‘Game of Thrones’ hits record 19.3 million viewers in series finale despite fan backlash

FAN Editor

Actors Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke on the set of the eighth season of Game of Thrones.

Helen Sloane | HBO

Despite high criticism from fans, the final episode of “Game of Thrones” shattered single-night viewing records Sunday, with 19.3 million tuning in to watch the finale.

The final season of HBO’s television adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” was widely criticized by fans who felt the pacing and its treatment of previous character developments were not up to par.

Still, the show continued to have record-breaking viewership. Each episode, save for one, toppled viewer counts from the season seven finale, which was the series high prior to season eight’s release. 

Each year “Game of Thrones” has seen its audience grow, a rarity for television shows. Typically, a series will lose viewership over the course of a run. The eighth season drove high viewership because it was the show’s last. More than a decade of storytelling was coming to an end, and everyone wanted to know what happened.

While some fans of the long-running fantasy drama felt satisfied by the show’s final bow, others were quick to express their displeasure with how events unfolded. One thing is sure, it will remain one of the most discussed and debated final seasons in TV history.

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