Aside from being a stunning finale, last night’s episode of Game Of Thrones accomplished two major objectives. First, it reeled in a record number of viewers for the series and secondly, it increased viewership for other HBO shows.
“Valar Morghulis,” the show’s second season finale, was watched by 4.2 million viewers in its 9 PM time slot. What is more impressive though and perhaps more imporant, is that this was up by 39% from the first season’s finale, which was closer to 3 million viewers.
It should also be noted that this number was increased by the eleven o’clock replay, which persuaded another 910,000 viewers to watch the show and brought the total viewings of the night up to 5.1 million.
At the same time, let’s put this in perspective with other shows that dip into the fantasy genre.
Game of Thrones‘ numbers are nowhere near the 9.5 million viewers that ABC’s Once Upon A Time drew in with its season finale and even NBC’s Grimm, a show that was hit and miss all season, managed to gleam a 5.31 million viewers with its season finale. HBO’s fantasy epic did manage to beat out CW’s Supernatural though, which only brought in 1.57 million viewers with its season finale.
All that being said, it’s not exactly fair to compare HBO with networks like NBC and ABC but it’s still interesting to see how Game of Thrones stacks up against other shows in its genre.
Perhaps what is most important, however, is that Game of Thrones managed not only to increase its ratings but was able to use its popularity to boost the ratings of HBO’s newest comedies. Veep (1.2 million viewers at 10:10 PM) had its second most watched episode, while Girls (1.1 million at 10:40 PM) which has been steadily gaining a following, hit a series high as well.