Game of Thrones’ latest episode, “The Long Night”, was its longest yet. That meant more content than ever to discuss afterwards, speculate about during, and tweet about always. The third episode of the HBO show’s final season set Twitter records with the Battle of Winterfell, but it also had more actual viewers than all but one of its episodes in series history.
Variety reports that the episode not only counted 12.02M viewers on HBO proper (what the business calls the linear channel) but a total of 17.8M viewers if you count HBOGO and HBO NOW alongside the main service. That’s the highest single-episode total for HBO ever, beating out “Winterfell”, the season premiere, which peaked at 17.4M gross audience members.
This gross audience doesn’t refer to the Night King’s army of undead wights, but the total viewers that have increased after a brief drop during episode two of the fantasy show’s victory lap. With only 10.29M linear viewers, episode two’s audience couldn’t even beat out the population of Portugal (10.3M). However, “The Long Night” still isn’t the King in the North of linear viewership (even if its total numbers are record-setting).
That’s because the S7 finale beat it out with 12.1M people watching it live on HBO. But viewers still have a chance to make the series finale one of the most-watched pieces of TV ever, as it doesn’t air until May 19. As Game of Thrones looks to move on from its zombified antics and towards some sense of closure, the numbers can only hope to match the fantasy show’s version of Endgame.
Game of Thrones airs its final season’s fourth episode on May 5.