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Game of Thrones brought its seventh season to an end with an insane (and revelatory) finale that has set the stage for a truly intense final year of action. The pace of Season 7 was incredibly fast as characters who spent six years on opposite sides of the world crossed paths for the first time, and it felt like we were getting a grand battle in every single episode. Now, the numbers are in for the Season 7 finale, called "The Dragon and the Wolf," and they prove that an awful lot of people have been on board with all the twists and turns of the seventh season.
"The Dragon and the Wolf" was watched by a whopping 12.1 million viewers during its initial run on HBO on August 27. The episode was a massive undertaking, and can almost qualify as a feature film, clocking in at nearly 80 minutes long. The 12.1 million got a big boost once the numbers from the first replay, HBO Go, and HBO Now were added. The grand total of viewers after only one day is 16.5 million people. The number marks a brand new viewership record for Game of Thrones.
The previous viewership record had been set only a couple of weeks earlier, with the episode "Eastwatch" on August 13. Deadline reports that the numbers for "The Dragon and the Wolf" are 13% higher than those tallied for "Eastwatch." Impressively, the viewership for the Season 7 finale is a whopping 36% higher than the viewership for the Season 6 finale back in June 2016. The numbers must come as good news to HBO, especially considering the mishaps this summer that lead to two episodes leaking days before their official airdates. No matter how many people did or did not download the leaked episodes, plenty of folks tuned in for the material on HBO.
While there probably weren't too many people behind the scenes who were concerned about Game of Thrones' ratings, the new record must come as a relief. Most shows--including the zombie apocalypse ratings juggernaut that is The Walking Dead--experience drops in viewership the longer they remain on the air. The fact that Game of Thrones performed better than ever in Season 7 is proof that fans are as invested in the characters as ever.
The incredible viewership for Game of Thrones has actually had a positive impact on other HBO shows as well. Both Ballers and Insecure, which aired after Game of Thrones in Season 7, scored series high viewership in their August 27 episodes. Ballers experienced a 10% boost over its previous high with 2.9 million viewers, and Insecure landed a 1% boost with 1.3 million viewers. 2.9 million and 1.3 million may seem like small change compared to the grand Game of Thrones total of 16.5 million, but it's a sign that other HBO shows do benefit from the network's current flagship series.
Unfortunately for Ballers, Insecure, and Game of Thrones fans, we're done with new episodes for 2017, and there's no premiere date set at this point for the eighth and final season, which will run for only six episodes. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest in Game of Thrones news, and don't forget to take a gander at our fall TV premiere schedule.