Calling Game of Thrones a ‘cultural phenomenon’ may be bold; calling it a social media hit cannot be denied. After season one’s finale was broadcast in June 2011, the anticipation for season two grew exponentially as tiny morsels of information carefully managed by HBO were gradually fed to starving fans lurking on social networks.
To what extent did anticipation for Game of Thrones grow as the premiere date (1 April) approached? The following charts illustrate key dates leading up to the event.
The top coverage peak in early March followed the unveiling of the ‘epic’ teaser trailer while, after a slight slowdown, there was a marked increase in media attention ahead of the much-awaited airing.
The most prominent source group was blogs, followed by message boards, a clear indication of how online influencers increasingly fill the gap of traditional media for entertainment news.
While 76% of the buzz was domestic, 39% of non-US coverage originated in Spain regarding the US premiere. Season two launches in Spain on 23 April, but the US airing is currently the global focus.
Note the peak in late March, when HBO released new character photos. Trends show the most mentioned characters are Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen, while Tyrion Lannister is frequently cited for his role as Hand of the King in the new season.