Fantasy hit Game of Thrones surpassed legendary gangster drama The Sopranos and has officially taken the crown to become a new ratings king in HBO-land.

Episodes for the fourth season of the series (with two episodes remaining) have averaged an audience size of 18.4 million viewers, surpassing the previous record held by The Sopranos with 18.2 million viewers per episode for the series’s fourth season in 2002.

The May 18 episode hit a series best of 7.2 million viewers with its initial airing.The next episode of Game of Thrones debuts Sunday, June 8, and chronicles the Battle of Castle Black (below), followed by the season-four finale Sunday, June 15.

Fortunately for fans and for the actors involved, Game of Thrones has been renewed for a fifth and sixth season.

Based on the bestselling fantasy book series by George R.R. Martin, “Game of Thrones” is an epic story of treachery and nobility set on the continent of Westeros, where summers and winters can last years, and only the lust for power is eternal.

Personally, I think that Game of Thrones is most likely more of an Internet phenomenon than Sopranos, but I fear it’s also impossible to ever make a real comparison.