Going into Sunday night, the latest episode of Game of Thrones was billed as the biggest episode in the shows history, featuring the longest continuous battle sequence in film history. However, that magnitude didn't stop at the episode itself. Fans seriously showed out to watch the "The Long Night," making it the second-highest rated episode in the show's history.
In just the Live+SD numbers, "The Long Night" saw a total of 12.02 million people tune in to watch the Battle of Winterfell. That's more than enough to make the episode the highest-rated non-finale of the series, and it was just shy of the live viewing numbers of the record outing, Season 7's finale. "The Dragon and the Wolf" debuted to 12.07 million viewers in August 2017.
What's impressive about these figures is that they will significantly grow once HBO releases the same night streaming numbers, factoring in everyone who streamed the episode on HBOGo and HBO NOW on Sunday night. Including those numbers, the Season 8 premiere of Game of Thrones was the most-viewed in HBO's history, with north of 17 million people watching the episode in some form the night it aired.
With the Battle of Winterfell now behind us, it will be interesting to see how Game of Thrones performs next week. This felt like the culmination of multiple storylines, and certainly like it would be the biggest episode of the season outside of the finale. But with two more weeks until the final episode arrives, the live numbers may see a slight dip. That said, it would be surprising if the series finale doesn't set the HBO viewing record.
What did you think about the latest episode of Game of Thrones? Are you looking forward to seeing how it all ends in just a few weeks? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
New episodes of Game of Thrones air on Sunday nights at 9 pm ET on HBO.
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