Two weeks in, Game of Thrones has taken a slight hit in ratings as the show keeps pushing deeper into its final season. A new report suggests that "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms" tallied around 15.9 million viewers between streaming and replays, around a 9 percent decrease from the premiere's 17.4 million viewers.
Nielsen has released initial ratings for the episode, revealing the sophomore showing had 10.29 million viewers linearly — or through traditional television means. That'd equate to a 12.5 percent decrease over the premiere's linear audience.
Though a minor decrease, the numbers certainly won't be worrying HBO in the slightest. Even with a decrease, the linear numbers are still good enough for fourth-highest ratings in the show's history, only behind this year's premiere, the seventh season finale, and the fifth episode of Season Seven.
One of the biggest pieces left of event programming, Game of Thrones has just four episodes left and novelist George RR Martin — the writer behind the books that inspired the series — claims to know how the series will end.
"Well, to a degree," Martin said when asked if he would be surprised by the ending. "I mean, I think ... the major points of the ending will be things that I told them, you know, five or six years ago. But there may also be changes, and there'll be a lot added."
In a separate interview, Martin admits he's sad the show's coming to an end, saying he wishes that HBO would keep the show going for a few more years.
"You know, it's complex," Martin says. "I'm a little sad, actually. I wish we had a few more seasons. But I understand. [Showrunners David Benioff and DB Weiss] are gonna go on to do other things, and I'm sure some of the actors were signed up for like seven or eight years, and they would like to go on and take other roles. All of that is fair. I'm not angry or anything like that, but there's a little wistfulness in me."
Game of Thrones airs Sunday nights on HBO starting at 9/8 p.m. Central.
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