The latest episode of HBO's Game of Thrones has broken the series ratings record for the second time this season. Right now, Thrones has only two more episodes left of in its shortened seventh season, with only an additional six-episode-long eighth season set to follow, and viewers can already start to feel the end coming for the smash hit fantasy series. Not only has the show's seventh season been bringing together characters faster than many could have ever that it would, but Game of Thrones has also delivered some of its biggest thrills up until this point, throughout the past five episodes.
While some critics and viewers have called the show's increased pace into question over the past few weeks, Thrones has only been gaining in notoriety and popularity over the past few weeks. And despite the show's most recent episode - appropriately titled "Eastwatch" - being the quietest and least bombastic installment of the season to date, it looks like the episode still managed to break yet another one of the show's pre-existing records.
EW is reporting that "Eastwatch" managed to garner the largest audience in Game of Thrones' history. The episode snagged 10.7 million viewers, racing past its predecessor's 10.2 million and even higher than the season 7 premiere's impressive 10.1 million. In case that wasn't already enough, the episode also managed to rake in more than 30 million viewers in encore broadcasts, online streaming services, and DVR playback. With that said, this season's fourth episode, "The Spoils of War", does still hold the record for most people set on fire in TV history.
The success of "Eastwatch" would have been impressive no matter what, but is only that much more so considering it aired amidst all of the current news regarding the HBO hack and leaks of huge spoilers from the show's upcoming episodes. The fact that Game of Thrones is only continuing to do better and better in its ratings, even despite all of these threats, does a good job at putting the show's popularity and overall high quality into perspective again.
Considering where "Eastwatch" left off too - with an exciting lead-in to the highly-anticipated battle between the White Walkers and the show's heroes this week - it's more likely than not that Game of Thrones will manage to break this ratings record again by the time the season is over. It doesn't hurt either that the season, which has been the largest in scale and action in the show's history, only promises to get even more epic over its next two, final episodes. And with a finale that's over 80 minutes long, it feels fair to say that this season's biggest moments are still to come.
Game of Thrones continues next Sunday @9pm on HBO.