Game of Thrones” scored an unprecedented victory last Sunday when a recent leak of its fourth episode “The Spoils of War” failed to slow down the HBO show’s ratings momentum. In fact, the series broke its rating record for this season when it posted close to 10.2 million viewers for the action-packed episode.

Destroying the competition

Based on a report by TV By the Numbers, “Game of Thrones” destroyed the competition as it posted ratings which were more than triple to its closest competition. “The Spoils of War” which saw Daenerys Targaryen lead an attack on Jamie Lannister’s loot train after suffering two defeats at the hands of Cersei’s allies.

It can be recalled that the episode was leaked last week after a server of Star India was hacked by yet unidentified culprits. The link to the low-resolution copy of “The Spoils of War” was quickly circulated via torrent sites and social media pages like Facebook and was reportedly viewed and shared by thousands of fans.

Despite the setback, fans of the show rallied behind the episode and campaigned among fellow fans to refrain from posting spoilers about the episode. Fans also said that the best episode of “Game of Thrones” deserves top ratings and the HBO team deserves full support for their hard work in pulling off the fourth episode of the seventh season.

It seemed to work as fans tuned into the show.

Instead of suffering from rating loss, “The Spoils of War” even surpassed its highest rating episode for this season – “Dragonstone,” the premiere episode of “Game of Thrones” Season 7 which drew 10.1 million viewers.

The Spoils of War” posted a total of 10.167 million views among the top 25 cable shows and 5.909 million of these viewers came from the much coveted 18-49 demographic.

At second place was “Rick and Morty” which logged 3.208 million viewers, half of which belonged to 18-49 age demographic.

Show is suffering

While “Game of Thrones” is enjoying strong support from the fans, there are still those who have observed that show’s script is suffering from the lack of direction from author George RR Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” saga.

It can be recalled that in an unprecedented event, the HBO show had surpassed the events of its source material when Martin failed to release the sixth book before the sixth season ended last year.

George RR Martin has admitted to being a “slow writer” and said that he is still working on the sixth bookWinds Of Winter.” The HBO show is currently tackling the events of what should be the seventh book “A Dream of Spring.”

Forbes reviewer Paul Tassi, in his article, observed that some of the scripts are now beginning to sound more like fan service rather than what the characters should be saying. He said that while showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff are still taking direction from the events that Martin revealed to them, the script lacks the punch from the show’s best dialogue which was lifted directly from Martin’s books.

“I literally mean the show needs George RR Martin’s writing,” Tassi said. “Like the words on the page that these characters speak… a lot of the show’s best writing was adapted or taken directly from Martin’s books in earlier seasons. And now with no books to reference, the show’s writers have to freestyle, and that can be…awkward.”