6.9 million viewers tuned in for the season’s fourth episode, breaking the previous record of 6.6 million who watched the Season 4 premiere and Season 4, Episode 3. Concerns that the now infamous rape scene in Episode 3 would hurt the ratings for Season 4 turned out to be unfounded, as more people than ever checked in to see what was going on in Westeros.
The uptick in viewers could be due to a number of reasons. The episode did give us our first look at White Walkers this season, which we knew was coming from the episode’s preview. People do love those White Walkers. The episode also is notable for being the most changed from the source material, A Song of Ice and Fire, that the show has ever done, which may have prompted more readers of the books to tune in part way through to see just what was going on.
Another notable achievement for GoT is that the HBO show is absolutely destroying shows from the traditional networks, which have a great number more subscribers, in key demographics. Among adults aged 18-47, GoT scored a 3.7 in its timeslot, which bested the offerings from NBC, CBS, and FOX combined!
For the heads of those networks, we suspect Sunday nights have become very dark and full of terror.