The latest season is over and it won't be back until next Summer. And when it does return there will only be seven episodes to drool over, instead of the usual 10. But, for now, this hit HBO fantasy drama is overflowing with plenty of intrigue, violence and sex, all of which you can stream now (with and without a cable subscription).
There are a variety of very easy ways to watch Game of Thrones online, and a slightly more obtuse method for those who don't mind waiting awhile. Bear in mind that no matter what you do, you'll need a Lannister's deep pockets to pay for the privilege. (Unless, of course, you illegally torrent the show — which, based on available statistics, you've probably already done.)
If you want to watch Game of Thrones episodes as they air and don't feel like getting a cable or satellite subscription for HBO, your easiest solution is HBO Now. This $15-per-month streaming service is available on just about every set-top box, streaming stick and game console (save for the Wii U), as well as Android and iOS mobile devices, PCs and Macs.
Subscribing to and operating HBO Now could not be simpler. Just download the app (or visit the website) and sign up for a free trial month. (This requires billing and credit card information, as the $15 cost kicks in automatically once the second month begins.)
Once that's done, not only will you be able to watch new episodes in real time as they're first broadcast, but you can also access the entire show's backlog, from Ned Stark's tragic heroism in Season 1, to Jaime Lannister's itinerant wanderings in Season 5. Once an episode finishes its initial broadcast, you'll be able to watch or re-watch it at any time, provided you have an Internet connection.
HBO Now also gives you access to pretty much everything that HBO broadcasts, including current shows, classic shows, comedy specials, documentaries, a selection of licensed films, made-for-TV movies and other eclectic content. If that doesn't appeal to you, though, you can simply cancel your subscription once the 10-episode Game of Thrones season has concluded, then subscribe again for a few months next year.
For those who haven't yet cut the cord and have a good deal on HBO through their cable or satellite providers, you'll want HBO Go instead of HBO Now. This streaming service is identical to HBO Now in terms of functionality, but works with your existing HBO cable or satellite subscription. Simply download it on any streaming-media device (or visit the site on a computer), verify your subscription, and you'll be good to go.
Subscribers can share their HBO Go login information with up to five different users. So if you have a family member or close friend who gets HBO the old-fashioned way, offer to make them dinner, clean their gutters or eliminate a political rival at a wedding in exchange for the login info.
The HBO channel on the cable-replacement Sling TV service works exactly the same as the two services described above, and costs $15 per month on top of the $20-per-month basic channel subscription. If you already subscribe to Sling TV, it probably makes more sense to just add HBO onto your package rather than to get HBO Now, but there's no real difference in cost or functionality.
Unlike some other popular shows, Game of Thrones does not come to the big streaming services as it airs. Each season of the show tends to reach à-la-carte services such Amazon Video, Google Play and iTunes just before the new season premieres.
À La Carte Services
If you want to own digital copies of Game of Thrones rather than just licensing them temporarily, à la carte services will oblige — for a princely sum. You can purchase Seasons 1 through 5 of Game of Thrones through Amazon Video, Google Play, iTunes, Microsoft, PlayStation and Vudu. This is much more expensive than buying the DVDs, but it also means you can access them without a DVD player, so it may not be the worst investment you can make.
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