Game of Thrones may have broken the Internet with Sunday’s episode, but it didn’t break its ratings record.
“The Rains of Castamere” delivered 5.2 million viewers, down slightly from the show’s all-time high set earlier this season of 5.5 million.
The non-record performance isn’t surprising. The episode aired after the show took a week off for Memorial Day weekend. And even though it was a highly anticipated hour among hardcore fans who knew what was coming, most casual viewers had no idea the episode contained a shockingly violent wedding sequence as HBO intentionally did not promote the episode as anything out of the ordinary to help preserve the surprise. Expect the ratings to rise for next week’s finale, however, possibly to an all-time high.