INFOGRAPHIC: Game of Thrones, King of YouTube

In the realm of serial TV-style dramas, no other show has better exemplified the power of fans than Game of Thrones. While HBO’s official Game of Thrones YouTube channel has an impressive total of 229,500,957 views and 1,106,420 subscribers, these figures are dwarfed when compared with the deluge of views generated by fan uploads. The result is a whole new world of content build around the show.

When adding in fan content, the current total for all Game of Thrones related content on YouTube is a massive 1.5 billion lifetime views. For some context, compare that figure to a show like Mad Men, which currently has 77 million lifetime views to its name. While that’s nothing to scoff at, with seven seasons over the past seven plus years under Mad Men’s belt, it just goes to show how far the Game of Thrones fan universe extends on YouTube.

Infographic: Brace Yourself

Game of Thrones YouTube ZEFR data

GoT Video Trends

Once a new episode airs, fan communities breathe new life into the show, revealing the power of fans to turn a TV show into a cultural phenomenon. Because Game of Thrones is so captivating, and frequently shocking, fan made videos that get shared online are fittingly over the top themselves, demanding plenty of attention in their own right. Below are some of the best examples of these fan generated moments on YouTube.

“Red Wedding” Reaction Videos

The scene from Season 3 episode 9, known as “The Red Wedding,” is easily one of the most shocking moments in TV history. And, thanks to all the fans who had already read the books, they got out their cameras ahead of time and pointed them at their illiterate friends as they watched the horror unfold in real time. Then, thanks to YouTube, the world could watch their priceless reactions for themselves:

That compilation video currently has over 11.4 million views. Using ZEFR tech, we ran a search to see just how many “Red Wedding” reaction videos there are in total, and we found 2.2 thousand videos, with 87 million views.

“Purple Wedding” Reaction Videos

Following the same formula that made Red Wedding reaction videos a hit, fans pulled out their cameras once again to capture their fellow fans’ reactions to another infamous wedding murder. Though, the reactions themselves were a bit different this time:

That compilation video has just over 630 thousand views. Total Purple Wedding related videos? We found 596 videos with a total of 10 million views.

Theme Song Covers

The opening theme song for GoT, known simply as Main Title is clearly epic. Fans could hum the tune in their sleep. And, once they pick up their instruments, cover versions spread far and wide. Here is one of the most viewed versions arranged and performed by cello rock band Break of Reality:

We found a total of 687 song covers for all GoT related tunes, amounting to over 30.5 million views.


Taking such a serious, dark show and making light of it seems to be a winning combination, as GoT parodies flourish on YouTube. Just this week, even Sesame Street got in on the joke with “A Game of Chairs”:

Total video count for GoT parodies? 401. Total Views? North of 25 million. Long live satire.

The Red Viper vs. The Mountain

Lastly, we have one more reaction video compilation. I’m not even going to try and describe the carnage that is unfolding in front of these fans’ eyes… actually, rather than having to relive this moment, it’s probably best that you just skip this last video and go enjoy the rest of your day.

I warned you.


The Game of Thrones fan community is just one example of the power of the fan on YouTube. At ZEFR, we’ve learned that fans are creating content about any and everything that matters to them, and they’re doing it on a massive scale. The same holds true for brands, as we found that fan videos drive 86% of branded content on YouTube. And, because fans make videos out of their own passions, this content is inherently more authentic than anything else.

Thus, empower the “You” in YouTube by adding your own voice to the fan communities you care about most. Once you begin to engage authentically with fans, the platform’s potential power becomes clear as the community responds in kind.


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