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What is HBO going to do without Game of Thrones? What are any of us going to do? Season 8 will only air six episodes, starting April 14, and then that's it. It's been almost two full years since Season 7 aired, and HBO held off on feeding fans the official Season 8 trailer until just a couple of days ago. The anticipation paid off and led to a new viewing record for HBO.
According to HBO (via TheWrap), the Game of Thrones Season 8 official trailer was viewed 81 million times across Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube within the first 24 hours of posting. That topped the previous 24-hour record by 20 million -- that record was from the Game of Thrones Season 7 trailer in 2017, which got 61 million views in its first day.
How did the final season trailer get 20 million more views? Maybe because fans watched a dozen times each to analyze every square inch of footage for clues. Game of Thrones was probably smart to hold off sharing much of anything before this trailer, building fans into a frenzy before the final season premieres.
That said, there's so much hype for the final season that it's hard to see how the six episodes can live up to expectations. That's kind of what the stars have been trying to say when they keep repeating that not everyone will be satisfied by the finale. The showrunners echoed that in EW's recent cover story, saying they know the final season won't be met with universal popularity. However, they are aiming for a reaction on the level of Breaking Bad's finale, meaning they want fans to debate it as an A or A+ final season.
That's a high bar, but if any show can live up to it, it's Game of Thrones.
The Game of Thrones trailer left fans with many questions, which will inevitably lead to millions of more views in the next month. But we only have one month left to go before we get all the answers we will ever get. Still rooting for CleganeBowl, and a cool Night King reveal, and this Iron Throne theory, among other Season 8 dreams. Also, I'm into all of the Cersei smirking in the Season 8 trailer, and hope she stays in King's Landing and just drinks her way through the epic Battle of Winterfell.
Game of Thrones Season 8, the final season, premieres Sunday, April 14 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO as one of the many shows airing in midseason 2019. Do you want to start speculating now about finale ratings? Season 8, Episode 6 will almost certainly beat the previous record set by -- of course -- the Season 7 finale. Some shows lose steam over time, but Game of Thrones has only added viewers. HBO is going to miss Westeros even more than The Rest Of Us. But valar morghulis...