‘Game of Thrones’ Season 8 Premiere Breaks Series Record With 17.4 Million Multiplatform Viewers

Emilia Clarke may be Daenerys Targaryen a.k.a. the Mother of Dragons on “Game of Thrones,” but for the show’s eighth and final season, she’s had to start sharing the reins — literally — with her co-star Kit Harington, as Jon Snow is the only other character in Westeros who seems to be capable of riding the fire-breathing animal.And she was a little defensive about sharing at first.“I feel weird about it, I’m not gonna lie,” Clarke told host Jimmy Kimmel during “Jimmy Kimmel Live” Wednesday night, describing the first time Harington “rode” a dragon on set. “He was all like, ‘Psh, yeah, you think you’re good at this. Let me be professional.’ Obviously, I was a girl so I got in and I was like, ‘Whatever, I’m amazing at this. No big deal, it’s just my children.'”But then she learned that all of this fake dragon-riding isn’t actually that easy for Kit for one big reason. Well, two actually.Also Read: 'Game of Thrones': Richard Dormer on Beric Dondarrion Dying for Arya - and for Good This Time“He was kind of, you know, arrogant about it and was like, ‘I can do this,'” Clarke said. “And then got on and that’s when I learned that men riding dragons is like a whole other thing than a lady who rides a dragon. A little more uncomfortable for them.”Kimmel caught on quick, interjecting with: “Because of the human testicle!”Bingo.Don’t worry, Emilia is somewhat sympathetic, though she did ask the person who operates the joysticks that control the “dragons” to mess with Kit.Watch the interview above.“Game of Thrones” airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.Read original story ‘Game of Thrones': Emilia Clarke Explains Why Kit Harington Is ‘Uncomfortable’ Riding Her Dragons (Video) At TheWrap

The Season 8 premiere of “Game of Thrones” pulled in 17.4 million multiplatform viewers Sunday, setting a new series record and accounting for “the largest night of streaming activity ever for HBO,” per the pay-TV channel.

The eighth season’s start, titled “Winterfell,” claimed that viewer tally when combining linear data, as well as that from HBO Go and HBO Now platforms, per HBO. When counting just those who tuned in “live” to watch the premiere on HBO at 9 p.m., the episode scored 11.8 million viewers.

The Season 8 premiere came in ahead of Season 7’s in terms of linear viewers — as that “GoT” installment hauled in 10.1 million overall sets of eyeballs in the “live” metric — but behind the seventh season’s finale, which earned 12.1 million viewers.

Also Read: Inside the Mountain-Size 'Game of Thrones' Ratings Growth From Seasons 1-7

Speaking of the Season 7 finale, which aired way back on Aug. 27, 2017, that episode was the previous record holder for multiplatform viewers, growing to 16.9 million viewers when counting Go/Now and same-night reruns, according to HBO.

HBO’s preferred internal numbers, which count HBO Go, HBO Now and repeats, cut off 30 days after each season finale airs. Per HBO’s own count — so yes, that month-plus-long version — U.S. viewership per season has been:

Season 1: 9.3 million
Season 2: 11.6 million
Season 3: 14.4 million
Season 4: 19.1 million
Season 5: 20.2 million
Season 6: 25.7 million
Season 7: 32.8 million

Also Read: 'Game of Thrones': John Bradley on Why Sam Thinks Daenerys Is 'Psychopathic' After Season 8 Premiere

Below is Nielsen’s version, which counts seven days of delayed viewing per episode. This is a more typical way of looking at things, but it does not count HBO’s significant streaming additions.

Season 1: 3.3 million
Season 2: 4.9 million
Season 3: 6.4 million
Season 4: 9.0 million
Season 5: 9.5 million
Season 6: 10.6 million
Season 7: 13.7 million

HBO penetrates about one-third of U.S. homes and the premium-cable channel was dropped by Dish at the end of last year. So putting up these numbers (both HBO’s versions and Nielsen’s) for a show that isn’t as accessible as those on broadcast and basic cable is very impressive.

“Game of Thrones” airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.

Read original story ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 8 Premiere Breaks Series Record With 17.4 Million Multiplatform Viewers At TheWrap