Reminding us that—for all its engaging characters and compelling storytelling—The Sopranos had a fatal lack of dragons, the occasionally dragon-abetted Game Of Thrones has officially surpassed the mob drama as HBO’s biggest series ever. The usurping has been in the offing for a while, as Game Of Thrones continued to grow viewers at an exponential rate with every new season, and The Sopranos just sat there on its stugots, lazily refusing to make any new seasons since 2007. All that resting on its laurels just cost the show its crown, as this past year of GOT has rendered a season average of 18.4 million viewers, easily clearing the former benchmark set by The Sopranos at 18.2 million.
And while those numbers could grow even bigger during GOT’s final two episodes, HBO already feels secure in officially declaring it the winner—even taking into account the DVR and HBO Go numbers that The Sopranos couldn’t take advantage of, but also considering that online piracy means there are many millions more Game Of Thrones viewers who are going uncounted. Still, it’s not too late for David Chase to whip up a new season of The Sopranos focused on Paulie smacking A.J. around, or whatever. This time, add some dragons.