Game of Thrones’ finale broke ratings records, but will the final season win Emmys?

dany stark

Over the past few months, many thinkpieces were written about how the end of Game of Thrones signaled the end of Event TV, the end of water-cooler television. Like, Game of Thrones was basically the only show that everybody watched and everyone had an opinion about. It definitely was a spectacle and a ratings juggernaut, but I’m sure there will be more shows like that. At least, I hope so. Anyway, the Game of Thrones finale broke records for ratings and viewership:

Game of Thrones ended its record-setting final season with a record-setting finale in the ratings. The HBO megahit drew 13.6 million viewers for its initial airing of the series finale Sunday night. Adding in replays and early streaming, that figure climbs to 19.3 million. Both figures are records not just for Game of Thrones, but for HBO’s entire history.

The previous high for Game of Thrones was set by the penultimate episode on May 12, which delivered 12.48 million viewers for its debut airing and a first-night total of 18.4 million. The final season has recorded five of the six most-watched episodes in the history of Game of Thrones (the season seven finale is the sixth). With continued streaming, DVR and on-demand viewing and additional replays, HBO says season eight is averaging an unheard-of 44.2 million viewers through Sunday. That’s more than 10 million people ahead of the average for season seven.

[From The Hollywood Reporter]

It’s weird to talk about any HBO show in the context of ratings, because that’s not exactly HBO’s business model. Their model is mostly based on subscriptions – because they’re a premium subscription network – and subscriptions only come when they are offering something no one else has, like Game of Thrones. I imagine a lot of people will be canceling their subscriptions this week.

Also: there’s a conversation happening about whether this final season will get any Emmy Awards. I think it helps the Emmy conversation that the show aired when it did, with the Emmy nominations voting happening soon, and the nominations coming out in July. Personally, I hope the show doesn’t get nominated for much – I’d like to see Emilia Clarke get nominated and Maisie Williams too, because both women did the best they could with the sh-tty, inconsistent writing. But there are definitely concerns that the “divisive” final season could mean some big Emmy snubs, at least according to the Hollywood Reporter. I bet it still picks up Best Drama and technical Emmys across the board though. It definitely deserves all the Emmys for costuming!

Royals Xmas Day church

Cambridges Newborough Beach

Kendall Jenner so happy with flowers

Photos courtesy of HBO/Game of Thrones.

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17 Responses to “Game of Thrones’ finale broke ratings records, but will the final season win Emmys?”

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  1. Cindy says:

    Honestly, after they snubbed so many awards from them when they deserved them, I’d be bothered if they go out with a bang at the Emmy’s considering everyone hated the finale.

    I hate to say it but I wouldn’t even hand out any acting Emmy’s for this season. Emilia I’ve always found to be an extremly campy actress – and I’m not bothered by it at all, but idk if I’d call her a “good” actress. Maisie… eh, she’s good, but I can’t remember a single scene in this season where I went “woah, that’s great acting”. The only one I’d be cool with is Sophie Turner – who I think really nailed those little emotional moments, like her reunion with Theon, when she grabbed Tyrion’s hand at the battle, and when she burned Theon too.

    I’m still bitter Michelle Fairley didn’t even get nominated for The Rains of Castamere, and that Lena Heady lost for Mother’s Mercy (which I still consider the best episode of GoT).

  2. Scal says:

    The score and the technical team (some of that camera work is breathtakingly iconic) should 100% receive awards. That shot of Clegane walking up the stairs with the dragon flying behind the Mountain? Stunning. The music at the end of the long night? Perfection.

    The acting was fine, although I think they should have recognized the acting achievement in previous seasons when there was some stronger material.

  3. Original T.C. says:

    I think Gwendoline Christy and Sophie Turner had some emotional scenes that the Emmys favor. For Emilia Clark, the Golden Globes will nominate her for sure unless the Emmy’s make allowances for a fake language and nominate her for her conqueror/liberator speech to her troops after taking over KL.

    The animators for Drogon need to win an award for his emotional response to the death of his mother. He was the only one who realized gunning for that throne was not worth her life.

  4. Char says:

    The scene when Daenerys gave the speach to her troops on the last episode was incredibly shot and Emilia Clarke acting was sharp. Not to mention Drogon last scene, where he showed more emotion than many characters (ahem, Jon Snow) did. A CGI animal can win a Emmy? 🙂

  5. Loretta says:

    Emilia Clarke is getting absolute raves, Variety basically wrote a love letter to Dany and Emilia’s performance. I hope she will win the Emmy.

  6. Iknow says:

    I have not always been a fan of Emilia’s portrayal of Dany. But man, did she act her butt off in the last episode. She deserves, the very least, a nomination. Lena Heady has been exceptional in seasons 1-7. She played Cersei in such a way that made her at times vulnerable and bone chillingly scary. The score and technical team deserves Emmies.

  7. Adrien says:

    Emilia deserves all the awards just for delivering an impassioned speech in dothraki.

  8. Snazzy says:

    Drogon and Ghost deserve all the Emmys

  9. Becks1 says:

    Music, camera work, costumes – all those awards.

    I bet it wins best drama but no acting awards.

  10. jammypants says:

    I’m rooting for Emilia hard. She grew so much as an actor.

  11. Victoria says:

    I think editing deserves awards for the Starbucks cup lol