It turns out Joffrey’s death is good news for HBO as well as Westeros. Ratings for Game of Thrones Season 4 Episode 3 rose 5 percent following the king’s demise in Episode 2, matching the record ratings of the Season 4 premiere. A total of 6.6 million people tuned in for the episode’s initial airing at 9 pm EST, and an additional 1.6 million watched the two replays.
The episode has since become somewhat infamous for its depiction of a rape scene involving the popular character Jaime Lannister forcing himself onto his sister Cersei in front of their dead son, but that didn’t stop the droves of viewers who were anxious to see what would happen in the aftermath of King Joffrey’s poisoning from watching. It will be interesting to see if the ratings rise again next week, or if they take a hit after the controversial episode.
Game of Thrones has already been renewed for Seasons 5 and 6, respectively, so ratings aren’t a major concern, but we still bet HBO welcomes the news of the third episode in the season matching the blockbuster premiere episode in the ratings, a rare feat that is a testament to the show’s continuing popularity growth.
Catch the next episode of Game of Thrones Season 4 on April 20, 2014 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.