Want to watch Game Of Thrones in Australia without paying for Foxtel? Believe it or not, there are quite a few options available that don't involve breaking the law. Here's what you need to know.
The wait is finally over: in a few hours' time, the final season of Game Of Thrones will premiere in Australia. The only problem is that you need to be a Foxtel subscriber to watch it. Or do you?
It turns out there are several alternative options available to Australians - some of which are more legal than others. In no particular order, here are the chief ways to watch Game Of Thrones without Foxtel.
How exactly are Jon Snow and Dannerys related? Is 'character X' still alive? What happened to the Queen Of Thorns?
This epic 16-minute video covers all of the major plot beats from the past seven seasons of Game Of Thrones. Watch it now before the premiere of season 8!
Option #1: Watch Game Of Thrones On HBO Now
HBO Now is a Netflix-style streaming service that is not currently available in Australia. However, it's possible to gain access by using an Apple TV media player, a VPN service and a fake US iTunes account.
The service comes with a 30-day free trial and then costs US$14.99 per month - which works out around $5 cheaper than subscribing to Foxtel Now. So is doing this legal? Technically, yes. There are currently no laws forbidding the circumvention of geoblocks in Australia. Foxtel might not like it, but you're not breaking any rules by joining HBO Now instead.
Option #2: Download Game Of Thrones on iTunes / Google Play
Game Of Thrones season 8 will become available on Google Play and iTunes as soon as it finishes its run on Foxtel. You can expect to pay around $28 for the full season in standard definition. (HD will cost around $5 more.)
This option won't save you money compared to Foxtel, but you're getting for permanent copies and only need to pay once (as opposed to a monthly subscription service.) On the downside, you will need to wait until May 21 to purchase and watch the episodes.
Option #3: Buy it on DVD or Blu-ray
While physical media is on its last legs, the Blu-ray release of Game Of Thrones remains an excellent option - especially if you want the best possible video and audio quality. In addition to the perfect transfer, you will also get a bunch of special features for your trouble.
But there's a big caveat: this option likely won't be available until 2020, which is a bloody long time to avoid spoilers. If you're the type of person who loves to chat around the water cooler about the previous night's episode, this option isn't viable.
Option #4. Pirate it (but you really shouldn't)
Game Of Thrones is the most pirated show of all time - and there's no reason to think that season 8 will be any different. Despite a recent crackdown on 'piracy sites' in Australia, gaining access to illegal streams and downloads of the show won't be difficult.
But just because it's easy doesn't mean you should do it. Even if you don't care about violating copyright law (you shameless scallywag), you can rest assured that Foxtel will be cracking down on illegal downloads of its most lucrative cash cow.
2019 could be the year that rights holders finally come after Aussie infringers en masse - and our government lets them. If you don't want to receive a frightening letter in the post, stick to the legal options.