Via James Hibberd at EW, some great news: viewership of the final episode of Game of Thrones hit 3 million viewers, with 3.9 million viewers overnight across recap and other sources. According to TV by the Numbers, the “key” 18-49 demographic was 1.4, which surpassed Boardwalk Empire‘s finale in that same metric. That figure probably matters rather more to advertising-supported broadcast television—18 or 99, a subscriber is a subscriber as far as HBO is concerned—but it does show that the core audience slants younger.
Via Digital Spy, it looks like “Fire and Blood” was the 2ndmost-watched episode of the series in its initial airing (after the premiere), with an average of 667,000 (2.7%) viewers in total. The overall viewership of episode 8, “The Pointy End” was, unfortunately, down a bit according to BARB (via @WyverynWood—1.36 million viewers, down from 1.556m for the previous episode. That’s a rather baffling result, we admit, but as we’ve noted before, U.K. figures do seem to have a greater margin of error.
We expect the U.S. figures to come in within a few hours.
An amazing finale for Game of Thrones! The collective gasps and cheers on Twitter were certainly something else. As with last week’s episode, we’ve rushed to put together our full recap and detailed, chapter-by-chapter break down comparing the episode to what author George R.R. Martin originally had on the page. Please forgive any typos or errors—the hour’s late!
(P.S. The recap has something very special at the end…)
Ahead of the finale, HBO wanted to show their appreciation for the fans at Westeros.org for their support of the show… and so they’ve let us know a day early that they’re bringing back to their 20% off sale at the HBO Store!
They’ve added quite a few new items in the last days, including the very cool Hodor shirt you see on the right, a Khal Drogo portrait shirt, and a “Daenerys, SPOILER of SPOILERS” shirt that maybe could have waited one day… but, hey, with the special sale and all, why not?
Get your shopping done before the finale,with a nice discount on top. To get the discount, just put GOT20 into the promotion code box at checkout. We’re told the sale will last through the 26th, so no rush… unless that Hodor shirt sells out before you can buy it. Why wait?
You can also visit our own Store page, which includes much of the same catalog of items, plus some Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk alternatives (without that 20% off applicable, of course) when available.
A few interviews trickling in before the finale that we thought we’d highlight:
Last but not least, as we mentioned the Vulture, here’s a funny video they’ve edited together, giving a buddy comedy spin to the relationship between Bronn and Tyrion Lannister:
Day: Thursday, July 21st
Moderator: George R.R. Martin(!)
Participations: David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington, Jason Momoa, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau… and more panelists to be announced, it seems.
That’ll be exciting, to say the least!
Pearson Moore of Winterfell Keep continues his thought-provoking series of essays on Game of Thrones. This time, his latest essay looks at all manner of swords—literal and figurative—in the narrative of episode 9, “Baelor”, and in the wider scope of Game of Thrones. And as to popular culture references? Pearson has a knack for them, and this time there’s a bit of The Matrix action going on.
You’ll also notice that at the bottom of the page (both this one and the feature page) is a new comment system, replacing our old one. Using Facebook Comments, anyone with an FB account (or, if you don’t want to use that, a Yahoo! or Hotmail account) will be able to comment directly and easily. We’re slowly getting comments into the rest of the site, but you’ll find them available on the Gallery as well as other sections of the site such as All Sorts of Weird Stuff.
A bit of a foregone conclusion: HBO has finally admitted that, yes, Belfast will again be the headquarters for the second season of Game of Thrones. No real surprise here, as various members of the cast and crew have indicated that they are or will be in Belfast for filming, but it’s good to know. Of note? A confirmation of Monday, July 25th as the planned start of shooting.
As Maureen Ryan notes, that happens to be the day after San Diego Comic Con—no surprise there, either, with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau recently noting he’ll be there to promote the show,as have executive producers David Benioff and Dan Weiss. Series creator, co-executive producer, and writer of episode 8 George R.R. Martin will also be there, and we’re quite sure other members of the cast and crew will be in attendance.
The full press release can be found below.
Executive producers David Benioff and Dan Weiss sat down with Joy Press of the L.A. Times Showtracker to discuss the second season. Some interesting hints and details, including GRRM’s role in writing his script and figuring out its scope, women’s fashion in Essos, and more. Some highlights below (including some spoilers!):
We’ve been invited by the Daily Beast to take part in a post-Finale roundtable! Jace Lacob, Maureen Ryan, Myles McNutt, Phil of Winter is Coming, and (I’m told) others will take part in the chat starting at 11AM PDT / 2 PM EDT on Monday June 20.
We’re embedding the chat below, and will be promoting this post on occasion so that you don’t forget—should be fun!
Our recorded discussion with Tom & Daniel of MTV Geek is now available! In it, we discuss episode 9’s scoring, the expansiveness of the show versus the novels (with some hints about the next season’s challenges in that area), the introduction of Shae and Tyrion’s revelation of his tragic marriage, and more.
The big delay in our episode 8 write-up was due to a lot of things, and those things made covering the post-episode coverage quite difficult. Then the massive flood of visitors post-episode 9 left us scrambling to keep the servers (yes, servers, plural) from melting down, with traffic spiking as high as 200% of normal—crazy! So, this list of links to what some of the top-flight critics have to say on the web is a bit belated… but better late than never, we say.
Originally, Ramin Djawadi’s soundtrack for Game of Thrones was scheduled to be released today, only to be pushed back to the 28th. We’re not sure of the whys or wherefors….
.... but HBO has gone ahead and given the soundtrack an early release on iTunes! Hear previews of all 29 tracks, which can be purchased at $0.99 apiece, or $9.99 for the whole collection. The iTunes digital album download appears to include a special “digital booklet” as an iTunes exclusive. Will be interesting to see if it includes never-before-seen stills.
Episode 9, Baelor, just had its ratings in for both the U.S. and U.K. In the U.S. the show held steady at 2.7 million viewers with only a small drop for the additional screening to a total of 3.4 million. This, despite the most-viewed NBA final in 16 years! That sounds good to us, and we’ll take it. It’ll be very interesting to what sort of draw next week’s season finale will have.
In the U.K., the picture is a little less rosy, but we’ve found that the U.K. viewership figures show remarkable amounts of variability: 507,000 viewers, down from 523,000 last week. The numbers for Episode 7’s total viewing are also a bit down on the previous episode, episode 6, with a total of 1.556 million viewers. Thanks to WyvernWood for those figures!
Grok! Studio, an entertainment company founded by Vince Gerardis, a co-producer on Game of Thrones and representative of various entertainment rights connected to a number of SF/F authors, is teasing that HBO and GRRM will be making an announcement connected to games at San Diego Comic Con. Gerardis was partner to the late Ralph Vicinanza of the Created By agency, and it looks like Grok! has inherited all or most of the client base from that company.
As we reported back in March 2010, HBO applied for a broad trademark category that did include games, though we speculated that these were for Flash-based games such as the ones HBO did eventually produce as part of the Maester’s Path and the Iron Throne marketing efforts. But… could HBO’s rights include video and/or PC games based on Game of Thrones (as distinct from those based on “A Song of Ice and Fire”, such as A Game of Thrones: Genesis and Cyanide‘s as-yet-untitled RPG)? We’ll have to wait and see what news comes down the pipe next month.