserys, she never lost heart and her kindless. She was not a foolish, entitled brat.

    HotU was used to foretell and link the various characters/storylines together into a bigger theme that none of the principles have yet awared of.

    There can be valid reasons to change/drop ACoK’s story arcs of Dany. However, imho, GoT’s portray of Dany was neither substantial or well done. Realistically, she didn’t have that much more screen time or things to do in season 2 compared to ACoK other than whining or bitching. The plot holes and flaws that introduced (the small numbers of Qarth reception parties, only one warlock/undying in HotU, the lack of guards for King of Qarth and so on) rivaled the glaring flaws in season 1 (no guards in the hunting party, lack of scale in the major tournament, people revealed secrets in inappropriate places and times).

  114. Knurk
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Prankster:
    I’d really like to see more focus on the overall viewers, since as even this article admits those are more important than first-viewing numbers.

    Yes, the only ratings that really matter are the cumulative ones. But there’s no fun in those ratings because we simply can’t compare them, we get a number once every 3/4 weeks or so and we simply don’t know for which episodes it counts. There is no trend in those numbers.

    Let’s assume we get a number of 10.5 million total viewers. Everyone will say: hurrah, 10.5 million! And I agree very much with that. But what if the first 5 episodes averaged 11 million, and the last 5 averaged 10 million. That would have been a trend I wanted to be informed about. So my guess (or hope?) is the initial viewership does give us an indication of how many people watch the show eventually, unless there are big factors like major sport events or holidays. Last year the ratings kept climbing and the total viewership kept climbing (even after the season ended it gained almost 500.000). This year it seems we have a steady group of viewers so it’ll probably stay at 10.3 million.

    One other factor is the buzz the initial ratings create. Just look at Luck, a show with zero buzz, it was not a must-see show. The initial ratings were around 500.000 yet the total viewers were somewhere around 4 million. People liked to watch that show but it was hardly watercoolerstuff, you just catch it later. True Blood and Game of Thrones however have a very front-loaded viewership, kind of like blockbuster movies where the first weekend accounts for 30-40% of total gross.

  115. JC
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    I doubt we’ll see an uptick for the beginning of next season. I think we could start at the peak of this season (the final episode) but the reactions this season have been a lot more divisive than last season and I think we may gain some viewers but we’ll lose some as well (who have just decided to tune in through this season’s end and then stop). Sure, I know it’s still doing pretty well critically, but I know anecdotally, a lot of the people that I know who got turned onto the show in the first season (even people I didn’t expect to love it), have felt less satisfied this year.

    I’ve had issues myself – on an individual episode by episode basis, this season was pretty good, but as a whole, it pales significantly compared to the last as far as movement on story, with only Theon and King’s Landing stories approaching any kind of overall arc. That’s a problem in book 2 itself though so I’m thinking we’ll get some of those people returning eventually throughout the next two seasons, provided they are done well.

  116. Eleanor
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    SugarVampire,

    I agree with you about Dany.

    Regarding Sansa, what is there to dislike about the fact that she is in an unenviable position? You said that she is used by others – she’s aware of that. Indeed, one of the examples I gave was about an offer the QoT gave her, where she’s fully aware of the reason behind the offer. If you mean the time the QoT straightened her hair, I fail to see a reason why one might either like or dislike Sansa for that.

  117. The Red Avenger
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    As I pointed out Thrones is only available on the Sky Platform as that is the only platform that has Sky Atlantic. Sky One and Sky Living can be got on other platforms such as Virgin (which uses TiVo now) and BT’s own platform but Atlantic is only available if you have Sky. So even if people who have those platforms want to watch it they can’t. So basically you have people who either get it recorded for them, go around and watch it at friends houses or wait unto it comes onto freeview which could be a few years or never. As the percentage of the population who actually have sky is not that big (11 million) and then you must take into consideration that not everybody has Sky for those channels, there are a plethora of movie and sport channels, documentary, art channels, if they took a sample of those that actually watched then it would actually be so small as to be insignificant. However you may be interested that according to BARB last years Top 10 watched shows on Atlantic (without repeats) had Thrones filling 9 of those 10. Only the pilot of The Borgia’s punctuating that perfect run at number 2. Atlantic this year has also had Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire (True Blood is on FX) but BE never came close last year. I very much doubt Thrones will be topped this year either but Mad Men will Coe close but as pointed out in my earlier post it can’t be calculated accurately de to recording and stacking. If I was to make an educated guess then I would take the BARB results and triple them. But it would just be a guess.

  118. Pastor_of_Muppets
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    JC,

    Gonna’ hold on to this one for when the third season premieres. I’m betting the numbers will be another series high.

  119. Vanderhook
    Posted June 13, 2012 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    SugarVampire: Vanderhook, Actually, I did read the interview. Following the books’ timeline, Arya didn’t get to kill someone till Crossroad Inn, and cold bloodedly till AFfC. That’s season 4 and 5 when Maisie will be 17-18.

    No, she has killed well before that, multiple times. In Game of Thrones she kills a boy as she is escaping the Tower of the Hand, (which made it into the show) and she also killed a guard while escaping Harrenhal. You’re right in the sense that she doesn’t kill in cold blood until AFFC

  120. oracle86
    Posted June 13, 2012 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Does anyone know what was Boardwalk Empire Season 2’s average gross viewers for Season 2? This graphic shows that Season 1 had 10.7 million viewers.
    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/sites/default/files/2011/06/hbo_series_graph_2011_a_l.jpg
    So, if Game of Thrones is now the #3 show with 10.3 million, I would like to know how far has Boardwalk Empire fallen.

  121. Winter Is Coming
    Posted June 13, 2012 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    oracle86,

    It dropped to 8.4 million at last report.

