Daenerys Targaryen and one of her three dragons in <i>Game of Thrones</i> season four.

Daenerys and friend in happier times. Can't tell you where friend is now, because of spoiler risk

These were the most watched programs on Pay TV on Monday: 1 NRL Titans V Storm (FoxSports1) 185,000; 2 Game of Thrones final 3.30pm (showcase) 181,000; 3 Monday Night with Matty Johns (FoxSports1) 115,000; 4 Game of Thrones final 7.30pm (showcase) 110,000; 5 AFL 360 (FoxFooty) 107,000. In the US, the final ep drew 9.1 million viwers over three showings (which would usually imply an Australian audience of 900,000). So a hell of a lot of people downloaded illegally or were waiting for a legal purchase opportunity.

Having been scolded for putting spoilers in my headlines (see Comments, below) I am trying to avoid them until readers have caught up with their recordings and downloads of the final episode of Game of Thrones. But the following observation should be safe.

Reader comment of the day: 'GRRM really should just finish the damn story and put us all out of our misery. He's not exactly a young, fit man.' - em 

The ABC radio talk jock Mark Colvin has observed, via twitter, that the final ep contains the best skeleton fighting since Ray Harryhausen (a reference to the 1963 film Jason and the Argonauts) and I'd certainly agree that the special effects work is excellent. But to me, the wights are the weakest elements of the GoT narrative. The odd moment of magic is acceptable, but the wights defy all the laws of physics. What motivates them, with no brain? How do they see, with no eyes? How do they run, with no muscles? The less we see in season five of the fairy kingdom of the north, the happier I'll be. Go to Comments, below, to discuss what you made of the magnificent final ep, but if you haven't seen it yet, be warned there are spoilers down there.

Not so Fawlty ... British hotels' reputation for poor service is changing.

Basil is faultless in the 7Two ratings

There seems to be a core of 637,000 soccer fanatics in Australia's mainland capitals: That's how many got up at 4am and stayed watching till 10am on Saturday to see all the matches. About 1.7 million in the mainland capitals (plus 535,000 regionals) saw Australia's embarrassment against Chile. On Sunday, 836,000 watched Italy defeat England. The charts below may contain different figures because the OzTAM boffins seem to be averaging over several matches. SBS should speak severely to OzTAM. To see how the audience for soccer compares with other forms of football, go to Australia's most watched TV programs of all time.

Game of Thrones continues to be the most watched non-sports program on pay TV. The second-last episode of season 4 pulled a total of 283,000 to the 3.30pm and 7.30pm showings. The writers promised that the final episode of this season would be the most elaborate of any season -- and made no promises about refraining from further character deaths. To learn how Stannis feels about the power struggles, go to A game of yawns for Stephen.

Check out our chart for the extraordinary variety of programming that is now available for every weirdo taste, and go to comments, below, to ask for data on your favourite cult experience.

What Australia watched, week ending June 21

Description            Channel 5 City Metro total            Sydney            Melbourne            Brisbane            Adelaide            Perth

1            STATE OF ORIGIN RUGBY LEAGUE NSW V QLD 2ND - MATCH            Network 9            2,578,000            1,204,000            420,000            862,000            91,000           

2            STATE OF ORIGIN RUGBY LEAGUE NSW V QLD 2ND - PRE MATCH            Network 9            1,692,000            785,000            285,000            553,000            68,000           

3            HOUSE RULES-REVEAL            Network 7            1,572,000            405,000            419,000            294,000            201,000            254,000

4            SEVEN NEWS - SUN            Network 7            1,560,000            297,000            553,000            295,000            179,000            237,000

5            THE VOICE -SUN            Network 9            1,548,000            556,000            427,000            274,000            169,000            122,000

6            HOUSE RULES-TUE            Network 7            1,484,000            395,000            394,000            299,000            142,000            254,000

7            NINE NEWS SUNDAY            Network 9            1,434,000            565,000            386,000            271,000            116,000            96,000

8            HOUSE RULES-SUN            Network 7            1,407,000            340,000            385,000            275,000            161,000            245,000

9            THE VOICE -MON            Network 9            1,374,000            459,000            434,000            205,000            144,000            131,000

10            STATE OF ORIGIN RUGBY LEAGUE NSW V QLD 2ND - POST MATCH            Network 9            1,238,000            759,000            143,000            336,000                       

11            SUNDAY NIGHT            Network 7            1,208,000            302,000            325,000            251,000            133,000            197,000

12            60 MINUTES            Network 9            1,200,000            435,000            301,000            239,000            123,000            102,000

13            NINE NEWS            Network 9            1,181,000            365,000            394,000            246,000            79,000            97,000

14            SEVEN NEWS            Network 7            1,144,000            267,000            311,000            213,000            152,000            201,000

15            NINE NEWS 6:30            Network 9            1,080,000            342,000            365,000            214,000            76,000            83,000

