Standalone HBO coming soon; plus talks with Apple!

hboGame of Thrones fans have been waiting for a standalone HBO service for a long time, and it appears that HBO is working hard to make that happen by mid-April, according to Variety.

HBO has announced that the online video service will be called HBO Now, and Apple is in talks with the network to be one of its partners, in bringing HBO Now to the Apple TV device.

Variety also reports HBO’s in talks with Google and TiVo to partner up with the new service.

The expected launch time of mid-April is not yet guaranteed, however.

HBO released the statement, “We know there’s great anticipation around our standalone streaming service. And when we have details to share, we will do so.”

Game of Thrones is currently the most pirated television show in the world– a dubious honor. Many fans have expressed the desire to pay for the show, but the cost of cable plus premium channels is exorbitant. The introduction of HBO Now will allow more fans to pay for the show legally, with a higher quality product.

Sue the Fury
Susan Miller, Editor in Chief of WatchersOnTheWall.com

87 Comments

  1. I hope it comes to the PS4 at launch, but I’m not getting my hopes up.

    Wait, that sentence doesn’t work at all.

  2. Jeff O’Connor,

    PS4 still doesn’t even have HBO Go as far as I know. I doubt they’d have this HBO Now before they got HBO Go. (assuming they’re different apps?)

  3. Boy, that would be nice if they can get this running by April. Gotta be cheaper than paying for an entire year of HBO just to watch GoT and VICE.

    Now, can Starz do the same for Outlander and Black Sails? Then I’d be set.

    And where is our second trailer? Please, HBO!

  4. Has anyone else in here heard that euron victorion and young griff are in according to a cast leAk. Ellis potter has a video on youtube about it and it excites me , I can’t find It anywhere else

  5. Mh, why can’t I delete my post? – Anyway, its not official yet, I skipped that part in the post from Variety…

    Sue the Fury,

    Thanks for responding, Sue. 😉

  6. I’m not sure I understand what a “standalone streaming service” is, exactly… is this a web-based HBO subscription for people who don’t have cable and/or don’t want to pay for a whole premium cable package? I.e., exactly the same as HBO Go, but without needing to have a cable- or sat-based HBO package?

    Or is it a platform for purchasing individual episodes/seasons, ala Amazon video or iTunes or whatever?

    I would be a lot more interested in the latter.

    If it’s the former, I just don’t see that encouraging people to join a subscription service is going to go very far towards curbing piracy of a single show that’s only on-air for about 2 months/yr.

  7. Grand maester giz,

    I find that very strange indeed. I haven’t heard anything about any (new) cast leak. I’ve looked for this “Ellis Potter” on Youtube, and none of his recent videos seem to be about that topic.

    As for the Griffs, who knows, though we are pretty sure that Tyrion travels only with Varys and then only with Jorah. However, wasn’t it official that the AFFC Greyjoy plot wouldn’t be included? EW’s James Hibberd said D&D told him that only one of the two new AFFC subplots would be in season five, and we know Dorne is in, so…

  8. Harma Dogememe,

    It’s the former. The service is less about stopping people from pirating GoT, but getting in on the whole curt cutter “movement”. It’s about competing with services like Netflix and Amazon in the VoD market and it could absolutly work, HBO has much nore to offer than just GoT.

  9. Grand maester giz,

    Shitmouth,

    Yeah….not much evidence here.

    Didn’t James Hibberd ask D&D about this a while ago? Like, how we found out Dorne would be the focus (besides the casting video, duh) in place of Iron Islands stuff?

  10. BTW the GoT youtube channel’s added a few more of those Catch the Throne song snippets. None are my cup of tea but, still, I guess that’s newsworthy enough.

  11. As Shitmouth said, the video is from October and is repeating the user named Tristan Snow and saying we could trust him because he was confirmed by this site (?):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1-opcsEQtk

    I forget whether the verdict on Tristan Snow was trustworthy or not… I assume not, because it’s kind of gospel there’s no Greyjoy Brothers this season.

  12. Felt Pelt,

    TristanSnow’s reports from Dubrovnik have proved true by and large. They were secondhand info from extras there that he knew. Once he ran out of those scoops though he began to pretend to have more knowledge than he did and started saying false things (he said, for instance, that interiors in the show were filmed in L.A. instead of the Paint Hall in Belfast or that some KL scenes would be shot in Spain when none of the KL was spotted there and, given the amount of paparazzi and fan-photos there THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN). I guess he wanted to stay in the spotlight, even after he had nothing left to offer. He was pretty prissy and snide about the whole thing at that point, so despite some of his scoops being the real deal, he isn’t particularly missed on AFOIAF.

    Still his info about the Sparrows, Lancel etc. is legit.

  13. Greenjones,

    He was aggressive that we take him seriously immediately, which was a warning sign.

    Such is the heady world of Game of Thrones spoilers, um, adulation in any form.

    I am really happy about Eugene Simon. He was hilarious and should have been on regularly.

    I looked at his blog and he’s been hanging out with Finn Jones in LA:
    http://www.eugenesimon.org/back-with-a-bang/
    http://www.gettyimages.com/search/2/image?phrase=eugene+simon&clarifications=&family=editorial&editorialproduct=&recency=

    Also he has taken up boxing and vowed to bulk himself up.

    Which is not the direction Lancel’s body weight takes in the books, if I remember correctly.
  14. I’m interested either way. As someone without a TV or cable I’d like to have something web-based and legal. Although getting enough capacity to deal with the entire internet tuning in at GoT time will be a challenge, it’s already a problem on HBO Go. And it’s true HBO has a lot of good stuff on there besides just Thrones. All the seasons of their current and former shows are on HBO Go (Wire, Boardwalk, Sopranos, etc) plus Last Week Tonight (my new fav!) in addition to the normal movies and stand up comedy stuff.

    Any idea if the broadcast will be simultaneous with TV or if we will have to wait an hour? Makes it easier for Europeans trying to watch on US EST, when it’s the middle of the night, every hour counts! (3 am vs 4 am is exactly the different between me watching it that night and me just going to bed and watching the next evening and staying away from internet for the day which is what I do most of the time…)

  15. They are cutting this close… which means it must be on purpose to maximize buyers with as little time as possible for them to over-think the price point.

  16. Well those if true are pretty nondescript but serviceable.

    Unless “The Wars to Come” is from the books, I’d prefer something else.

  17. Greenjones,

    If true, I got the second episode title right. Many people predicted ‘High Sparrow’ too. ‘The Wars To Come’ is from the Varys-Tyrion conversation in the trailer.

  18. So Varys and Tyrion are already at Illyrio’s in the first episode. I guess we knew that when we knew what episode Slovis was directing.

    Varys only mentions one war, singular, in the trailer. So if true the title is one-upping him.

  19. Personally I truly like “The Wars to Come“, less the two others, but we’ll see soon enough.

  20. Greenjones,

    Those titles all sound highly plausible, and they’re consistent with what we know and have speculated about the placement of certain events so far.

    Varys and Tyrion having their conversation about Dany in Episode 1, the High Sparrow being introduced in Episode 3. If the second episode does ultimately wind up being called The House of Black and White, that may also lend credence to the possibility that Arya won’t appear in the premiere – something that I had been skeptical of, despite the leaked script summaries.

    As you say, it’s wise to wait for these titles to appear on HBO’s schedule or HBO Latino before treating them as confirmed, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they turned out to be accurate. Even if they aren’t, we don’t have long to wait now.

  21. Have we heard anymore about the rumor of a new trailer on this Sunday, March 8? It would line up with previous second trailer releases, if not behind a bit behind schedule.

  22. 501 – The Wars to Come
    502 – The House of Black and White
    503 – High Sparrow

    2nd Trailer March 8, 2015

    very excite!

  23. I hope this comes before the premiere. I don’t want to pirate GoT but for financial reasons I had to drop cable. If I have to pirate it, I will but I’d rather not have to.

  24. OrtMeyer:
    501 – The Wars to Come
    502 – The House of Black and White
    503 – High Sparrow

    2nd Trailer March 8, 2015

    very excite!

    Source on the trailer? Soooo excited if true!!

  25. Lithuanian model (now Irish resident) Irma Mali on this article mentioned she will be on Season 5

    “I have been really lucky, I have an agent in London and in Dublin and that’s how I have got jobs,” Irma explains. “Recently I got a part in Game of Thrones; it’s going to be in the new season,” Irma’s eyes twinkle. “But I can’t tell you much about it just in case. It is huge for me. It was so exciting and it was amazing on set, there are a lot of people working extremely hard. I can’t wait for it to be on.”

    http://www.independent.ie/entertainment/television/tv-news/irish-model-irma-mali-to-appear-in-game-of-thrones-31039472.html

  26. ace,

    Aye, she filmed with Ollie Kram and Gemita Samarra. (via Kram’s instagram https://instagram.com/p/vjnhCkD7m-/?modal=true).

    Ollie Kram was the Braavosi prostitute in the trailer and Samarra is credited as “Brea” (though she’s not likely the book Brea, just a Braavosi courtesan going by the same name). They appear in ep. 509.

    They’ll be part of the Mercy sequence. It seems Trant will make a fateful trip to the brothel.

  27. Greenjones,

    I assumed it was common news? I’ve seen others report that date on other forums so I spread the word. Sorry to get your hopes up if that was the case. Either way I honestly don’t see it taking much longer for it to be out. Surely no later than the 15th.

  28. Greenjones,

    If they are true, 2 out of 3 have been guessed by the community (the House of Black and White for episode 2, and High Sparrow for episode 3.) The title of the first episode is… a bit underwhelming? Varys says something similar to Tyrion in the trailer (“I believe men of talent have a part to play in the war to come.”) Still, a bit unoriginal.

  29. Luka Nieto,

    Luka Nieto,

    It works with the Varys line from the trailer and also with this passage from ASOS:

    “Granite does not burn easily,” Stannis said. “The castle can be rebuilt, in time. It’s not the walls that make a lord, it’s the man, Your northmen do not know me, have no reason to love me, yet I will need their strength in the battles yet to come. I need a son of Eddard Stark to win them to my banner.”

    Since there’ll be an adaptation of that scene in the premiere ep., it makes sense that it or a line similar to it could be referred to by the episode’s title as well.

    Or of course these titles could be fake. I’m sure we’ll have proof or disproof before the weekend’s over, probably from HBOLatino’s schedule.

  30. So…. If I get this HBO Now can I watch GOT the moment it comes on live? I mean, I want to watch it as soon the song intro starts on cable and not a second later.

    Nobody plays Stannis for a fool

  31. the comments on the recent got videos (not just the mixtape) are hilarious, this fandom is getting worse by the years…….thanks to westeros.org and asoiaf reddit for propaging their anti d&d propaganda everywhere. Even non-book readers are affected by it now, the show is slowly becoming the “cool to hate” thing, there’s no turning back after this.

    Not that I care…..but it’s tiresome.

  32. Ozymandias,

    To paraphrase Robb Stark in ep. 207, if all fandoms were judged by the youtube comments of their nastiest and stupidest members, we’d all hang.

  33. Ozymandias,

    Eh… Does not matter. GoT is still one of the greatest show in decades. Breaks records left and right and is highly praised amongst critics.
    Book readers like myself never dreamed to ever seeing the Lannisters or Oberyn on screen.

    D&D made it work regardless of changes I have not agree on. But I understand is a TV show, that runs one hour an episode and a large crew to make it happen.

    Some book readers just need to get their head out of their ass. 5 seasons in already and the show is just gonna get bigger. I’m just glad there’s more people I can talk to about the world of ASOIAF without ever feeling like I’m hot stuff because I know more than casual fans.

  34. I personally really like ‘The Wars to Come’. As well as the other titles, but those were predictable.

  35. Just hoping everything is translated in the material as an extreme optimism I had 2-3 in order , I have episode 4 called unbowed unbent unbroken 5. as good as gold 6 lord commander snow 7. The queen maker 8 . A feast for crows 9 . The queens road 10. A dance of dragons

  36. I like the queens road for Ep 9 cause it’ll tell cerseis story and give u an idea of what will lie ahead for dany

  37. Ozymandias:
    the comments on the recent got videos (not just the mixtape) are hilarious, this fandom is getting worse by the years…….thanks to westeros.org and asoiaf reddit for propaging their anti d&d propaganda everywhere. Even non-book readers are affected by it now, the show is slowly becoming the “cool to hate” thing, there’s no turning back after this.

    Not that I care…..but it’s tiresome.

    Book purists are like a disease, but I don’t think that they are so influential. They are frustrated because their fat lord betrayed them and show now becomes canon. There are no books, only show.

    I can’t wait for D&D to “ruin” books for them. It will be hilarious!

    In four months the books will be history. There are rumors that GRRM is writing for S6. It definitely pushes the books in the background.

  38. Anwyay, what about the second trailer coming in just a couple of days? What’s the source for that? If true, I’m very excited! 😉

  39. Greenjones,

    At the wiki we add information from this very site with undisclosed sources all the time. Since these people aren’t “nobodies” and they assure us their sources are correct, that’s enough for me. I’ve added the titles in the Season 5 page, and created the page for the first three episodes. Thank you as always, Greenjones 🙂

  40. Luka Nieto,

    There’s no source or anything, but I also think we’ll get a trailer this Sunday. So far, HBO seems to follow last year’s promotional schedule, and last year we got our second trailer 5 weeks after the first one. Guess how many weeks have passed since the first seson 5 trailer was released? Yes, 5.
    This could all be just wishful thinking but I’m actually really confident with this one. I’m also expecting some sort of announcement/tease today. They can’t really postpone it any longer, we’re already 5 weeks away from the season premiere, and a few weeks from the London red carpet premiere!

    Lat year on March 9th we already had our 3rd trailer. We’ll probably get our second trailer this week and a final trailer at the red carpet premiere and have a total of 3 trailers instead of the 4 we had last year (I’m totally ok with this, less is better) + the usual tv spots.

  41. Balerion The Cat,

    Last year there was an overabundance of trailers, and the 14-minute “Foreshadowing” gave away too much footage. Don’t get me wrong: back when these videos were released, I loved them! But it did spoil quite a few scenes once the season started. I’m happy to be a bit more in the dark this year.

  42. Felt Pelt,

    In regard to what you say about the Lancel actor – of course we don’t really know what any actor’s personality is like, but having watched some of the Flicks and the City videos (I know the lady has not done so many of late) it seems that some of the people who play real stinkers on the show are nice in real life – the man who plays Meryn Trant seemed very pleasant in his true persona and with his natural Irish accent, Joseph Gatt said that the character he identified with was Tyrion because he had been perceived as being a certain way because of the way he looked, and of course the cast seems to spend much time saying that Jack Gleeson is as different as he could possibly be from the obnoxious Joffrey in real life.

  43. Dragonslayer,

    Episode 3 (or 43, as they designate it) has now been posted to the official HBO schedule as well. It’s 60 minutes, as we suspected, with warnings for Adult Content, Adult Language, Graphic Violence, and Nudity. Still no titles, but as we know, they’re coming soon.

  44. Jared,

    Thanks for the update. So that makes episode 43 officialy the longest non-premiere/finale episode 😀

  45. Balerion The Cat,

    And it is fifth overall in terms of longest episodes:

    1. S4E10: The Children – 66 minutes
    2. S2E10: Valar Morghulis – 64 minutes
    3. S3E10: Mhysa – 63 minutes
    4. S1E01: Winter is Coming – 62 minutes
    5. S5E03: High Sparrow – 60 minutes

  46. Al Swearengen:
    Just please bring the service to the UK!

    I’m pretty sure the bastards at Sky will do everything in their power to block HBO from allowing this as the number of sky subscribers who pay just to get sky atlantic would virtually disappear if given the choice! We left sky 2 yrs ago and don’t miss it at all (we are one of those dubious pirateers, but we also buy the blu-ray box set as soon as it goes on sale!)

  47. Dame of Mercia,

    I think Lancel is so passive as to be less wicked than others, even when assassinating the king. He’s a comic character who is easily pushed around by whoever he’s in the room with. So I don’t even think of him as a stinker, just someone with no brains or backbone on a path to suffering. As you said re: how differently we perceive actors vs their characters, it’s interesting that he’s into boxing and wants to gain body mass, not something I would have predicted (perhaps this keeps him from getting roles).

  48. Erik,

    We’ve been burnt by Liam Cunningham before, who’s said it’s half done. And I think we have some conflicting publisher info pointing to no release this year.

  49. Two things about this…

    First, will it be possible to subscribe for only a few months at a time or is it is a yearly subscription like Amazon Prime? It’s yearly I’m not as into it, because I’m not interested in any of their other new shows at the moment, and the old shows are already available to me on Amazon Prime… I hope they won’t stop that deal in order to try to corner their own market, so to speak.

    Second, I have HBO Go codes from relatives, so I have a lot less incentive to pay for the new service, unless HBO Go is cancelled/rolled into the new service.

    So I think in some ways, HBO is shooting itself in the foot given it already has so much of its content available through other means. Unless it puts a stop to those other means, which would be a shame IMO.

  50. Erik,

    Well, I’d hope it would be close to being finished. It’s been nearly 4 years since ADWD was published. Presumably, there was no ‘Meereenese knot’ or scrapped 5 year time jump that he had to go back and re-write. He also had quite a few chapters pushed back from ADWD. He should have the book finished and published by this time next year. There really are no excuses not to.

  51. Queenofthrones:
    Two things about this…

    First, will it be possible to subscribe for only a few months at a time or is it is a yearly subscription like Amazon Prime?It’s yearly I’m not as into it, because I’m not interested in any of their other new shows at the moment, and the old shows are already available to me on Amazon Prime…I hope they won’t stop that deal in order to try to corner their own market, so to speak.

    Second, I have HBO Go codes from relatives, so I have a lot less incentive to pay for the new service, unless HBO Go is cancelled/rolled into the new service.

    So I think in some ways, HBO is shooting itself in the foot given it already has so much of its content available through other means.Unless it puts a stop to those other means, which would be a shame IMO.

    If the subscription is month to month, will you consider paying for it?

    I believe it is for people who been “cord-cutters” who are not interested in getting cable or even to those people who subscribe to cable just for 3-4 months just to watch GOT then cancel it afterwards.

  52. Tyrion Pimpslap,

    Except for the fact that he’s getting older, which slows down his writing pace every year. Nevertheless, five years is a long time to write a book.

  53. Erik,

    I do not expect the book to be published until 2017.

    We do not have any indication that the end is near, except for the fact that it’s been 4 years since the last book.

    For AFFC he needed 5 years and for ADWD 6 years.

    GRRM is now slower than ever and I would not be surprised if the book is not published until 2018. (7 years)

  54. Dutch maester,

    Woah. I almost forgot that. It’s great! I love longer episodes. They flow much better. It’s just five or ten minutes more but it makes them feel more like a movie in terms of pacing.

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    I believe that as well. That said, I’m not sure if I believe it because it’s 100% realistic or because it will mean that at least TWOW comes before Season 6. ADOS will be spoiled by the show; there’s no way that it won’t. But there is hope for TWOW. I still think it’s likely and not just wishful thinking but… for me at least there is an element of wishful thinking.

  55. Luka Nieto:
    Dutch maester,

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    I believe that as well. That said, I’m not sure if I believe it because it’s 100% realistic or because it will mean that at least TWOW comes before Season 6. ADOS will be spoiled by the show; there’s no way that it won’t. But there is hope for TWOW. I still think it’s likely and not just wishful thinking but… for me at least there is an element of wishful thinking.

    I’m 100 percent sure that the planned book will not be ready for 2016.

    Maybe he will publish a shorter version, without proper culmination, but in that case the series will have a minimum of 8 books.

  56. HBO Now will only be accessible through Apple devices for three months before expanding to other platforms.

    source

    Let’s hope that’s not true, but it seams to be…

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