Never underestimate the allure of impending death.
To wit, Sunday’s fifth-to-last Game of Thrones — which teed up the big, sure-to-be-bloody Battle of Winterfell — drew an audience of 10.3 million in linear viewership, down just 13 percent from the lonnnnng-awaited season opener.
That linear audience marks the epic saga’s fourth-largest of all time, trailing also Season 7, Episode 5 (which drew 10.7 mil) and that season’s finale (12.1 mil).
Game of Thrones‘ final season premiere amassed a record 17.4 million total viewers with its first night of linear and multi-platform viewing. UPDATE: With streaming numbers now folded in, Episode 2 aka “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” delivered 15.9 million viewers, down 9 percent from the premiere’s total haul — and that is not counting Easter Sunday’s late third airing.