16            MASTERCHEF AUSTRALIA THURS            Network TEN            1,055,000            317,000            339,000            170,000            116,000            113,000

17            SEVEN NEWS - SAT            Network 7            1,025,000            186,000            304,000            223,000            155,000            157,000

18            SEVEN NEWS / TODAY TONIGHT            Network 7            1,016,000            244,000            305,000            178,000            119,000            170,000

19            MASTERCHEF AUSTRALIA SUN            Network TEN            1,002,000            304,000            340,000            161,000            68,000            129,000

21            MASTERCHEF AUSTRALIA TUES            Network TEN            990,000            308,000            331,000            159,000            84,000            108,000

22            A PLACE TO CALL HOME            Network 7            967,000            254,000            274,000            181,000            101,000            158,000

23            WINNERS & LOSERS            Network 7            961,000            248,000            284,000            179,000            115,000            135,000

24            A CURRENT AFFAIR            Network 9            951,000            310,000            285,000            190,000            74,000            92,000

25            GRAND DESIGNS            Network ABC1            943,000            244,000            302,000            185,000            102,000            110,000

26            HOUSE HUSBANDS            Network 9            891,000            296,000            314,000            117,000            98,000            66,000

27            HOME AND AWAY            Network 7            876,000            189,000            249,000            186,000            109,000            143,000

28            THE CHECKOUT            Network ABC1            875,000            267,000            279,000            148,000            93,000            88,000

29            MASTERCHEF AUSTRALIA WED            Network TEN            874,000            220,000            362,000            91,000            102,000            99,000

30            NCIS            Network TEN            866,000            221,000            298,000            157,000            72,000            118,000

31            2014 FIFA WORLD CUP LIVE: ENG V ITA            Network SBS ONE            836,000            360,000            231,000            127,000            61,000            57,000

35            CARLOTTA            Network ABC1            809,000            228,000            266,000            136,000            87,000            92,000

36            ABC NEWS            Network ABC1            808,000            224,000            290,000            119,000            85,000            91,000

37            WHAT REALLY HAPPENS IN BALI-MON            Network 7            806,000            230,000            239,000            125,000            76,000            136,000

38            OFFSPRING            Network TEN            803,000            159,000            351,000            63,000            124,000            105,000

45            THE BIG BANG THEORY -RPT EP2            Network 9            742,000            219,000            197,000            150,000            78,000            97,000

46            LAST TANGO IN HALIFAX-EV            Network ABC1            723,000            217,000            209,000            125,000            71,000            101,000

50            TEN EYEWITNESS NEWS            Network TEN            651,000            180,000            166,000            112,000            86,000            107,000

51            AUSTRALIAN STORY            Network ABC1            640,000            196,000            200,000            128,000            62,000            53,000

54            2014 FIFA WORLD CUP LIVE: AUS V NED            Network SBS ONE            625,000            218,000            207,000            97,000            46,000            58,000

57            OLD SCHOOL            Network ABC1            614,000            163,000            190,000            112,000            82,000            68,000

58            FOUR CORNERS            Network ABC1            606,000            158,000            206,000            94,000            73,000            76,000

61            ELEMENTARY            Network TEN            572,000            164,000            178,000            89,000            53,000            87,000

71            CLARKE AND DAWE            Network ABC1            509,000            140,000            205,000            70,000            47,000            47,000

75            WHEN LOVE COMES TO TOWN            Network 9            486,000            141,000            176,000            65,000            45,000            59,000

78            2014 FIFA WORLD CUP LIVE: CIV V JPN            Network SBS ONE            478,000            206,000            145,000            54,000            36,000            37,000

79            THE GOLDBERGS            Network 7            473,000            110,000            117,000            120,000            55,000            72,000

80            SEVEN'S AFL: FRIDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL            Network 7            463,000                        338,000                        125,000           

83            THE TUNNEL            Network ABC1            456,000            108,000            159,000            84,000            60,000            44,000

90            FRIDAY NIGHT NRL LIVE            Network 9            426,000            291,000                        135,000                       

93            SEVEN'S AFL: SUNDAY AFTERNOON FOOTBALL            Network 7            422,000                        293,000                        80,000            49,000

98            SEVEN'S AFL: SATURDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL            Network 7            393,000                        239,000                        154,000           

107            GREY'S ANATOMY            Network 7            350,000            101,000            103,000            59,000            34,000            54,000

108            24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY            Network TEN            349,000            107,000            110,000            56,000            24,000            54,000

109            THE GOOD WIFE            Network TEN            348,000            55,000            150,000            33,000            57,000            53,000

113            AT THE MOVIES            Network ABC1            337,000            113,000            133,000            42,000            24,000            26,000

150            2014 FIFA WORLD CUP LIVE: HON V ECU            Network SBS ONE            264,000            91,000            83,000            56,000            24,000            10,000

