Sunday night’s battle of Winterfell proved compulsive viewing for Game of Thrones fans.
The episode, titled “The Long Night,” and boasting a running length of 1 hour and 22 minutes (making it a long night for fans as well as the show’s characters), racked up 18.8 million viewers, as fans tuned in to see who would make it and who would not when the Starks and company clashed with the Night King and his undead army.
The 9:00 p.m. airing alone amassed 12 million viewers, marking a season high for the time period broadcast. The previous gross audience high was 17.4 million viewers for the premiere episode of the season.
The long night was not without its technical difficulties however, with many fans in the US, Brazil, and elsewhere encountering streaming errors as HBOGo was overwhelmed (as if by White Walkers) by sheer demand.
In addition, the tense and action-packed episode was shot almost entirely in darkness, prompting many to take to social media to complain about the quality of the visuals on the night.
Game of Thrones returns with episode 4, on Sunday, May 5 at 9:00 p.m. (ET/PT) on HBO, and is estimated to run to one hour and 18 minutes.