The episode drew 16.1 million total viewers, including 10.1 million who watched on the linear channel and the rest coming from DVR and streaming. That represents an incredible 50% increase from last year’s premiere, when the show premiered in the spring when TV viewership is typically higher than the summer. That also makes the episode the most-watched season premiere for any HBO series to date. The Season 7 premiere also saw the highest number of concurrent viewers across the streaming services HBO Go and HBO Now.
“Game of Thrones” Season 6 ultimately averaged a gross audience of 25.7 million viewers per episode across platforms and in delayed viewing, making it the most watched season of an HBO series on record. The series is also a rarity in today’s television landscape, in that its viewership has increased with each season.
In addition, the premiere was also the show’s most-tweeted episode of all time. 2.4 million tweets were sent during the episode, with Ed Sheeran’s cameo alone driving approximately 7% of the online conversation. Viewers also expressed appreciation for Arya Stark, referring to her as “bada—” and “savage.” The show’s strong female characters also inspired fans to tweet “the future is female.” Some of the most-quoted lines included “Winter is here,” “Winter is coming,” “The North remembers,” “Leave one wolf alive, the sheep will never be safe,” and “Shall we begin?”