Ratings for Game of Thrones season 7 have been outstanding. In fact, every single episode of the season so far has received better ratings the highest-rated episode of the first six seasons. But the show has now outdone itself, and in the middle of the season, no less!

According to Zap2It, the most recent episode of Game of Thrones — the action-packed “The Spoils of War” — was watched live by 10.167 million people. Before this, the highest-rated episode of the show was “Dragonstone,” the season 7 premiere. That racked up 10.1 million live viewers, which is impressive…but not as impressive as this.

Traditionally, ratings are best at the start and end of a season, which makes sense. Viewers can usually rely on the biggest events falling around then. But since there are only seven episodes this year, big events are coming every week. Apparently, the possibility of a huge battle featuring a dragon was too much for viewers to resist. Based on all the critical acclaim “The Spoils of War” has received, their attention was rewarded.

Obviously, this is good news for HBO, particularly in light of the fact that “The Spoils of War” leaked ahead of time — that clearly didn’t stop people from watching. At the moment, HBO is still sorting through the repercussions of a potentially widespread cyber attack, with hackers threatening to release internal information if the network doesn’t meet their demands. Knowing that ratings will go through the roof whether episodes leak or not will hopefully give HBO some bargaining power.

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