How to watch Game of Thrones online

Ditch the torrents! How to legally watch Game of Thrones online

how to watch Game of Thrones online The Hound
Helen Sloan/HBO

Unless you’ve been living under the Wall for the past few years — you know, that 300-mile stretch of fortification that runs along the northern border of the Seven Kingdoms — you’re probably at least somewhat aware of HBO's smash-hit fantasy series Game of Thrones. If you aren’t, you probably didn’t get that reference, in which case, this article will help you get in the know.

Adapted from the brooding, incestuous bloodbath that is George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series of books, the TV show is known for shocking new and old fans alike as it introduces more and more characters before unceremoniously killing them off. If you don’t have a cable subscription, however, you’re probably wondering about how to watch Game of Thrones online — particularly with the series’ final episode airing this weekend and plenty of dangling plot threads to wrap up.

Though finding a legal and affordable way to stream the show has been somewhat difficult in the past, the premium cable network has now made watching the series easier than ever before. There’s HBO Now, the network’s stand-alone streaming service, as well as HBO Go, a free streaming option for subscribers to the cable channel. Both give you on-demand access to HBO’s vast library of original television series and exclusive movies. A few different services also offer on-demand access to HBO’s offerings as an add-on subscription. We sincerely doubt these extra means of watching will prevent the show from retaining its title as one of the most pirated shows of all time, but at least it’s now less of a hassle to watch it guilt-free — so long as you have a bit of cash to spare and a high tolerance for the occasional beheading.

Watch on HBO Go

how to watch Game of Thrones online HBO Go

Content is king, and no one provides content better than the source itself. HBO Go was once the only official method for streaming Game of Thrones in high-definition, prior to the announcement of HBO Now. It’s still a valid one, though, assuming you already have an HBO subscription with your cable provider. The excellent service provides unlimited access to all of HBO’s original programming — including past seasons of Game of Thrones and behind-the-scenes footage with the cast — along with a wide variety of theatrically released films and television specials currently playing on the premium channel.

As previously mentioned, accessing HBO Go online or through the accompanying app requires you to purchase a premium HBO package. If you already have cable, you can expect an HBO subscription to cost $15 at the very least, with the exact rate fluctuating based on your region and the host of available promotions. HBO Go is free once you opt for a subscription through participating TV providers, and can be accessed using the HBO Go website or a slew of different platforms ranging from Apple to Android. For your convenience, we listed the supported devices below, but keep in mind that HBO Go availability is based on your service provider and may not be available for certain platforms within a specified area. Nonetheless, each new episode of Game of Thrones will be available for viewing within HBO Go immediately upon airing on the network.

Apple iPad (2nd gen or later, iOS 8+) Roku (details here)
Apple iPhone 4s or later (iOS 8+) Xbox One
Apple TV (4th gen: tvOS 9+, 2nd/3rd gen: 7.1.2+) PlayStation 4
Apple iPod Touch (5th gen or later, iOS 8+) Android phones (Android 4.1+)
Apple iPad Mini (1st gen or later, iOS 8+) Android tablets (Android 4.1+)
Amazon Fire TV (1st gen or later) Android TV (Android 5.0+)
Amazon Fire TV Stick (1st gen or later) Kindle Fire Tablets (3rd gen or later)
Samsung Smart TVs (select models) Chromecast (details here)
MacOS 10.6 or later  Windows Vista or later

Watch on HBO Now

how to watch Game of Thrones online HBO Now interface

HBO Now functions much like the aforementioned HBO Go — providing quick access to all available HBO content — but without the need for a cable or satellite subscription. HBO is currently offering a monthlong free trial for new users, but after that period, you’ll be paying a $15-per-month subscription for the service ($10, if you’re a student). Once subscribed, you will be granted access to HBO’s massive library of on-demand content. This includes the entirety of Game of Thrones, along with the latest episodes of the final season as they air.

It’s also important to note that, while HBO Now was once exclusive to Apple devices, the service is now available on a variety of devices and web browsers. The stand-alone service is an undisputed godsend for those who have cut the cable and turned to on-demand streaming services but still long for the quality content HBO provides. If you’re not interested in cable, or cable alternatives like Hulu with Live TV, this is going to be your best option. See the full list of compatible devices below.

Apple TV (4th gen: tvOS 9.0+, 3rd gen: 7.1.2+) Apple iPad (2nd gen or later, iOS 8+)
Apple iPod Touch (5th gen or later, iOS 8+) Apple iPhone 4s or later (iOS 8+)
Amazon FireTV (1st gen or later) Apple iPad Mini (2nd gen or later)
Amazon FireTV Stick (1st gen or later) Android TV (5.0 or later)
Roku (2nd gen or later) Android Phones (Android 4.2+)
Android Tablets (Android 4.2+) Kindle Fire Tablets (3rd gen or later)
Xbox One PlayStation 4
Windows 7 or later MacOS 10.11 or later
Samsung Smart TVs (select models)  Chromecast (details here)

Watch on Hulu

how to watch Game of Thrones online Hulu's HBO package

For fans of network television, Hulu has been the go-to streaming platform for years. For $8 a month — or $11, if you want to eliminate commercials — you get unfettered access to dozens of TV shows across a multitude of channels, including series like Rick and Morty that aren’t available via any other streaming platform. With its massive repertoire of original programming, Netflix might have a bigger catalog overall, but Hulu still boasts a ton of exclusive content that’s typically reserved for those with a cable subscription.

Hulu has been filling out its offerings with a slew of premium add-ons — the company even has its own live TV streaming serviceShowtime, Starz, and Cinemax are all currently available, and each will cost you around $10 a month on top of your Hulu subscription. The undeniable star of the show, however, is HBO. As with other services, forking over an extra $15 a month will net you access to HBO’s entire library, including shows, films, and behind-the-scenes content. Tacking on HBO will also grant you access to the HBO Now app, in case you use a device that’s not compatible with one of the devices listed below.

PlayStation 3 PlayStation 4
Android TV Apple TV (2nd + 3rd gen)
Sony Smart TVs (details here) TiVo (select models)
Roku 2.8+ (select models) Samsung Smart TVs (select models)
LG Smart TVs (select models) Vizio Smart TVs (details here)

Hulu also recently introduced another app, which is integrated with the platform’s new live TV streaming service. Check out the table below for details.

Android phones (Android 5+) Android tablets (Android 5+)
Apple TV (4th gen) Chromecast (details here)
Apple iPhone 5 or later Apple iPad (4th gen or later)
Apple iPod Touch (6th gen or later) Apple iPad Mini (2nd gen or later)
Xbox One Xbox 360
Amazon Fire TV Stick Amazon Fire TV
LG Smart TVs (select models) Nintendo Switch
Roku 2.8+ (select models) Samsung Smart TVs (select models)

Watch on Amazon

Amazon seems to have a hand in everything these days. The online shopping giant has found success with its Amazon Prime Video streaming service — a service available to Amazon Prime members — and with its line of streaming devices, like the Fire TV Stick. On its own, Amazon Video is rather robust, boasting a solid slate of programming. New offerings are added each month, and the service hosts content from a number of different sources, giving subscribers a lot of options to choose from.

If that’s not enough, the company’s Amazon Channels service also allows Prime members to subscribe to premium channels — HBO, for example — via Amazon. If you decide to go this route, you will be able to log into HBO with your Amazon credentials and watch the full range of HBO content via the Amazon Prime Video app on compatible devices (listed below). A subscription will cost you $15 a month on top of your Amazon Prime subscription, which costs $13 a month, or $120 annually. You will be able to watch the entirety of Game of Thrones in 4K with select Fire TV products and smart televisions, as well as gain full access to HBO Now.

TiVo (details here) Roku (details here)
Apple iPhone (iOS 7+) Xbox 360
Apple iPad (iOS 7+) Xbox One
Apple iPod Touch (iOS 7+) Android phones (Android 4.0+)
Apple iPad Mini (iOS 7+) Android tablets
Amazon Fire TV (2015) Select Blu-ray players (details here)
Amazon Fire TV Stick (2015) Kindle Fire Tablets (1st gen or later)
Smart TVs (select models) Select A/V receivers (details here)
PlayStation 3 PlayStation 4
MacOS 10.6 or later  Windows Vista or later
Nintendo Wii Select home theater sound systems (details here)
Nintendo Wii U Select home theater systems (details here)

Watch on the Roku Channel

Roku Channel HBO

The Roku Channel began life as a repository of free movies and TV shows for Roku hardware owners, but it’s gone through a number of changes over the past few months. At the very beginning of 2019, Roku made the Roku Channel app available on Android and iOS, meaning that you no longer need to own a Roku device in order to use it. A few months later, the company introduced premium subscriptions to the service, letting you enjoy programming from Starz, Showtime, Epix, and more for an extra fee. Finally, a little over a week before Game of Thrones‘ final season began, the Roku Channel added HBO to its lineup, making it a one-stop shop for all of your favorite premium channels.

Getting HBO through the Roku channel costs $15 a month, which is the same amount that you’d pay for an HBO Now subscription, although you get the added convenience of having all of your premium network subscriptions in one place. There’s also a free one-week trial, if you’re hoping to catch a single episode. Right now, the Roku Channel isn’t supported by many devices, but if you use Roku hardware to handle your streaming needs — and lots of people do — it’s another fine alternative for those of you who are hoping to catch Game of Thrones’ action-packed finale. You can find the Roku Channel on the following hardware.

Roku Android phones and tablets (7.0+)
Apple iPhone, iPad, and iPod (iOS 11.2.1+) Windows (using Chrome, Firefox, and Edge browsers)
Samsung Smart TVs (see details) MacOS (using Chrome, Firefox, and Safari browsers)

Watch on the Apple TV app

how to watch game of thrones online apple tv app 4

Apple’s new TV app, which is different from the Apple TV hardware and the Apple TV Plus streaming service, started rolling out to customers as part of Apple’s iOS 12.3 update. If you have a compatible iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV device, that means that you can now use the app to access all of the channels that you get through your cable provider or internet TV service in one handy place, as well as the premium networks offered through the app’s Channels program.

Naturally, Channels includes HBO, which you can subscribe to through the Apple TV app for the standard $15. If you already have an HBO subscription, however, watch out — the app won’t let you use your existing HBO Go or HBO Now membership. In order to watch Game of Thrones through the app, you’ll need to sign up (and pay) again.

In better news, the Apple TV app has a one-week free trial for new HBO customers, which will be enough to get you this weekend’s finale and let you see how it all ends free of charge. If you’re traveling while Game of Thrones airs, that’s no problem either. With the Apple TV app, you can download HBO shows and watch them offline, which is something that even HBO’s own apps don’t allow. While the Apple TV app is expected to launch on other platforms eventually, right now it’s only on iOS. That’s not going to help non-Apple users who want to catch the Game of Thrones finale as it airs, but if you have the right hardware, it’s hard to beat free.

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