As everyone learned this season on Game of Thrones, you don’t need three fire-breathing dragons to dominate the competition, but it certainly helps.
Just ask HBO, which has shattered records yet again with the seventh season of the fantasy drama series.
According to the network, Game of Thrones Season 7 has averaged 31 million viewers per episode – up 34% over Season 6 last year – once live, DVR, on-demand, and streaming views are all factored in.
Mind you, that’s not even counting the numbers for the Season 7 finale. An all-time high of 16.5 million viewers caught the episode Sunday night.
That number will continue to climb as fans catch up on their DVRs or HBO Go accounts or what have you, and which in turn should bump up the Season 7 average even higher – likely to somewhere in the 33-34 million range.
Game of Thrones has reigned as HBO’s most-watched show ever since Season 4, when it averaged 18.4 million viewers per episode to beat out the previous record holder, The Sopranos.
Season 7 proved an effective reminder that nothing can stop the growth of Game of Thrones: not leaks, not critical grumbling, not even the overabundance of Peak TV itself. And this was the penultimate season. Season 8, as the series’ last, will probably soar even higher.
When you look at it that way, it doesn’t even seem to matter who’ll sit on the Iron Throne by the end of the show. Game of Thrones already has a clear winner: HBO itself.