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Game of Thrones shatters HBO records

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The US premiere of Game of Thrones season seven smash HBO ratings records.

The episode drew 16.1 million total viewers in the US on Sunday night, including 10.1 million who watched on the linear channel and the rest coming from DVR and streaming.

It represents an incredible 50 per cent increase from last year's premiere, when the show premiered in the spring when TV viewership is typically higher than the summer.

That also makes the episode the most-watched season premiere for any HBO series to date. The premiere also saw the highest number of concurrent viewers across the streaming services HBO Go and HBO Now.

Game of Thrones season six ultimately averaged a gross audience of 25.7 million viewers per episode across platforms and in delayed viewing, making it the most watched season of an HBO series on record.

In addition, the premiere was also the show's most-tweeted episode of all time. 2.4 million tweets were sent during the episode, with Ed Sheeran's cameo alone driving approximately seven per cent of the online conversation.

Viewers also expressed appreciation for Arya Stark, referring to her as badass and savage.

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Image: Helen Sloan/HBO via AP