Game of Thrones is returning…in 2019. The epic fantasy drama has kept fans on the edge of their seats as the entirety of 2018 passed by without a new episode. The show set a ratings high when 16.5 million people tuned in to watch the Season 7 finale – and that number will likely rise for the final season’s premiere. Filming for the final season concluded in July 2018, so the finished episodes are just waiting to be revealed to the world and the cast have remained tight-lipped about who may end up on the Iron Throne. Whether Game of Thrones will break the record for the most watched TV show episode ever – that goes to the finale of M*A*S*H, which drew in 105.9 million viewers back in 1983 – it has still racked up a fair few broken records already. But how can you measure the popularity of Game of Thrones?
Game of Thrones Records
The popularity of a concept can actually be analysed, as data collection firm Parrot Analytics claim. Game of Thrones achieved 7,191,848 Demand Expressions globally in 2016 – making it the most in-demand TV show of the year. Indeed, with figures like that, it’s hard to argue that the show didn’t become a ground-breaking phenomenon. Though, it’s not just standard TV viewers that should be taken into account to show how popular the show is. Reportedly, during the airing of the 6th season finale in 2016, there were 350,000 individual torrents of Game of Thrones, not just in HBO’s native United States, but across the world. Viewership aside, the show is also pleasing for those who make the big decisions in American TV. During the 68th Primetime Emmys awards, Game of Thrones raked in 37 separate awards, breaking the record for the most Emmys for a fictional series. The 4th season’s DVD box set topped charts for being the fastest-selling DVD box set – retailing 157,000 copies in the course of a week. Punters are already excited about the records that Season 8 will top, especially given the gulf of time between episodes. Whether the show tops its previous records or not, the fact that a show could go on hiatus for over a year and still draw in the fans shows its popularity.
Game of Thrones Merchandise Galore
Game of Thrones is also in a prime position to create an endless stream of accompanying merchandise. The show was based on a series of books, and the TV series has helped shift the tomes from the shelves. In 1996, when they were first published, author George R R Martin was pleased to make the predicted 5,000 sold copies. Since the rise of the show, this figure has transformed into around 70 million and counting -with the books translated into more than 40 languages. The series has also spun off various board games, including Monopoly, Cluedo and Risk, and even online turn-taking games that take the episodic nature of the supremacy aspects of fighting for the Iron Throne. Minecraft users also created WesterosCraft and created a similar world to the show totalling around 22,000 x 59,000 blocks and breaking in-game simulation records. The show even has a series of slot games based on it with Betway. The slots feature iconic music similar to the show and the motifs of the houses featured in the show. Even in slot form, it’s Stark vs Lannister. The ability to tie in merchandise to a fictional world, such as Game of Thrones, helps widen the popularity and appeal to fans of the tie-in, as well as fans of the series.
— Game Of Thrones (@GameOfThrones) July 18, 2017
Game of Thrones’s Star Power
Measuring the popularity of Game of Thrones can also be done through the high-calibre stars that the show has attracted. Celebrities can bring a lot of credibility to a TV show. Singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran famously had a cameo in the latest season, Snow Patrol guitarist Gary Lightbody had a small cameo in Season 3, and band Sigur Ros performed the song and played the band featured in the Red Wedding episode (spoilers!). YouTube star Steve Love gained a small speaking part through his impressions of the show that captured the attention of the show’s creators. While MLB player Noah Syndergaard snatched a cameo as a general as part of a crossover giveaway tied to the show and featuring Major League Baseball. It’s not just the cameos from famous musicians and personalities that shows the star power of Game of Thrones. The series has churned out a roster of some of the finest character actors – from Sean Bean’s starring role to Dame Diana Rigg, Charles Dance’s Machiavellian moves and Mark Addy’s less-than-regal king. The actors that have sparkled across the screen have been part of the reason the show has been so captivating. If the acting was terrible, fans would tune out. So, to have so many recognisable names and faces clamouring for a role shows the power the show has onscreen and off it. Not to mention the amount of leverage the cast will have when the show ends – especially for relative newbies, whose popularity on Game of Thrones will propel them further into the spotlight.
There is no denying Game of Thrones is popular and has been one of the biggest entertainment phenomena in recent years. – even if you can’t get into a show set in the feudal times about war, supremacy and dragons. As fans of the show eagerly await the ending of the series, and those who have never watched begin their arduous catch up to know what people are talking about, the tremendous popularity of Game of Thrones can be felt throughout the world.