Finally some good news for hack-and-backlash-plagued HBO: despite Sunday's Game of Thrones episode leaking online ahead of its scheduled air, "The Spoils of War" still set an all-time viewership high for the cable network's flagship series, according to Variety.
An estimated 10.2 million people tuned in to Season 7's fourth episode Sunday night, up from 10.1 million viewers for the Season 7 premiere. That number in turn blew the Season 6 finale's previously record-holding's 8.9 million out of the water. And this doesn't even account for streaming or delayed viewings. And keep in mind that this is an episode in the middle of the season, and midseason episodes are rarely the most-watched.
The moral of the story is that despite leaks of scripts and full episodes that can spoil viewers ahead of time, people will still tune in for Game of Thrones. It can't be stopped. It's like a dragon — you can wound it with a giant crossbow in the form of a leak, but it will still torch its competition. Ray Donovan is like a Lannister soldier.
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.