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It may feel like Game of Thrones has always been as pervasive as it is today, but the A Song of Ice and Fire adaptation has taken over six years to grow its viewership slowly but surely in the US alone.
According HBO, 12.1-million Americans watched the latest season finale live, and an extra 4.4-million tuned in to streaming services like HBO Go. The company has said that each episode was averaging around 30-million viewers across platforms.
This number pushes the show past ABC’s The Walking Dead, which saw only 11.3-million tune in to its latest season finale.
These numbers reflect only a small fraction of those who watch the show live every week, though — the latest season was simultaneously broadcast in 186 countries including South Africa. Even more countries had the show available the following day.
Game of Thrones has steadily been building up its numbers, with the latest viewership stats making for interesting reading
And then, of course, there’s the issue of piracy. According to Business Insider, the season seven premiere was pirated a staggering 90-million times in the three days after it aired, and it’s safe to assume the finale will gather even more illegal attention.
Game of Thrones, of course, didn’t acquire these numbers overnight.
Back in 2011, the season one finale just barely cracked 3-million live US viewers. That number jumped to 4.2-million in season two, 5.3-million in season three, 8.8-million in season six, and is now up 36% and sitting on a massive 12.1-million for season seven.
The eighth and final season of the show is tentatively set to premiere in 2019, with a total of only six episodes — and it should be interesting to see if the time away slows its growth or if absence really does make the heart grow fonder.