The Last Of Us Defeats HBO’s Flagship Show As Season Comes To An Astonishing End

The Last of Us is on track to surpass House of the Dragon in terms of total viewership.

By Lyndon Nicholas | Published

last of us season finale

Many fans can look at the success of the series The White Lotus as a testament to the fact that breakout series can often be unpredictable. HBO’s The Last of Us is one such breakout that could prove even more popular than HBO’s most anticipated releases. According to a recent article from The Hollywood Reporter, The Last of Us is set to beat out HBO’s Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon in terms of total viewership.

The finale of the first season of The Last of Us aired on Sunday to big numbers: it was up from last week’s average of 8.1 million viewers to 8.2 million viewers for the opening night. Overall, The Last of Us is averaging 30.4 million viewers since its premiere earlier this year on January 15th.

Although HBO is waiting on return numbers for the final three episodes, if it remains at 30.4 million or above, it would mean that the series captured a larger audience than House of the Dragon, which averaged 29 million viewers across all platforms. The series is shaping up to be the most-viewed HBO series since the original Game of Thrones finale season, which had its historic run in 2019.

One of the major developments is that The Last of Us’ viewership largely consists of those watching on HBO Max, with a significantly smaller portion of the show’s audience watching on HBO’s cable channel than Game of Thrones 27 percent.

The show is an adaptation of a video game of the same name. It is a post-apocalyptic survival thriller series about a man tasked with transporting a young girl across a post-outbreak United States landscape rife with infected humans and danger.

Bill and Frank in The Last of Us

The Last of Us made a splash with its premiere, but it is its third episode which likely catapulted it into even more commercial and critical acclaim. Entitled “Long, Long Time,” it featured Nick Offerman as Bill, and centered around a tender but tragic love story between Offerman’s Bill and his lover Frank, played by Murray Bartlett. The emotional storytelling showed that the series could do both the gripping action drama of shows like The Walking Dead while still creating space for gripping character-based storytelling.

The Last of Us’ lead Pedro Pascal has seen his already burgeoning fanbase expand, as he has garnered a large internet following. He is quickly shaping up to be one of Hollywood’s hottest commodities after gaining national attention with his role on Game of Thrones as Oberyn Martell and his starring role in the Disney+ series The Mandalorian.

Bella Ramsey is another actress whose needle is on the rise, and one who also had a show-stealing role as the tiny but fierce Lyanna Mormont in Game of Thrones, her first credited role.

Although unexpected, the series has quickly become one of HBO’s largest properties and could soon surpass House of the Dragon if more fans tune in for the most recent episodes and beyond for season two.