All hail, Game of Thrones, King of the Andals, first of its name and all-time ratings champion!
Yes, the numbers for season 4, episode 8 of Game of Thrones are in, and the wildly popular series has officially surpassed The Sopranos as the most-watched series in HBO’s history.
No small feat for a show based on a series of door-stop books written in a genre that was previously associated with anti-social nerds and aging cosplay enthusiasts.
For its peak episode in 2002 The Sopranos drew in an audience of 18.2 million viewers. GoT beat that number for the first time last week with 18.4 million tuning in. Prior to the acclaimed mob series that launched in 1999, no premium cable program had ever amassed an audience close to that size.
To put things in perspective, the much-ballyhooed Breaking Bad finale of last year drew a meager-by-comparison 10.4 million viewers and that aired on a network that doesn’t require a paid subscription.
It’s a well-deserved honor for a show in the midst of what many critics consider its finest season to date.
Of course, last week’s increase in viewership may have had something to do with episode eight’s much-anticipated Oberyn Martell vs. Gregor Clegane battle, but considering the writers left us with a cliffhanger, much of the record-breaking audience may hold on to see if the powers that be will carry out the execution of Tyrion Lannister on this week’s GoT.
It’s a possibility that’s already inspired some epic memes:
Whatever happens, the remaining two episodes of season 4 are sure to pack plenty surprises and continue to enjoy unprecedented popularity.
If you’ve shamefully fallen behind in your viewing , you can always watch Game of Thrones online at TV Fanatic, and for your daily dose of horrific carnage be sure to check out our gallery of GoT’s most shocking deaths below: