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Game of Thrones season 8, episode 2: How to watch, premiere recap, schedule and how to stream HBO without cable

One episode down, five more to go.

Game of Thrones, temporada 8

How will Jon and Dany's relationship turn out, and what does it mean for the Iron Throne?

Helen Sloane/HBO

Tonight we get episode 2 of the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones. (And heads up: Avoid spoilers on social media, because the episode apparently aired early in at least one region.)

In the first episode, titled Winterfell, our heroes experienced reunions, first meetings and revelations aplenty as the living begin to assemble for the coming fight against the dead. With five more episodes to go, it feels like winter is just getting warmed up.

We'll keep this guide spoiler-free in case you haven't seen episode 1 yet. But if you have, be sure to read our in-depth recap and check out the trailer for episode 2

So how can you stream all the action in Westeros? You will need a way to watch HBO. Thankfully, there are plenty of easy ways to subscribe, even if you don't have cable, starting with HBO Now and HBO Go. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the services featured on this page.

Online HBO options compared

Service Starting monthly price (US) What you get
HBO Now/HBO Go $15 at HBO Live and on-demand HBO content. "Free" for existing HBO cable/satellite subscribers.
Hulu $21 at Hulu (or $15 for existing Hulu subscribers) HBO plus a huge library of on-demand content from over 30 broadcast and cable channels
Amazon $25* at Amazon (or $15 for existing Prime subscribers) HBO plus Amazon Prime video library
PlayStation Vue $15 at PS Vue Just HBO, but larger live TV package available for more
DirecTV Now $50 at DirecTV HBO plus dozens of live TV channels

*$25 monthly = 1/12 of annual $120 Amazon Prime fee plus $15 per month for HBO

From Chowhound: Raise these Game of Thrones goblets for toasting the final season

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Game of Thrones season 8 schedule

This last season will comprise six, supersize episodes. The premiere has the shortest runtime of the season at 54 minutes. Episode 2 is 58 minutes, and the final four are each roughly 80 minutes. It will all be over -- sniff -- by mid-May. 

Plan to clear out your Sunday evenings at 9 p.m. (8 p.m. Central) in the US, from now until the middle of May. Here's the schedule:

  • Episode 1: Winterfell (now available on demand)
  • Episode 2: April 21
  • Episode 3: April 28
  • Episode 4: May 5
  • Episode 5: May 12
  • Episode 6: May 19

HBO's main two streaming options

HBO Go

If you're already a subscriber to HBO as part of a cable or satellite TV package, you get HBO Go for free. It lets you stream Game of Thrones along with the rest of HBO's shows on supported phones, tablets, connected TVs and gaming consoles. Not only can you watch all seven past seasons of GoT with HBO Go, but you can livestream the new episodes as they air on HBO.

See at HBO Go

HBO Now

As opposed to the free streaming add-on mentioned above, HBO Now is a standalone subscription to HBO -- no cable or satellite TV subscription required. 

It costs $15 a month and lets you watch HBO via the HBO Now app or in a browser at HBONow.com. The HBO Now app is available on a number of devices, including mobile devices, smart TVs, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Roku. As with HBO Go, you can steam the new episodes live on Sunday nights, the same time that they air on HBO.

See at HBO Now

Add HBO to a streaming service

You can add HBO to four of the TV streaming services below for an additional monthly charge. If you're a GoT fan and also a subscriber to Sling TV or YouTube TV, then I'm sorry to report that you're out of luck: neither service offers HBO. Here are four that do.

Hulu

HBO is a $15-a-month add-on to any Hulu plan, which start at $5.99 a month. So, your minimum Hulu plus HBO buy-in is about $21 a month. Unfortunately, the $10 Hulu plus Spotify offer is not currently eligible to add HBO (or any other step-up Hulu plan). 

See at Hulu

Amazon Prime Video

Prime members can add HBO for $15 a month. A Prime membership costs $119 a year.

See at Amazon Prime Video

PlayStation Vue

PlayStation Vue's priciest $80-a-month Ultra plan includes HBO (and Showtime), but you can also purchase HBO as a standalone channel for $15 a month -- no other plan is needed.

See at PlayStation Vue

DirecTV Now

DirecTV Now now includes HBO, but upped its price from $40 to $50 a month. It also dropped a number of other channels in the process, making it a bad streaming deal, even for GoT fans.

See at DirecTV Now

Game of Thrones in the UK, Australia and elsewhere

Game of Thrones, according to HBO, airs in all but four countries around the world -- but not necessarily on HBO itself. In the UK, for example, HBO shows are on Sky Atlantic and Sky's online services Sky Go and Now TV. In Australia, Game of Thrones airs on TV and online on Foxtel. In both countries the show airs at the same time as in the US (i.e., early Monday), and is repeated on Monday night.

And for the record, HBO restricts the use of VPNs used to stream any of the above services from outside the US.

From Chowhound: How to make the food you see in Game of Thrones

Originally published March 5.