‘Game of Thrones’ hits new viewership record—even after the episode leaked

Game of Thrones rarely disappoints, and Sunday’s heart-stopping episode was no exception.

The newest episode, “The Spoils of War,” was viewed by 10.17 million people on Sunday—a new record, beating the 10.11 million-viewer season 7 premiere—despite the fact that the episode leaked online a few days prior to its airing. Part of the reason may be that the leaked version of the episode was of markedly bad quality. Many fans were likely willing to wait the few extra days to see Drogon in all of his HD glory.

Game of Thrones has spent pretty much every season breaking records it previously set. Viewership of the series has grown exponentially over the years—by comparison, 2.45 million people watched the fourth episode of season 1. Growth momentarily stalled in season 5, but quickly soared back to record-breaking heights for season 6.

The number of people tuning in was not the only record broken Sunday night. Game of Thrones can also boast the highest number of people on fire in one episode.

“In one battle scene we set more stuntmen on fire than have ever been simultaneously set on fire,” boasted showrunner David Benioff. Their record-breaking 20 victims of Drogon’s fiery wrath puts the show ahead of all other films and television series alike.

With the Game of Thrones fever pitch hitting new heights each week, it’s hard to imagine what to expect from this season’s finale.

H/T Uproxx

Nahila Bonfiglio

Nahila Bonfiglio

Nahila Bonfiglio reports on geek culture and gaming. Her work has also appeared on KUT's Texas Standard (Austin), KPAC-FM (San Antonio), and the Daily Texan.