The “Game of Thrones” series finale ratings are here and they are — as you’d expect — staggering.
Across HBO, HBO Go, and HBO NOW, the conclusion of the megahit fantasy series drew 19.3 million viewers, overtaking the previous series high of 18.4 million viewers that was set just last week. In addition, 13.6 million people watched 9 p.m. telecast on HBO alone, breaking the record for the biggest single telecast in HBO history. The previous record holder was the Season 4 premiere of “The Sopranos” in 2002, which drew 13.4 million.
“Game of Thrones” also once again lifted up the Bill Hader-led comedy “Barry,” whose Season 2 finale drew 2.7 million viewers across HBO’s platforms. That is up over 250% compared to the Season 1 finale, which drew 774,000 viewers when it aired last year.
The ending of “Game of Thrones” has proven incredibly divisive among fans of the show. The series finale pulled in just a 56% critical approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, ranking as one of the most disliked episodes in series history. Season 8 itself averaged a 69% approval rating, making it the lowest-rated season in the show’s history.
In his review for Variety, Daniel D’Addario wrote, “It was as though the show, burdened with a story near-impossible to carry across the finish line, lost its nerve.