'Game of Thrones' Season 8 Premiere Ratings: How Did the Episode Stack Up?

Meredith Jacobs
HBO

Winter is here and ready to conquer Sunday nights.

The Game of Thrones Season 8 premiere, "Winterfell," aired April 14 on HBO, and both fans and critics loved it.

The 'Always Sunny' Cameo You Missed in the 'Game of Thrones' Premiere (VIDEO)

The 'Always Sunny' Cameo You Missed in the 'Game of Thrones' Premiere (VIDEO)

Plus, a 'Silicon Valley' star also made a brief appearance.

It received a score of 94 percent on Rotten Tomatoes' Tomatometer, which measures the percentage of Approved Tomatometer Critics who have given it a positive review. It also received an average rating of 7.62 out of 10.

Fans who expected Sunday's episode to be the most-watched premiere of the drama were correct. HBO announced Monday that a record 17.4 million viewers tuned in across the network's platforms (linear, HBOGO, and HBO NOW). Of those viewers, 11.8 million watched the 9:00 p.m. airing.

(HBO)

It was a popular topic on social media as well. According to Headline Planet, the series and its characters sat atop the trending topics on Twitter following the premiere Sunday night. At 1:15 am ET, #GameofThrones, Bran, Sansa, Arya, Daenerys, #FortheThrone, Jaime, Dany, and Cersei were the top nine.

It was also the most-tweeted about episode of Game of Thrones ever. There were more than five million tweets, and over the weekend, there were 11 million mentions.

'Game of Thrones': The Best Memes of Bran & More From the Season 8 Premiere

'Game of Thrones': The Best Memes of Bran & More From the Season 8 Premiere

Plus, Cersei's elephant upset, Sansa's sideye at Daenerys and more.

When the HBO series premiered in 2011, 2.2 million viewers tuned in. That number has been steadily growing with each season premiere, with nearly 8 million tuning in for the first episodes of both Seasons 5 and 6.

The Season 7 premiere set a record with 10.1 million watching it live and 6 million more catching the episode on DVRs or streaming platforms.

It's Time for 'Game of Thrones' Fans to Stop Vilifying Sansa Stark

It's Time for 'Game of Thrones' Fans to Stop Vilifying Sansa Stark

Some fans adore her, but many seem to hate her with a fiery passion. Here's why we think Sansa's actions are justified.

Airing opposite the Game of Thrones Season 8 premiere, a new episode of NCIS: Los Angeles and reruns of Family Guy and Charmed didn't stand a chance. Each of those shows were down in viewers from previous airings.

Though 7.5 million viewers tuned in for NCIS: LA on March 31, even with a delayed start, that number was down (to 6.76 million) for the latest episode.

How Stars Celebrated the 'Game of Thrones' Season 8 Premiere (PHOTOS)

How Stars Celebrated the 'Game of Thrones' Season 8 Premiere (PHOTOS)

Actors dressed up, ate branded foods, and sat on their own thrones to celebrate the beginning of the end.

Reality competition series, American Idol and World of Dance, both airing two-hour episodes, held steady.

Game of Thrones, Sundays, 9/8c, HBO