The Most Successful Show on HBO
At its height, Game of Thrones had eight million people tune in to watch the season five premiere. HBO has announced it is the most-watched original series they have ever aired, and viewership continues to rise as the show becomes more popular around the world.
Just a few years in, Game of Thrones has won 115 awards, including a Golden Globe. It’s also received another 218 nominations, and more are expected to come. The show follows several noble families in ancient times as they challenge each other and try to gain control of the mythical land of Westeros. The cast, led by Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Kit Harington, and many others, controversially changes regularly as the writers often kill-off lead characters (much to the dismay of fans). In interviews, multiple stars of the show have admitted they never know “who will be next” and often joke about the matter. While most shows couldn’t pull off such risky cuts, Game of Thrones has only continued to grow in popularity.
With the series’ enormous fan base, fans and other shows regularly make parodies; with one of the most successful being a Game of Thrones themed skit on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon called “Game of Desks.”
With 9.5/10 on IMDb, 9/10 on TV.com, and a fresh 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, Game of Thrones has proved to be a hit series among both fans and critics.
Many lists have also ranked it as one of the most successful shows on television (ever), but some critics disagree. There’s no way around the fact that much of Game of Thrones consists of nudity and adult content (in addition to brutal violence). Critics of the show focus on the “senseless nudity” in every episode and say the adaption would be perfect if not for the “very, very bad script.” This sparked a response from the creator of the show and original book series George R.R. Martin. He said he was “astonished” at how badly critics were going after the nudity in the show, and was amazed that not a single one mentioned the violence present in almost every scene.
The New Book & Spoilers
In interviews with George, he’s said he’s determined to finish the next book in the series by 2016. Of course, during every interview, people are destined to ask for spoilers of the upcoming episodes. In an older segment when he talked to talk show host Conan O’Brien, George took the chance to reveal a series of very-fake spoilers to keep fans on their toes. Despite the picking, though, some actors, like Iain Glen (who plays Jorah), have been hinting that some more of the characters may be disappearing. Glen, who’s character has been infected by the deadly and infectious greyscale disease. She said in an interview that when she read the script, her instant reaction was “uh oh,” but since then, she has reassured the audience that recovery is possible in the show, and even she will have to wait to see what will happen.
Leaked Episodes Leads to Piracy Record
Fans of the show were over-joyed recently as half of the current season was leaked on the internet. The leak led to over 2 million illegal downloads within a short twelve-hour window, and it’s not the first time Game of Thrones fans have taken the title for “most pirated.” Episodes that have already been released to the public this season are estimated to have been viewed illegally over 7 million times online.
Game of Thrones viewers also hold the previous record for piracy, which means a great loss in profit for HBO who is estimated to spend over $6 million per episode. There’s a good chance that fans will return to illegal means in the event of another leak though, and many viewers who don’t have access to HBO or don’t have a chance to watch it live will continue to view it illegally online.
The Future of Game of Thrones
Even with all of the illegal viewing, Game of Thrones is still one of the most successful shows on television. HBO may dish out $6 million an episode, but The Hollywood Reporter said that the show is set to bring the network over $1 billion in revenue this year alone, which is double of the figure three years ago.
While fans worry about the future of their favorite characters and many gear up to watch the new episodes (even if it means committing piracy to watch early), there is no doubt the success of Game of Thrones will continue far into the future.