It’s taken 67 episodes and 4000 pages of George R.R. Martin’s iconic books, but at long last the end of Game of Thrones is finally here with season eight airing from today — meaning there’s only six episodes to watch until winter has come and gone forever.
Winter is coming
Today’s debut is set to draw a record breaking audience for the series and ignite a social media firestorm.
More than 12 million viewers tuned in to the season seven finale, with 4 million more streaming it the same night and many millions more in the following days.
It’s expected tonight’s premiere could attract up to 20 million live viewers and the final episode ever is expected to smash television finale records.
In comparison, the last episode of MASH — considered the most watch TV series finale of all time — attracted more than 105 million views in 1983.
The final of Cheers in 1993 missed it by that much with 84 million.
Friends was nowhere near that when it wrapped up in 2004 hitting 52 million and Seinfeld got 76 million viewers for its goodbye ep in 1998.
Foxtel, who has teamed up with HBO for Australian streaming rights said they’ve seen “an unprecedented increase in sales that has eclipsed any other time for new registrations” to the Foxtel Now. The service allows Australian fans to watch the show when its debuted globally each week.
GoT is already lighting up Twitter with over 200,000 tweets about the show being shared in the past 24 hours. #GoT, #forthethrone, #GoT8 and #GameofThrones are the leading hashtags of the day.
As of last week Twitter reported more than 15 million tweets about the show so far in 2019.
According to CNN, the busiest day was March 5 when the season eight teaser trailer dropped for the world to see. January 14 was also a big one as that was when the show’s air date was finally revealed. Since the show first aired in 2011 it has resulted in 200 million tweets.
The most tweeted about characters are Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, Arya Stark, Tyrion Lannister and Cersei Lannister.
The most tweeted about episodes are season seven finale The Dragon and the Wolf, (2017), Dragonstone (2017), Beyond the Wall (2017) and The Winds of Winter (2016).
Season seven had more than 23 million tweets, most of them from the US, Brazil and the UK.