Jon Snow knows everything about high ratings. The May 31 "Game of Thrones" Season 5, Episode 8, "Hardhome," rebounded from last week's lowest-of-the-season drop to the biggest audience since the premiere. They don't call it the Night's Watch for nuthin!

"Hardhome," was the best episode of the season so far, so it's good that plenty of people showed up for it. 'Cause you don't know ahead of time what's going to be good and what's going to be (literal) torture.

Episode 7's "The Gift" ratings dipped to the lowest of the season, and everyone had an opinion on why. It was because of the Memorial Day holiday. It was because of the Sansa Stark storyline backlash. It was because of all the changes from the book. It was because the show is boring this season. It was because Rickon has been gone so long. (OK, no one said that last one. But seriously. Will we ever see that kid again?)

As we noted last week, GoT dropped to 5.4 million viewers with a 2.5 rating in the 18-49 demo, down from the previous week's 6.24 million and 3.1 rating. Well, guess what? According to TV by the Numbers, the combined powers of Tyrion Lannister, Daenerys Targaryen, Jon Snow, and that BAMF Night's King -- aka the "Come At Me, Crow" White Walker -- gave "Hardhome" a solid 7 million viewers with a 3.4 rating.
That's the most overall viewers since the Season 5 premiere's 8 million. Everything else has been just under 7 million, except for last week's dip below 6 million. But not only are the people who left after Episode 6's unpopular "Unbowed, Unbent, Unwatchable" back to see what's next, they brought friends.

So last week must've been at least partially a holiday blip, and buzz for the unexpected Tyrion/Dany meeting probably brought new people to "Hardhome." Come for the Danyrion alliance, stay for the epic walking dead battle. It's hard to imagine the ratings will drop after "Hardhome," so expect beast numbers for "The Dance of Dragons" this Sunday, June 7 and the finale, "Mother's Mercy," on June 14.

Are you surprised to see the ratings jump in a big way this week or does that just make sense?

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