  122. JC
    Posted June 13, 2012 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Pastor_of_Muppets,

    I would love to be proven wrong; I’m just going with what I’ve been seeing around me – as I said, this is all based on anecdotal rumblings and purely speculation. I should note that last season I was firmly on the uptick side (though not the sky-high numbers people were unrealistically posting) and I came down pretty close to the numbers we got (with some over-estimation actually).

    Also, your prediction of a “series high” is not really all that far off from mine. I said I think we have a good shot in the first ep of Season 3 at hitting the peak of this season – the finale – which was a series high already. If it’s a 0.1 or 0.2 over that, it’d still be damn close to what I predict AND still be a series high.

    I know some people who love this season more than last but I know a lot more that have been dissatisfied. All the people that got into the show in the first season that I didn’t expect to like it are the ones who are not happy with the show this season and will probably stop watching after the finale. So my concern is mainly with the crossover audience – people who don’t normally like fantasy but got into GoT because of quality writing and acting (and the political aspect for some that I know). This season’s split focuses and weak arcs for Dany, Jon, Jaime, and Robb, have turned some of those people off who were pleasantly surprised last season. But there are some others who have liked this season more so I think it balances itself out somewhat.

  123. oracle86
    Posted June 13, 2012 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming:
    oracle86,

    It dropped to 8.4 million at last report.

    Thanks, WinterIsComing!

  124. sockslol
    Posted June 13, 2012 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    WHY IS TRUEBLOOD POPULAR

  125. oracle86
    Posted June 14, 2012 at 3:34 am | Permalink

    Guys, I used the updated figures of Game of Thrones, True Blood and Boardwalk Empire to make a new bar chart of the HBO shows with Excel. Here it is –

    http://i535.photobucket.com/albums/ee353/avni86/NewBitmapImage-2.jpg

    P.S – I’ve included only the hourly dramas in my chart.

    P.P.S – I tried searching for gross audience numbers for Big Love but couldn’t get anything more recent than the THR article, so I stuck with it. If someone can get me an update, I’ll edit my chart. :)

  126. wyvernwood
    Posted June 14, 2012 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    The Red Avenger,

    None of that realy impacts upon the value of the figures as a comparison. GoT is completely comparable in the UK to Boardwalk Empire and the last series of Mad Men, as they are all on the same channel.

    My point has really been that the number of viewers for Game of Thrones appears to have peaked in the UK, and did so during series 1. The trend since has been a decline (albeit one with peaks and troughs). I make no comment on what that means for the show (very little I suspect).

    You can speculate on the reasons, but I suspect that there are 3 main ones:
    1 Piracy
    2 DVD boxed sets
    3 viewing figures are genuinely dropping as more people turn away from the series than new viewers come to it.

    The BARB figures area scaled up and include legitimate viewing from their samples (via all available platforms) – so I doubt that the real figure is 3x theirs – more a case of a +/- margin of error that I suspect runs somewhere between 10-20% (haven’t time to look up their statistical faq atm).

  127. ieiazel
    Posted June 14, 2012 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    I’m a bit late to the party, but I’d like to comment on a particular post:

    Joshua Taylor,

    Why would the fact that the owners of Westeros dislike the series have any effect on the number of viewers? If Ran and Linda don’t like the series and don’t want to watch it any longer that’s ok, but I don’t think the rest of the members of Westeros have to follow their lead necessarily. It wouldn’t say much about them, in any case.

  128. Theon Rules!
    Posted June 14, 2012 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    oracle86: Guys, I used the updated figures of Game of Thrones, True Blood and Boardwalk Empire to make a new bar chart of the HBO shows with Excel. Here it is -http://i535.photobucket.com/albums/ee353/avni86/NewBitmapImage-2.jpgP.S – I’ve included only the hourly dramas in my chart.P.P.S – I tried searching for gross audience numbers for Big Love but couldn’t get anything more recent than the THR article, so I stuck with it. If someone can get me an update, I’ll edit my chart. :)

    On the graph up top, I was surprised Boardwalk Empire was so low, because I know a lot more people that seem to watch that than Game of Thrones. But these numbers make more sense. With Sunday Night Football and The Walking Dead on at the same time, it makes sense that the initial viewings are so low.

    If Storm of Swords is as good as everyone says it is, then I’m sure the total views next season will skyrocket. I know I watch every episode twice usually, but the ones that are/I found gripping (this season, The Old Gods and the New and Blackwater) due to either high drama or lots of action, I watch, four or five times. People have said on here SoS is an action packed book, so that means people will be more inclined to watch more than once.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the beginning of the season started off lower than the finale for initial viewers, and then by the end, it is somewhere up around 4.75 million as more people hear the hype about how good the new season is. That is, if in fact, it is that good.

  129. David Marcenaro DeBernardis
    Posted June 14, 2012 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Shinyteapot,
    You’re forgetting the rest of the Seven, that brings it past 30

  130. counsel dew
    Posted June 14, 2012 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    I do hope the author does not turn this into a ‘wheel-of-time-fiasco’ with a never-ending storyline, 13 books (& counting), … Get to an end :)

  131. Josla
    Posted June 16, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Same here. Season 1 and 2 of TB kept me very interested in the characters. I really cared about them all. At this point I don’t care about any of them at all. Just keep watching to find out how’s is gonna end… Can’t believe it has better ratings than GOT.
    Tyrion Pimpslap,

  132. Josla
    Posted June 16, 2012 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    Eleanor,

    I’ve always liked her, even during first season. Even after her mistakes for love of Joffrey. I don’t hate characters just for being innocent and unawares of the cruelties in the world, and the more I see her the more I like her and pity her.

  1. […] a helpful breakdown of just what the above numbers entail. It is something that we have discussed many times before here, but is worth a […]


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