The first season finale for the smash-hit HBO series, “The Last of Us,” is in the books, and it delivered another huge number for the premium cabler. HBO announced that the finale drew 8.2 million viewers across HBO Max and linear telecasts, based on Nielsen and first-party data. That marks another series high for the show, following last week’s penultimate episode, which drew 8.1 million viewers.
On top of that, the first six episodes of the season averaged 30.4 million viewers, and the first episode approached 40 million viewers outside of the United States. The average would put the show ahead of the first season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” spinoff, “House of the Dragon,” in seasonal viewership if the figure holds (h/t The Hollywood Reporter).
‘The Last Of Us’ Draws Big For First Season Finale
By comparison, “House of the Dragon” averaged 29 million viewers across platforms during its original run last year. Also, THR noted that the series’ cumulative audience is the biggest for any HBO series since the last season of “Game of Thrones” in 2019, which averaged approximately 44 million viewers for its final season (32.5 million for Season 7). The dark fantasy series ended a year before the launch of HBO Max.
Meanwhile, “The Last of Us” has been nothing short of an enormous hit with fans and critics. The show had a crushing debut with 4.7 million viewers, and the series’ viewership has grown consistently across the first episode. The season finale had a 75% overall increase in viewership compared to the series premiere. The show currently has a critics score of 96% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Series creators Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann, who is also one of the co-creators of the original video game on which the show is based, recently sat down with “The Last of Us Podcast” and host Troy Baker to talk about the series and provide a scene-by-scene deep dive into each episode. Host Baker was the original motion capture actor and voice of Joel Miller in the games as well.
Additionally, HBO is now spotlighting the series on HBO Max with new behind-the-scenes content and access to the companion podcast, along with an interactive flashlight to help viewers find their next show to week. There is also a curated selection of movies and shows from 2003, the year in which the outbreak from the show occurs and causes modern society to collapse.
As previously reported by The Blast, “The Last of Us” was quickly renewed for a second season. HBO announced a quick, early renewal for the series before the third episode even aired. So, the story will continue for Joel and Ellie. The series stars Pedro Pascal (“The Mandalorian,” “Game of Thrones,” “Wonder Woman 1984”) as Joel Miller and Bella Ramsey (“Game of Thrones”) as Ellie Williams. The television show is based on the acclaimed video game series created by Naughty Dog.
The first season of “The Last of Us” is available to stream now on HBO Max. The first season consists of nine episodes. Season 2 does not yet have a debut date, but it will debut on HBO later on.