Which is the most popular Game of Thrones episode in India?

Winter is coming.
Winter is coming.
Image: REUTERS/Phil McCarten
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One of the world’s most popular television shows is nearing its end. Yet, many Indians are still furiously searching the web for the maiden episode, which aired over eight years ago.

Between January 2018 and March 2019, Google searches for the first episode of HBO’s epic fantasy show Game of Thrones (GoT) surpassed all others episodes, according to a study by the US-based online visibility management platform SEMrush.

This is ironic, given the show, which has broken many popularity records worldwide since it debuted in 2011, is nearing an end. GoT’s last season will air from April 15 and is being eagerly awaited. The internet is flooded with discussions about how the show will end.

But in India, interest in the latest episode is 44% less than that for the first, SEMrush found.

While the popularity of the first season could possibly be credited to fans who wish to refresh their memory before diving into the last season, Google’s search trends reveal otherwise.

What is this thing?

Between January 2018 and March 2019, the most popular search related to the show on Google in India was “what is game of thrones about.” Some other popular searches include: “how many episodes in game of thrones season 1” and “how many seasons of game of thrones are there.”

Even as Google searches are dominated by those ignorant about the series, there is no dearth of GoT fans in India. From playing the show’s theme song in Mumbai’s street orchestra to creating localised rendition of the music, GoT followers are going all out ahead of the final season.

So it is no surprise that the top 10 GoT-related searches on Google in India during the 15 months ending March 2019 were from those trying to figure out how to watch the show:

Until 2016, Indians were forced to watch the show by downloading episodes from the internet to circumvent all the cuts made for Indian TV. The good news is that fans in India will get to stream the eighth season on the video streaming platform Hotstar at 6:30 am on April 15—the same time that it airs in the US.