Disclaimer: This article is about whether Netflix has Game of Thrones (the TV series). Every effort has been made not to include any spoilers.
Game of Thrones is one of the most successful TV series right now. Millions of viewers around the world tune in every week or watch it on demand or download.
In the United States, Canada, most of Latin America and other markets, Game of Thrones airs weekly on HBO. The TV series is available in many other countries: for example, viewers in Australia can watch it on cable channel Showcase, British and Irish viewers watch it on Sky Atlantic, while viewers in Spain need to subscribe to Canal Plus in order to do so.
Game of Thrones is, of course, also available legally in streaming platforms. There are also other well-known methods to get access to the episodes but we do not in any way condone those.
Game of Thrones is the TV adaptation of the popular series of epic fantasy novels by author George R.R. Martin A Song of Ice and Fire: A Game of Thrones (1996), A Clash of Kings (1998), A Storm of Swords (2000), A Feast for Crows (2005), A Dance with Dragons (2011), and the forthcoming The Winds of Winter, and A Dream of Spring.
The TV show, at the time of writing in its 6th season, follows some of the content of the books, quite closely it is earlier seasons. From season 6 Game of Thrones, having exhausted content from all the published novels, has mostly original content. This makes it much less predictable even for the most avid fans of the book series. But it also makes it even more compelling to watch it every week before somebody spoils what happens in every episode before you get the chance to watch it.
How Can I Watch Game of Thrones?
First of all, let’s be clear about something. There is a very short and simple answer to the question “Is Game of Thrones available on Netflix?” The answer is, sadly, no.
In the next section of this article, we will explain why Game of Thrones is not available on Netflix. But, first, let us go through the ways in which you can legally watch Game of Thrones.
In most countries around the world, viewers can watch Game of Thrones weekly on television. Due to its often violent and sexually explicit content and language and the show’s elevated production costs, Game of Thrones airs mostly on premium cable and satellite channels around the world.
This means that viewers must subscribe to the television service that includes the channel that airs Game of Thrones, paying for the privilege. In some countries outside the United States, Game of Thrones is rerun on basic satellite/cable channels or even free to air television after its first run on premium TV.
Here is the list of television channels broadcasting Game of Thrones around the world:
- HBO: In the United States.
- Sky Atlantic: In the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.
- HBO Canada: In Canada.
- Super Écran: In Canada (in French)
- HBO Central Europe: in Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Hugary, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, and Moldova.
- Orbit Showtime Network: throughout the Middle East and North Africa (in Arabic).
- Yes: in Israel (in Hebrew).
- Canal + Scandinavia: in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland.
- HBO Latin America: in Latin America and the Caribbean.
- Canal + España: in Spain.
- Orange CinéMax, Canal +, and D8: in France.
- Showcase: in Australia.
- Soho: in New Zealand.
- Stöð 2: in Iceland.
- HBO Asia: in most of Asia (wherever HBO has a presence).
- Telenet: in Belgium.
- Fox Life: in the Baltic countries, including Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia; and also in Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kyrgyzstan.
- CNBC-e: in Turkey.
- M-net: in South Africa.
- Syfy: in Portugal.
- TNT Serie, and RTL2: in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria.
- Sky Italia: in Italy.
- Nova Cinema: in Greece.
- Star Channel: in Japan.
- Ziggo: in the Netherlands.
It is worth noting that some countries show Game of Thrones in English (i.e., the original sound), whereas others subtitle it or even dub it into the local language (or languages).
But, how about streaming? Some of those channels have their own streaming platforms. For example, HBO subscribers in the United States can catch up on their favorite show on HBO Go without incurring any extra costs. Similar services exists in many countries, such as Yomvi in Spain, or Now TV in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.
There are also standalone streaming services that include Game on Thrones in their video libraries. In the United States, HBO Now is a streaming platform that, much like Netflix, operates based on a single subscription and is available to anybody. People living in the United States can subscribe to HBO Now through Apple’s iTunes.
In those countries where Amazon Prime Instant Video (Amazon’s video on demand and streaming platform) is operative (the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, Austria, and Germany), Game of Thrones is available to download either as single episodes or whole seasons in standard definition (SD) or high definition (HD). Membership to Amazon Prime Instant Video is not enough, however, as Prime members still need to pay for every episode or season of Game of Thrones they wish to watch; this is not included in their membership.
The good thing is that as an Amazon Prime member you will be able to keep your Game of Thrones episodes or seasons for ever and stream them anytime you want, even if you cancel your Amazon Prime membership.
Why Is Game of Thrones Not Available on Netflix?
Netflix has an extensive and ever-growing video library that includes TV shows, movies, documentaries, cartoons, reality shows, stand-up comedy, and other content. All its members have access to the whole library without any restrictions. The only differences between plans has to do with the resolution quality (SD, HD, or Ultra HD), and the number of screens members can stream content on simultaneously at any given time.
Apart from its own original series, like the award-winning Orange Is the New Black or House of Cards, Netflix has past seasons of many television series. Netflix negotiates agreements with different studios to obtain the rights to those television series: for example, the beloved Gilmore Girls, the critically acclaimed Mad Men or Breaking Bad, or the laugh-out-loud sitcoms It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia or New Girl.
Other series like Game of Thrones:
There are great epics TV shows available on Netflix. Here are some recommendations that should appeal to Game of Thrones fans. This list is correct as of May 2016 and applies to Netflix subscribers in the United States. Availability of these TV shows in other countries may differ but you should be able to find, at least, some of the following shows on your local version of Netflix.
Spartacus: the Starz original series rivals Game of Thrones in gory violence and sexually explicit content. Although its story telling and fictional universe are far simpler than those of Game of Thrones, Spartacus is rollickingly fun to watch.
Xena Warrior Princess: this show has become a cult classic with an ever-increasing army of fans. The special effects may not be up to the level of achievement and the ones you will see on Game of Thrones but that is part of its charm.
Hercules: maybe not as popular as Xena Warrior Princess, Hercules is still a highly watchable fantasy series set in Ancient Greece.
If you are willing to broaden your horizons and throw science-fiction or other thrilling genres into the mix, the list of appealing shows available on Netflix grows exponentially. Some of them are the following:
- The Star Trek franchise: including The Original Series, The Next Generation, Voyager, Enterprise, and Deep Space Nine.
- American Horror Story.
- The Incredible Hulk.
- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and its spinoff Angel.
- Doctor Who.
- Being Human.
- Adventure Time.
- Kolchack: The Night Stalker.
- The Twilight Zone.
- Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
- Bates Motel.
- The Walking Dead.
- The X-Files.
- Twin Peaks.
The list could go on and on, but this should give you an idea of the great shows you can watch on Netflix streaming, without any extra cost.
Will Game of Thrones Ever Be Available on Netflix?
This is very unlikely. Unlike Amazon Prime Instant Video, Netflix does not have an agreement in place with HBO. This is why you will not find shows such as Game of Thrones, Sex & the City, The Sopranos, The Wire, Treme, True Detective, Girls, The Comeback, Veep, Silicon Valley, or any other HBO original programming on Netflix. However, with the entrance of HBO into the streaming arena with the launch of HBO Now in 2015, it only seems like a matter of time for all HBO content to be exclusively available on HBO streaming platforms, at least domestically in the United States.
So, even though Game of Thrones is not available on Netflix, there are other ways of watching the popular series around the world. Netflix is still the single best streaming platform as it includes countless exciting TV shows and movies that you can watch at anytime.