How to watch Game of Thrones on a Budget.
April 21, 2016 1:53 PM   Subscribe

I'm a cable cutter with a ROKU and Amazon Prime, Netflix and Hulu subscriptions. I enjoy Game of Thrones and ROKU offers a one month free trial with a subscription to HBO Now. I'd like to watch the upcoming season for as little money as possible.

Should I just wait until the last month of the season? Will all of the season's episodes be available to watch then? Are HBO's other shows set to follow a similar season or do they stagger the seasons? Is there an optimal time to do the free trial for maximum total HBO show viewing?
posted by srboisvert to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
The cheapest way I know to watch premium cable content is to make friends with someone who subscribes. And bring beer.
posted by Pearl928 at 1:58 PM on April 21, 2016 [2 favorites]

Should I just wait until the last month of the season?

HBO Now gives you access to every episode that has actually aired as soon as it airs, so if you wait until the last episode of this season has aired, you'll have a month to watch every episode of GoT up to and including this coming season.
posted by dis_integration at 1:58 PM on April 21, 2016 [4 favorites]

Find out which of your elderly relatives still pays for premium cable. Obtain their password information. Half-heartedly rationalize it to yourself by reasoning that they're old and never use the streaming content they pay for anyway. Laugh when you go to play a show and it starts on the end credits, as you realize someone else in your family has already done the same thing.
posted by Wretch729 at 2:01 PM on April 21, 2016 [15 favorites]

It depends what your priority is: watch them as they're released, or watch/binge them eventually.

If you want to be current on the show and be able to participate in water cooler chatter and not get constantly spoiled on social media, start your free trial on Sunday and then pay for the additional month or so of HBO Now when your trial is up.

If you just want to watch Game Of Thrones for free eventually, wait till the last four episodes, or just whenever, I guess.

In terms of other HBO content, they somewhat stagger their seasons. They tend to have a few new shows releasing episodes at a time, and then as those seasons end, other shows will start up to replace them. On the other hand, you'll have access to previous seasons of other HBO content, so unless there are specific other shows you already like with upcoming airdates you could check, it's really neither here nor there.

Last Week Tonight is pretty great, and it's a good show to keep current on since old episodes will refer to old news stories that are no longer part of the public dialogue anymore. If I were deciding on the ideal timing for that free month, I'd probably look at when Last Week Tonight goes on hiatus and try to time it before then.

Nthing Pearl928, too, that the best way to do this is to have a friend with a good cable package who's willing to invite you over. Game Of Thrones viewing parties are pretty popular precisely because HBO is expensive and a lot of people only watch the one show.
posted by Sara C. at 2:07 PM on April 21, 2016

I personally find the $15/month for HBO Now totally worth it. But I do watch lots of movies and quite a few of the TV shows. That said, I agree that that if you have a friend to allow you to use their HBO subscription to unlock HBO Go, then that's the literal cheapest.
posted by Crystalinne at 2:14 PM on April 21, 2016 [3 favorites]

They've released the airdates of all 10 episodes and their titles (which some people call a spoiler, so you've been warned), which can be found here on After the 1st episode on April 24th, there are 5 episodes in May (which has 5 Sundays this year) and the remaining 4 in June. If I were you, I would sign up for a free month at the start of episode 2 (May 1st) and immediately catch up on the first episode from the prior week (April 24) if you weren't able to catch it at a friend's place or whatnot. Pay for June when it comes around. Easy-peasy. Whatever you happen to hear spoiled about the first episode will probably be minimal because the first episode of a season is the time for setting up plots, not so much knocking them down. And I'd be willing to bet even money that the outcome of last season's big cliff-hanging betrayal won't even be revealed in that episode.

This is also a good opportunity to connect with a GoT-hungry friend who also cuts the cable-- split the cost and share a TV once a week.
posted by Sunburnt at 2:52 PM on April 21, 2016

HBO is free this weekend, if that helps.
posted by Flamingo at 3:01 PM on April 21, 2016

i find mine lying in a bay, iykwim
posted by Jacqueline at 5:20 PM on April 21, 2016 [5 favorites]

i find mine lying in a bay, iykwim

Salladhor Saan is
posted by humboldt32 at 11:45 PM on April 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

The films are, as always, made of ice. Far better than wading through the torrent of shit running down the alleys of King's Landing.
posted by wierdo at 2:12 PM on April 22, 2016

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