With the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones just around the corner — the first episode of season 8 premieres on April 14, 2019 — many fans and newcomers to the series are looking for the best ways to watch the hit HBO show online.
Some fans are hosting binge-watching get-togethers, while others are catching up on all the previous seasons themselves before GoT reaches its conclusion.
Regardless of the situation, one thing is just as certain as the brutal demise of your favorite character in this much-beloved show: Those of us without a cable box and an HBO subscription will want a guaranteed, legal way to watch Game of Thrones online …
Thankfully, there are several — legal — ways to watch GoT online.
Where You Can’t Watch ‘Game of Thrones’ Online
Sadly, as with previous years, ultra-popular streaming service Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) isn’t one of the ways you can watch Game of Thrones online. There are, however, several streaming services that do let you watch the latest episodes of GoT without breaking any laws.
While there’s no legal way to binge-watch Game of Thrones online free of charge, fans might find some of these methods more appealing than others depending on what streaming services they’re already subscribed to.
With that said, let’s start with the most obvious method of watching Game of Thrones online — HBO.
Watch ‘GoT’ Online With HBO Go and HBO Now
HBO Go is a free online option for those who are already paying for an HBO subscription through their cable provider.
HBO Now is a standalone streaming service that doesn’t require a subscription through a cable provider, but directly to HBO instead.
If you’re one of those people who subscribe to HBO through your cable provider, then you will want to use HBO Go to stream Game of Thrones. But if you’re interested in watching the show and you’re not already subscribed to HBO, then HBO Now is the most direct way to watch GoT online.
Membership for this service is $14.99 per month, with the ability to cancel at any time. Additionally, you can signup for a free, seven-day streaming trial.
With the free trial, depending on how much free time you have on your hands, you could watch Game of Thrones online free of charge … and legally! If you’re interested in watching each episode of season 8 as soon as it premieres, though, then there is no way to avoid spending.
Use Amazon Prime, Hulu and Others to Watch ‘Game of Thrones’
If you’re trying to avoid a direct subscription to HBO services for whatever reason, then there are still a few other legal online streaming options remaining …
Specifically, Game of Thrones fans who are Amazon Prime members can purchase individual episodes (or entire seasons, including season 7) of the series on Amazon Prime Video.
Ultimately, this choice will be the most costly, but it’s the best, legal, way to circumvent any ties to an HBO subscription. (Note that it isn’t clear if season 8 episodes will be immediately available for purchase on Amazon after they premiere, but Prime Members can also subscribe to HBO through Prime Video, and watch the latest episodes.)
This makes the membership process a little more seamless than having to go through two separate services to view GoT. The same applies to fans who use Hulu: You can subscribe to HBO through Hulu, maintaining the use of a single streaming platform.
However, the cost for adding an HBO subscription to another streaming service such as Hulu or Amazon Prime Video is the same as subscribing to HBO Now directly ($14.99 per month after the free, seven-day trial) alongside the standard fees for the base streaming service you’re already subscribed to.
This makes overall convenience the only true benefit of not using a direct HBO streaming service to legally watch Game of Thrones online.
Watch ‘Game of Thrones’ Overseas
When it comes to legal, online viewership of GoT outside of the U.S., there are a few other alternatives, depending on the country.
In Australia, fans can purchase a subscription to Foxtel’s Entry pack for $25 per month, which includes online access to season 8 of Game of Thrones as well as many other popular U.S. T.V. shows.
Likewise, in India, GoT fans can watch previous and new episodes of the show using Hotstar Premium, which costs INR 199 per month. Both of these services also offer risk-free trial periods.
Bottom Line on Watching Game of Thrones Online
In most cases, whether you’re using an online web browser, Amazon Fire TV, Roku (NASDAQ:ROKU) or other similar streaming devices, a subscription to HBO (costing $14.99 per month) will be required for watching all past episodes of Game of Thrones and all of season 8’s episodes as they air.
If you’re a patient fan who isn’t concerned about potential spoilers before watching season 8, then you might be able to employ a viewing strategy after the final season of Game of Thrones has aired that takes advantage of HBO Now’s free trial.
This is, of course, assuming that HBO will still offer a free trial period for HBO Now after the series has concluded.
Whatever the case, one thing is certain for fans of GoT: “Winter is coming” and there are plenty of ways to watch Game of Thrones legally online.
Robert Waldo has been a web editor for InvestorPlace since 2016. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.