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'Game of Thrones' finale delivers violence, nudity and a ratings high

June 21, 2011 |  2:49 pm

Thrones_dan Maybe it's the violence, maybe it's the bare bosoms, but HBO seems to have carved out a decent audience with its fantasy series "Game of Thrones."

Sunday's 9 p.m. finale delivered a series-best 3 million total viewers, according to the Nielsen Co. That easily bested the 2 million who showed up for the first airing of the premiere in April.

An additional 876,000 viewers watched an 11:15 encore of the finale.

Quiz: Test your 'Game of Thrones' finale IQ

HBO says that through the season, the nudity-and-gore-filled "Game of Thrones" averaged a total of 8.3 million viewers across all platforms (original airings, DVD and HBO On Demand).

"Game of Thrones" fared far better than another season finale Sunday night. AMC's mystery "The Killing" averaged a decent 2.3 million viewers. But the episode was excoriated by critics and many fans, some of whom dubbed the anti-climactic ending among the worst season finales in TV history.

Trackers, what did you think of the finales for "Game of Thrones" and "The Killing"?


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Photo: Emilia Clarke in HBO's "Game of Thrones." Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO.