The ever-popular Game of Thrones closed out its third season this past Sunday (read Allison’s recap here), and the finale episode garnered a record audience of 5.4 million viewers for the episode’s first airing. That’s up 28% from the season two finale’s 4.2 million, but falls just a tad short of the show’s most-watched episode ever, which was this season’s sixth episode “The Climb,” clocking in at 5.5 million viewers. The third season has averaged 13.6 million viewers when factoring in repeating airings, DVR, and HBO Go, which makes Game of Thrones the most-watched HBO series since The Sopranos and is up considerably from season two’s average of 11.6 million viewers.
All in all, Game of Thrones hit four new series highs during the course of its third season. That’s a pretty remarkable feat for a fantasy cable TV series based on a book series that began nearly two decades ago. Season four, which will cover roughly the second half of author George R.R. Martin’s third book A Storm of Swords, will likely begin production this July, as has been the case with the previous seasons.