‘Game of Thrones’ Season 7 Finale Sets Record for Most-Watched Episode
“Game of Thrones” continues to outdo itself. The season 7 finale has set a new record as the most-watched episode ever, bringing in 12.1 million viewers during its Sunday, August 27, 9 P.M. airing. It’s up 13% from the previous record high held by “The Spoils of War”, which logged in 10.2 million viewers two weeks ago.
It’s up 36% from the season 6 finale which garnered 8.9 million viewers and up 19% from the season 7 premiere which clocked in at 10.1 million viewers. The show posted another all-time high 16.5 million viewers when HBO’s replays and streaming are counted.
It’s such an impressive feat considering that the 80-minute episode titled “The Dragon and the Wolf” was airing against the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards which broadcast live on MTV. It’s a no-brainer that Starz decided to push back the season finale of “Power” to September 3 to avoid competition with the hit HBO series as well as the awards show.
According to Nielsen, “Game of Thrones” also dominated social media interactions with 4.175 million interactions, 3.093 million on Facebook and 1.082 million on Twitter. The show defeated the VMAs which placed second on Nielsen’s weekly social content ratings with 3.961 million social interactions.
The season 7 finale of “Game of Thrones” set up “the great war” that will be depicted in the eighth and final season, which won’t arrive until 2019. Another highlight in the said episode is the death of Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish [Aidan Gillen] at the hands of Arya Stark [Maisie Williams], after trying to turn the Stark children against one another.
Speaking to EW after the big death, co-showrunner David Benioff said, “We had been huge fans of Aidan’s work on ‘The Wire’ and other movies and TV shows. … Littlefinger is a much different character than we initially imagined, and the bulk of the credit for that goes to Aidan. He’s just a phenomenal actor and a great one to spend time with. We loved having Littlefinger along for the ride, but he f***ed with the wrong girls.”
Dan Weiss weighed in, “I would echo that there’s such a beautiful strangeness to his performance and it’s almost all coming from what he brings to the character. He almost turns Littlefinger into a mystical embodiment of will-to-power and thriving on chaos.” He added, “We think people will get some good gasps out of the scene.”