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Game of Thrones, the final episode: How to watch and how to stream HBO without cable

And now our watch must end.

game-of-thrones-season-8-episode-5-daenerys-damanged-1

After 8 years and 72 episodes, it's hard to believe we have arrived at the end of Game of Thrones. There's only one episode left to wrap up the arcs of the characters we've followed (well, those that haven't already met a violent end) and the events we witnessed in Westeros. 

I'll keep this spoiler-free in case you were dodging dragon fire last weekend and still have a little work to do before you get to the final episode (be sure to take spoiler precautions on social media). And if you are caught up, check out the trailer for the last episode.

In either case, you'll 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 is composed of six supersize episodes. The premiere had the shortest runtime of the season at 54 minutes. Episode 2 was 58 minutes, and the final four are each roughly 80 minutes. It will all be over -- sniff -- on Sunday, May 19.

Plan to clear out Sunday evening at 9 p.m. (8 p.m. Central) in the US for the very last episode of Game of Thrones. Here's the schedule:

(Episode lengths via EW.)

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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 and regularly updated as episodes air.