‘Game of Thrones’ Ratings: How HBO Show Has Grown by Epic Proportions

Season 6 averages more than tripled Season 1 viewership

“Game of Thrones” is set to breathe fire — err, life — back into HBO’s lineup this Sunday, when the pay-TV provider will be happy to have the epic drama’s epic Nielsen numbers.

The small-screen adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s book series more than tripled its viewership averages from Season 1 to Season 6, where we last left off. Cue HBO’s “Ahhh” promo noise from channel executives.

The initial 10-episode run of “Game of Thrones” averaged just a hair more than 2-and-a-half million “live” viewers per show, according to the TV ratings currency company. By Season 2, that sum grew by more than 50 percent.

While that was the single biggest year over year jump in terms of percentages, massive gains continued from the world of Westeros — and we’re not even discussing the advent and inclusion of HBO Now/Go streams. Those services, which launched in April 2015 to coincide with “Game of Thrones” Season 5, really solidified the channel’s spot atop premium-cable’s Iron Throne.

When counting a week’s worth of delayed viewing, the show’s general trajectory was similar to the same-night stuff, though all-in totals there are obviously even more impressive.

We won’t bore readers with many more words on the subject, but we’d be remiss to not highlight the Season 6 L+7 average, which saw “Game of Thrones” haul in north of 10.6 million total linear viewers per episode. Yeah, winter just came.

Here are the averages for each existing 10-episode “Game of Thrones” season, according to Nielsen:
Live + Same Day
Season 1: 2.511 million total viewers
Season 2: 3.804 million viewers
Season 3: 4.969 million viewers
Season 4: 6.847 million viewers
Season 5: 6.872 million viewers
Season 6: 7.724 million viewers

Live + 7 Day
Season 1: 3.323 million total viewers
Season 2: 4.910 million viewers
Season 3: 6.446 million viewers
Season 4: 8.979 million viewers
Season 5: 9.514 million viewers
Season 6: 10.614 million viewers

The 7-episode “Game of Thrones” Season 7 premieres Sunday at 9 p.m. on HBO.