– by Joseph Jammer Medina

To say HBO has a security problem would be a bit of an understatement. Over the course of the past TV season, they’ve had hacks and leaks up the wazoo, and every week, it seems like they’re in danger of having yet another episodes of their shows get released early to an eager public. Yet, all the same, Game of Thrones seems to be performing quite admirably.

August 20’s episode, “Beyond the Wall” still managed to pull off north of 10 million viewers despite being inadvertently leaked the week prior. It seemed that, as insatiable as fans were to see the next episode, they still tuned in t watch the show at the proper time and channel. Talk about loyalty. But is this something that would continue, especially after the hackers threatened to release this episode online?

Well, luckily for HBO, the finale itself never leaked, and while it’s not clear whether or not that had a role in this, “The Dragon and the Wolf,” the 80-minute long season finale of Season 7 pulled off the highest ratings for the show yet, pulling in a hefty 12.1 million viewers. This is 13 percent up from its record high two weeks prior, and a full 36 percent higher than the Season 6 finale, which already had an admirable 8.89 million viewers.

One could argue that the show only got this high because there was no leak, but as mentioned above, the trend doesn’t necessarily support that claim. As it stands, the series has always been in a pretty solid upward trajectory in terms of ratings, and that trend only continued with this season finale.

Were you one of the 12 million who checked out the finale? Let us know in the comments down below!

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Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.