Tired of being the only person who doesn't know who Jon Snow is or what the heck "winter is coming" means?
No worries. Now's the time to jump on the Game Of Thrones bandwagon. You have until this summer to catch up on the past six seasons, because HBO and Sky will soon premiere season seven. The much-hyped return will surely be a hit, as fans have already been told they should only expect seven episodes in this series and six more in season 8 - the end is nigh.
Here's everything you need to know about the premiere, including when, how and where to watch it.
When does Game of Thrones season 7 start?
The start of the seventh season of Game of Thrones is only around the corner now. It will return to HBO on 16 July 2017 in the US, and it'll be simulcast by Sky Atlantic in the UK on 17 July. As it is being broadcast at 9pm EST in the US, the most dedicated of UK fans will be able to watch the show at 2am BST that morning. Sky is also showing it at 9pm on Sky Atlantic later the same day.
Later episodes will be available in the same time slots (not simulcast)
Where can you watch Game of Thrones season 7?
Considering each subsequent season of Game of Thrones has broken records for the amount of pirate downloads, it comes as no surprise that episodes in standard and HD (720p and 1080p) will no doubt be available and widely shared on torrent sites. However, if you refuse to head down the less salubrious stealy web route, you might wonder where else you can see the show.
Here we list several ways to do just that. And it's all above board.
HBO, HBO Go and HBO Now
As HBO makes the show, it screens it in the US. That means it is available on all of the channel's subscription services - the main HBO channel for TV viewers, through the HBO Go apps and platforms for existing HBO subscribers, or HBO Now for those who don't pay for the main channel. The first episode will screen at 9pm EST on 16 July.
All of its on demand services will offer the show as catch-up content from that date. A HBO subscription is generally offered as a premium service through cable providers in the States, costing around $15 a month to add to an existing package. HBO Go is a free service for subscribers to the TV channel. HBO Now is for those who don't have cable TV but still want access to the channel.
HBO Now also costs around $15 a month. There are HBO Now apps for a wide array of devices, including iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Android TV and Roku.
Sky+ and Sky Q
Sky exclusively screens HBO content in the UK, so has the rights to season 7, albeit with adverts. The US screening is ad-free. It will simulcast the show on Sky Atlantic with the first HBO screening, so fans can watch it at 2am on 17 July. As with the repeat showing, all following episodes will be screened in their normal time slot of 9pm on the channel the day after the US airing.
The show airs each Sunday on HBO so will appear on Sky Atlantic on Mondays. Sky+ and Sky Q subscribers will be able to watch them live, record them (with series link) or catch up with each episode on demand, as long as they have their set-top-box connected to the internet. It will be available on catch-up early on Monday 17 July. A Sky Q subscription, which includes Sky Atlantic, starts at £32 a month.
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With a £6.99 a month Now TV Entertainment Pass, you can watch Sky Atlantic live alongside a range of other channels, Sky, and otherwise. That means you can watch the first episode when it airs. However, you can also watch it on demand on the service. And Now TV catch-up is devoid of adverts, save for a few dedicated stings, so you can jump into a mostly uninterrupted version.
Now TV can be viewed through a dedicated Now TV or Now TV Smart Box, Roku media streaming boxes or online through a browser. Apps are also available for iOS, Android, PS3, Xbox 360, PS4, Xbox One, YouView and select LG Smart TVs. You can also use the Now TV app on a smartphone or tablet to play the show through a Google Chromecast.
- Now TV Smart Box review: Is live TV and Sky in one device worth the price?
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One additional benefit to Now TV is: you can catch up with any of the previous series of Game of Thrones before plunging into season 7.
Sky Go and Sky Q apps
Sky Go offers the show on catch-up or live, but you do need a Sky subscription to access the app for iOS, select Android devices, PS4, PS3, Xbox One and Xbox 360. Or watch it online through a PC or Mac. You used to be able to subscribe to Sky Go from £15 a month without being an existing Sky customer, but no longer seems to be the case.
And, to be honest, at £6.99 a month, Now TV is a better option and is available on all the same devices and more.
Where Sky Go becomes a great option though is if you have a parent or friend with a Sky subscription and they have no interest in registering their free Sky Go accounts on mobile devices. You could ask if they would let you use one of the device slots instead (you can register up to two devices on one account). They might even let you take up a device slot for the duration season 7, and you can deregister it after.
Alternatively, if they subscribe to Sky Go Extra or you upgrade them to Sky Go Extra for £5 a month, you can take one of four device slots. One issue with this method is that the iPhone and iPad app won't allow AirPlay mirroring or direct connection to get the pictures onto a TV. In this case, you really do get what you paid for. The new Sky Q app cannot be subscribed to separately. It is for Sky Q subscribers only.
Is there a Game of Thrones season 7 trailer?
Yes. Here's the first full season 7 trailer:
A second trailer is also now available...