TIME TV

Game of Thrones Slays Sopranos to Become Most-Watched HBO Series Ever

The former record set by the mod family drama in 2002 sleeps with the fishes

Enthusiasts of HBO’s Game of Thrones can finally point to at least one clear winner in the hair-raising, political-fantasy-drama: the show itself.

Game of Thrones is officially the most-watched HBO series of all time, HBO confirmed Thursday.

With an average gross audience of 18.4 million viewers, the realm of Westeros has ruthlessly slain the suburban New Jersey gangland world of The Sopranos, which previously held the record with an average gross audience of 18.2 million in its peak 2002 season.

A number of factors—in addition, of course, to the pure and unadulterated awesomeness of Game of Thrones—have contributed to Westeros’ victory over a show based in the realm of men. The popularity of DVR has made watching the show easier, likely boosting ratings, and other methods of catching the show, particularly the streaming service HBO Go (which no one breaks the rules to get access to—cross our hearts), have given people options unavailable when Tony Soprano was holding court at Satriale’s Pork Store and Meat Market.

Two episodes remain in the Thrones fourth season so this year’s average gross viewership for the show may yet increase a bit more.

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