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Winter is coming.
Get ready for your Sunday nights to be filled once more with sword fights, dragons, and a lot of ice. The sixth season of Game of Thrones is set to debut April 24 on HBO. If you don’t have a full-fledged HBO cable package, there are a number of lower-cost options to watch the new season of GoT. Sadly, all of them involve HBO in some form or another. If you haven’t sprung for HBO yet through your cable service provider, chances are you won’t want to now. So what’s left to do?
Here are all the options to watch season 6 of the Game of Thrones online:
1) HBO Now
Springing for HBO’s less expensive, standalone option, HBO Now, isn’t exactly dirt cheap: The service costs $14.99 per month. Still, it’s cheaper than HBO in its conventional format and gives you access to shows on your smartphone, tablet, and laptop. You’ll also get access to sweet vintage HBO content as well.
2) iTunes, Amazon, or another streaming service
If you prefer to go another route, HBO Now is available as an add-on option on iTunes and Amazon. It’s essentially the same as signing up on the HBO Now site directly, but if you plan on watching Game of Thrones on an Apple or Amazon device like Fire TV, it’ll be slightly easier for setup.
You can also watch Game of Thrones if you have a subscription through Sling TV and want to pay the extra $15 per month to add HBO.
3) Get your friends involved
Much like Netflix, HBO Now has no limit on the number of devices you can use under a single account. Meaning that if you have a friend with HBO Now, you can use their password to watch GoT on your own. If you don’t want to feel like a moocher, here’s another method:
- Find 12 friends who like Game of Thrones but don’t want to pay for HBO.
- Assign everyone a month to pay for HBO Now. Have everyone PayPal the money to you or another trusted person who can deposit the money and then sign up for auto-pay. Come up with a fun communal GoT-themed username and password that is easy to remember but not too easy to remember. You don’t want someone’s little brother to get it and share it with his roommate who shares it with his second cousin who shares it with half of his dorm.
- Congratulate yourself on fighting the system. Invite all your friends over for epic Game of Thrones watch parties to celebrate (which kind of defeat the purpose of distributing passwords in the first place, but oh well).
Amrita Khalid is a technology and politics reporter who specializes in breaking down complex issues into practical, useful terms. A former contributor to CQ, a Congressional news and analysis site, she's currently a master's candidate in international relations at the University of Leeds.