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.