Stranger Things vs. Game of Thrones: Which Show Is More Successful?

stranger things vs. game of thrones

More and more TV shows are taking over social media and culture today as Stranger Things continues to become more popular as Netflix’s flagship original series. But when it comes to some of the best series out there, it is difficult to avoid comparisons to Game of Thrones because of the fact that it still is the gold standard when it comes to TV shows that were able to captivate the entire world. So, which between Stranger Things and Game of Thrones is more successful?

Game of Thrones is the more successful show compared to Stranger Things, even though it had a disappointing ending. Stranger Things comes close when it comes to how well its storyline was written and how approachable it is to more audiences. But Game of Thrones has profitability and viewership on its side.

The thing about Stranger Things is that it was a sleeper series that wasn’t supposed to be as big as it is but somehow managed to become a hit series because of how successful its initial season was. But as successful as Stranger Things has become, it still has a few more miles to go before it is able to reach the overall success that Stranger Things has seen. Still, let’s look at this argument in greater detail.


The Duffer Brothers once said that Stranger Things was rejected by over 15 networks before it made its way to Netflix as an original. Those networks must be regretting their decision right now because Stranger Things was able to sell its storyline to audience members in a very successful manner. The series is set in the 80s and follows strange occurrences in the fictional town of Hawkins, where a group of kids now have to work together so that they can save their town from the monsters that terrorize it. And the best thing about it is that, aside from the 80s nostalgia, fans are able to see how ordinary people are capable of doing extraordinary things.

stranger things kids

Game of Thrones has one of the most complicated storylines that eventually managed to narrow itself down near the very end of the series. Its story is focused on the fictional continent of Westeros, which has become the subject of political battles between different lords after the death of the king. In a sense, the storyline is political in nature but manages to blend fantasy into the overall plot, especially with the introduction of things like dragons and zombies. Nevertheless, Game of Thrones could have had the greatest storyline of all time had it not been for the disappointing ending.


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It is probably the ending of Game of Thrones that ruined the overall storyline of the series because it was too rushed and poorly done. While Stranger Things isn’t as grand in terms of its storyline, its premise has only improved every season.

Stranger Things 1, Game of Thrones 0


Like a lot of different TV series, Stranger Things relies on a central character that’s supported by an ensemble cast of main characters, who have all become so lovable and endearing to audiences worldwide. The series focuses on Eleven, a mysterious girl with psychic abilities, as she meets a group of kids composed of Mike, Dustin, Lucas, and Will. There are also other supporting characters that had great developments in their own arcs, as the adults and the older teenagers also have their fair share of the limelight. But the series mostly focuses on the kids.

Game of Thrones was originally composed of an ensemble cast until the series narrowed its focus down to the central characters of Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen. Nevertheless, this series has some of the most compelling characters that saw their own growths throughout the series, as some of them started unloved but grew so much to the point that fans began to root behind them. On top of that, the antagonists of Game of Thrones were so amazingly written that they have elicited emotional responses from audiences all over the world.


Stranger Things has endearing characters that you can’t help but love. However, Game of Thrones has the better characters because of how they are able to elicit a lot of different positive and negative emotions. 

Stranger Things 1, Game of Thrones 1


It is very difficult to truly compare the viewership of Stranger Things as against other shows outside of Netflix because Netflix tends to measure viewership in terms of minutes streamed instead of households. That’s because most streaming services are not able to measure how many households watch their series as they mostly measure in terms of minutes. That said, Stranger Things has broken records, especially after recording 286.7 million hours viewed in volume 1 of its fourth season.

Game of Thrones broke records with every season because of how it was able to amass millions of viewers all over the world with every episode released. Season 5 is still its most successful season as far as viewership is concerned, as it was able to reach 68 million total viewers. Meanwhile, the series finale of Game of Thrones was able to reach over 19.3 million viewers. This means that this is still one of the most, if not the most, successful series in terms of viewership.

game of thrones army

The fact that it is difficult to measure the viewership of a streamed series like Stranger Things is why Game of Thrones wins this round. Of course, Game of Thrones had accessibility on its side because it is a TV show that did not require a subscription. 

Stranger Things 1, Game of Thrones 2


It can be difficult to measure how profitable a Netflix series is because of the fact that Netflix makes money mainly through subscriptions, unlike TV shows that are able to profit through ads and other different means. However, the merchandise sales of Stranger Things have been successful as there are reasons to believe that this franchise could one day reach a billion dollars in terms of merchandise sales. Still, there is a long way to go before Stranger Things could reach Star Wars levels in terms of profitability.


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Game of Thrones is the most profitable TV series of all time and reached over $3 billion in terms of the money it brought to HBO. We are not even looking at merchandise sales here as it is possible that it has also reached billions of dollars in terms of the merchandise it sold. In that regard, it isn’t a wonder why the actors of Game of Thrones have also become quite successful in a financial sense, considering that the series is a billion-dollar franchise that will only become more successful as HBO seeks to release spin-off stories based on the same universe.

game of thrones awards

Stranger Things is indeed profitable, but it still has a long way to go before it can reach the overall profitability of Game of Thrones, which is still the most profitable series in recent memory.

Stranger Things 1, Game of Thrones 3


One of the things that made Stranger Things successful is its approachability because it is attractive to a lot of different audience members. The fact that it stars children makes it appealing to kids, and its 80s nostalgia allows it to be a hit among adults as well. It also blends a lot of different elements, such as fantasy, romance, adventure, horror, comedy, and coming-of-age, all in one great package that seems to be appealing to different audiences all over the world.

stranger things characters

Game of Thrones may be massively successful, but it was never the most approachable series due to the fact that it is full of sex, violence, alcohol, and profanity. It is very much an adult-only series that kids are not supposed to watch due to how it could potentially influence their behavior. So, in that regard, Game of Thrones was never the most approachable series as far as its overall premise is concerned.

Its approachability is probably the reason why it is so successful, as Stranger Things appeals to a lot of different audience members. It doesn’t have the same action that Game of Thrones has, but it was able to blend a lot of different genres in a unique package that appeals to any audience.

Stranger Things 2, Game of Thrones 3

Stranger Things vs. Game Of Thrones: Which Show Is More Successful?

Yes, Stranger Things is a great series that has captivated audiences around the world, but we are not going to use recency bias here because the numbers are still on the side of Game of Thrones. Bad ending aside, Game of Thrones is still massively the more successful series compared to Stranger Things and quite possibly any other TV series in history. And it would take an equally massive series to topple Game of Thrones, as Stranger Things might have the potential to be that series.

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