If everyone who watched last night’s season eight premiere of Game of Thrones were a country, they’d be the 68th largest country in the world. Yes, according to a press release from HBO, 17.4 million people tuned in last night for the long-awaited return to Westeros.
This marks the highest viewership ever for the show, breaking the previous record (16.9 million) from the season seven finale, and the highest night of streaming activity ever on HBO.
Of those 17.4 million, 11.8 million people watched the episode at 9 p.m. on HBO (as in, on cable TV), which is slightly behind the season 7 finale’s 12.1 million viewers. The rest of last night’s viewers tuned in via the HBO NOW streaming service.
HBO also shared some social media data about the premiere. People really took to Twitter to share their their #GoT thoughts: The episode was the most Tweeted about ever, with more than 5 million tweets. Counting the whole weekend, the show had more than 11 million mentions on the social platform.
Last season’s episodes ultimately averaged around 32.8 million viewers per episode (that would be the 42nd largest country in the world, for the record), and I bet we will see even higher numbers this season.
The second episode of Game of Thrones’ final season premieres Sunday, April 21, at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.
Also, be sure to check out some of this awesome GoT gear you can get to show your house pride throughout the final season.