Last night's Game of Thrones season premiere didn't just have an Ed Sheeran cameo, a badass Arya Stark opening sequence, and appearances from dragons and White Walkers (it looks like the show's producers know what fans wanted to see). E! News reports that the episode also earned a record for viewership, so all that buildup seems to have paid off for HBO.
According to E!, the episode's first run had 10.1 million viewers glued to their televisions. But actual viewership includes more than just the people who dropped everything and sat down for the premiere. Add DVR viewing, repeat viewings the night of, and online streaming and that 10 million jumps to a staggering 16.1 million views.
The season 7 premiere bests the season 6 numbers by a huge margin. With all the various viewing methods combined, last season's first episode garnered 10.7 million viewers. E! News adds that last night's numbers could get even larger, since some viewers may come back for seconds (or third helpings) and maybe there are even a few people out there who haven't seen it yet.
HBO execs are probably patting themselves on the back for the record-breaking figures, but it probably doesn't hurt that fans were basically ready to break down a wall of their own to get new GoT episodes. E! notes that the show came back three months later than usual, as season premieres for GoT are usually set for April. That's a huge chunk of time for fans to re-watch all the old episodes and build up anticipation for new ones.
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