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Settling the Myth that Women Don't Like 'Game of Thrones'

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood June 4, 2013 at 2:43PM

Wired's out to settle a myth about HBO's "Game of Thrones": That women don't like the show. This assumption by some reviewers has now been debunked by statistical data. Women actually make up about 42% of the show's audience.
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"Game of Thrones" Season Three
"Game of Thrones" Season Three

Wired's out to settle a myth about HBO's "Game of Thrones": That women don't like the show. This assumption by some reviewers has now been debunked by statistical data. Women actually make up about 42% of the show's audience. (Although after bloody Episode 9, judging from this reaction video, they may be running for the hills.)

Wired cites a Nielsen report revealing that approximately 2 million women are watching the fantasy show each week. While this still puts female viewership in the slight minority for "Game of Thrones," social-media tracking from Fizzology indicates that half of the online conversations on the series are coming from women.

This comes as an answer to both the withering New York Times review of the show upon its release, which called it "boy fiction," and a sexist article on Thrillist suggesting that a reason women supposedly don't like the show is that it's "hard to follow."

Wired points out that AMC's "Breaking Bad" actually has much lower female viewership -- sitting at 36% -- but that show doesn't receive the same "not for girls" vitriol as "Game of Thrones." This is presumably linked to the ingrained stereotype that women won't find much of interest in the fantasy genre.

This article is related to: Television, TV, HBO


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.