154            2014 FIFA WORLD CUP LIVE: ARG V BIH            Network SBS ONE            256,000            91,000            83,000            42,000            18,000            22,000

164            RUGBY: 2014 FRANCE TOUR - THIRD TEST LIVE            Network TEN            245,000            108,000            38,000            61,000            19,000            18,000

174            ONCE UPON A TIME IN PUNCHBOWL            Network SBS ONE            236,000            96,000            61,000            41,000            18,000            21,000

176            2014 FIFA WORLD CUP LIVE: GER V POR            Network SBS ONE            235,000            74,000            94,000            24,000            10,000            33,000

179            2014 FIFA WORLD CUP LIVE: URU ENG            Network SBS ONE            233,000            106,000            73,000            54,000                       

198            2014 FIFA WORLD CUP LIVE: GHA V USA            Network SBS ONE            216,000            79,000            69,000            37,000            15,000            16,000

213            2014 FIFA WORLD CUP LIVE: JPN V GRE            Network SBS ONE            203,000            99,000            48,000            32,000            8,000            15,000

214            AUSTRALIA'S SECRET HEROES            Network SBS ONE            201,000            66,000            54,000            42,000            21,000            19,000

223            FAWLTY TOWERS            Network 7TWO            196,000            51,000            55,000            33,000            22,000            35,000

229            BOGAN HUNTERS            Network 7mate            193,000            48,000            42,000            51,000            32,000            20,000

240            2014 FIFA WORLD CUP LIVE: ESP V CHI            Network SBS ONE            186,000            82,000            47,000            40,000            7,000            10,000

241            2014 FIFA WORLD CUP LIVE: BRA V MEX            Network SBS ONE            185,000            88,000            42,000            34,000            10,000            12,000

259            2014 FIFA WORLD CUP LIVE: RUS V KOR            Network SBS ONE            177,000            67,000            44,000            38,000            11,000            17,000

280            FARGO            Network SBS ONE            170,000            45,000            66,000            23,000            20,000            16,000

292            2014 FIFA WORLD CUP LIVE: ITA V CRC            Network SBS ONE            166,000            46,000            71,000            11,000            10,000            28,000

314            INTELLIGENCE            Network 7            151,000            33,000            43,000            33,000            20,000            22,000

            150,000            47,000            34,000            27,000            17,000            25,000

317            2014 FIFA WORLD CUP LIVE: URU V CRC            Network SBS ONE            150,000            63,000            37,000            28,000            6,000            16,000

343            ROCKWIZ            Network SBS ONE            141,000            41,000            50,000            21,000            16,000            12,000

355            EYES WIDE SHUT            Network 9            139,000            39,000            53,000            20,000            16,000            12,000

360            2014 FIFA WORLD CUP LIVE: SUI V FRA            Network SBS ONE            136,000            55,000            51,000            18,000            8,000            5,000

361            2014 FIFA WORLD CUP LIVE: CMR V CRO            Network SBS ONE            136,000            53,000            39,000            30,000            8,000            6,000

395            2014 FIFA WORLD CUP LIVE: COL V GRE            Network SBS ONE            126,000            58,000            56,000            7,000            6,000           

411            STATE OF ORIGIN RUGBY LEAGUE NSW V QLD 2ND - MATCH            Network Gem            121,000                                                            121,000

461            2014 FIFA WORLD CUP LIVE: IRN V NGA            Network SBS ONE            110,000            39,000            42,000            18,000            5,000            5,000

464            2014 FIFA WORLD CUP LIVE: FRA V HON            Network SBS ONE            110,000            45,000            33,000            16,000            8,000            7,000

475            THE FULL BRAZILIAN            Network SBS ONE            108,000            40,000            34,000            15,000            11,000            8,000

485            2014 FIFA WORLD CUP LIVE: BEL V ALG            Network SBS ONE            107,000            48,000            23,000            12,000            4,000            20,000

624            2014 FIFA WORLD CUP LIVE: COL V CIV            Network SBS ONE            79,000            24,000            35,000            4,000            5,000            11,000

924            2014 FIFA WORLD CUP LIVE: URU V ENG            Network SBS ONE            43,000                                                19,000            23,000

1060            ORPHAN BLACK            Network SBS 2            33,000            9,000            4,000            6,000            8,000            6,000

OzTAM Overnight estimates, mainland capitals. Copyright OzTAM Pty Limited 2013. The data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM.

 

 The Tribal Mind column, by David Dale, appears in a printed form every Sunday in The Sun-Herald and The Sunday Age, and also as a forum on this website, where it welcomes your comments.

David Dale teaches communications at UTS, Sydney. He is the author of The Little Book of Australia - A snapshot of who we are (Allen and Unwin). For daily updates on Australian attitudes, bookmark The Tribal Mind.