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15th May 2019

‘The Bells’ episode of Game Of Thrones is the worst reviewed in the show’s entire history

Rory Cashin

On the plus side, it is also the most-watched episode in the show’s history

Nothing popular stays good, and nothing good stays popular.

It is a general rule of entertainment that the more people are consuming it, the louder the critics will be.

And so it is with Game Of Thrones, with the show exploding in popularity in the final season (that huge break between seasons gave everyone the chance to catch up), and with the very fair criticisms laid against the most recent episode, it would seem that it isn’t just the die-hard fans who are miffed with the direction the show’s quality appears to be going in.

Season 8 Episode 5 – ‘The Bells’ – has received the lowest Rotten Tomatoes score in the show’s history, with just 47% at the time of writing, replacing the previous-worst episode; 54% for Season 5 Episode 6 – ‘Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken’ – which featured the notorious scene where Sansa Stark was raped by Ramsay Bolton on their wedding night.

This has dragged the average of the entire season down to 73%, while every other season has a score of 91% or higher.

However, none of this seems to have any influence on how many people are actually watching the show, as Variety report that ‘The Bells’ was watched by 12.48 million (in the US) during its initial broadcast, beating the show’s previous record of the 12.07 million who watched the season seven finale.

While these numbers are hugely impressive, by today’s standards at least (for example, the Friends finale had 52.5 million US viewers, and that was only the 4th most watched finale of all time), they also likely represent the last of the “must-watch” event TV as more and more streaming services divide audiences up, allowing us all to watch whatever we want, whenever we want.

And we’re sure we’ll be back here this time next week, reporting that the GOT viewing figures have set a new record again. Until then.