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Game of Thrones: How (and where) to watch HBO's Game of Thrones series, including House of the Dragon

Everything you need to know to watch Game of Thrones and its spinoffs, whether chronologically or in release order.

House of the Dragon
Image credit: HBO

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June 16 can't come soon enough. That's the release date of House of the Dragon season 2.

Chronicling the various factions vying for the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros while fighting to stave off an ancient evil sweeping out of the frozen north, it wasn't that long ago that Game of Thrones had a claim to the title of the biggest show in the world. Thanks to its combination of high fantasy, relatable politics, complex characters, shocking plot twists, and immersive production design, audiences were captivated by the series, propelling it to record ratings for HBO. Though it's been off the air since 2019, the recent launch of its first spinoff series, , has brought millions of fans back to the world of Westeros.

Whether you're a newcomer to the televised adaptation of author George R.R. Martin's literary 'A Song of Ice and Fire' narrative brought in by the new spinoff series, or a lapsed fan looking to revisit the series or refresh your understanding of it, this watch order will help guide your journey.

Want to get into the books? We also have a guide to how to read a Game of Thrones.

Where to watch Game of Thrones

Image credit: HBO

Game of Thrones is available three ways - streaming on HBO Max, ala carte on services like Amazon, and on physical DVDs or BluRays.

House of the Dragon is available streaming on HBO Max, and ala carte on services like Amazon.

How to Watch Game of Thrones in chronological order

Game of Thrones
Image credit: HBO

Thankfully, while the story itself features plenty of twists, turns, time jumps and the occasional instance of a character casting their consciousness through time, watching the series is pretty straightforward, whether you choose to watch in chronological order (that is, watching the series in the order events happen within the universe of the story) or in release order (the order the episodes were released to the public).

We'll first share the Game of Thrones watch order with an eye towards the in-story timeline. In the world of Game of Thrones, characters track years relative to the conquest of Westeros by the first Targaryen king, Aegon the Conqueror, with the number and the abbreviation 'AC' (for 'after the conquest') indicating the number of years which have passed since Aegon united the Seven Kingdoms into one.

Here is how to watch Game of Thrones in chronological order:

  1. House of the Dragon, season one (101 AC to 132 AC)
  2. House of the Dragon, season two (132 AC to unknown dates)
  3. Game of Thrones, season one (298 AC)
  4. Game of Thrones, season two (299 AC)
  5. Game of Thrones, season three (300 AC)
  6. Game of Thrones, season four (301 AC)
  7. Game of Thrones, season five (302 AC)
  8. Game of Thrones, season six (303 AC)
  9. Game of Thrones, season seven (304 AC)
  10. Game of Thrones, season eight (305 AC)

But wait… what about the flashbacks? We've got you covered.

How to Watch Game of Thrones in chronological order (including the flashbacks)

House of the Dragon
Image credit: HBO

Games of Thrones somewhat famously eschewed flashbacks in general. The majority of all episodes take place in their respective present day, and the series only ever presents one genuine flashback sequence, at the very start of season five. Later in the series, it depicts events which occurred prior to the start of the series, but always through the eyes of Bran Stark, who uses his magical abilities to cast his mind back in time to 'watch' things in the past, during which he is depicted as being present in the events he's watching but invisible to the characters in the past.

If you would like to watch everything including these pseudo-flashbacks in chronological order, here is the comprehensive Game of Thrones watch order - minus House of the Dragon season 2 since we're not sure on that yet:

  1. House of the Dragon, season one (101 AC to 132 AC)
  2. Game of Thrones season six, episode two scene (273 AC, estimated): Bran watches a younger version of his father train with his uncle Benjen. His aunt Lyanna and a stable boy named Wyllis also appear.
  3. Game of Thrones season five, episode one scene one (276 AC): A young Cersei has her future told by Maggie the Frog, introducing her to a prophecy which will shape much of her life.
  4. Game of Thrones season six, episode five scene (278 AC, estimated): Bran learns the history of his protector Hodor, who only ever speaks his own name.
  5. Game of Thrones season seven, episode seven scene (280 AC): Bran observes the secret marriage of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen to Bran's aunt Lyanna.
  6. Game of Thrones season six, episode three scene (280 AC): Bran witnesses his father duel with the Kingsguard outside the Tower of Joy in order to reach his Lyanna.
  7. Game of Thrones season six, episode 10 scene (280 AC): Bran returns to the Tower of Joy and learns the truth of Jon Snow's parentage.
  8. Game of Thrones, season one (298 AC)
  9. Game of Thrones, season two (299 AC)
  10. Game of Thrones, season three (300 AC)
  11. Game of Thrones, season four (301 AC)
  12. Game of Thrones, season five (302 AC)
  13. Game of Thrones, season six (303 AC)
  14. Game of Thrones, season seven (304 AC)
  15. Game of Thrones, season eight (305 AC)

How to watch Game of Thrones in release order

House of the Dragon
Image credit: HBO

?? If you'd like to watch Game of Thrones in release order, that is, the order the seasons were originally released to the public, it's even easier than the chronological order! You can simply watch the full eight seasons of the original Game of Thrones followed by the first season of its spinoff, House of the Dragon.

  1. Game of Thrones Season 1 (2011)
  2. Game of Thrones Season 2 (2012)
  3. Game of Thrones Season 3 (2013)
  4. Game of Thrones Season 4 (2014)
  5. Game of Thrones Season 5 (2015)
  6. Game of Thrones Season 6 (2016)
  7. Game of Thrones Season 7 (2017)
  8. Game of Thrones Season 8 (2019)
  9. House of the Dragon Season 1 (2022)
  10. House of the Dragon Season 1 (2024)

How to watch Game of Thrones machete order

Game of Thrones
Image credit: HBO

Additionally, there is a third viewing option available, a streamlined 'machete' order. While Game of Thrones is a series which benefits from the tight intertangling of its plotlines, with minor characters and seemingly throwaway subplots gradually gaining prominence as the series goes on, this abbreviated episode order lists the Game of Thrones episodes, along with a judicious viewing of each episode's 'Previously On' segment, most essential to getting a feel for the show and a big picture understanding of its overarching narrative and character developments.

While this machete order will still take some time to complete (think of it as more of a broadsword order), it will nevertheless save you the time of watching everything while still showing you what you need to know.

  1. Game of Thrones season one, episode one: 'Winter is Coming'
  2. Game of Thrones season one, episode six: 'A Golden Crown'
  3. Game of Thrones season one, episode nine: 'Baelor'
  4. Game of Thrones season one, episode ten: 'Fire & Blood'
  5. Game of Thrones season two, episode five: 'The Ghost of Harrenhal'
  6. Game of Thrones season two, episode nine: 'Blackwater'
  7. Game of Thrones season two, episode ten: 'Valar Morghulis'
  8. Game of Thrones season three, episode four: 'And Now His Watch Is Ended'
  9. Game of Thrones season three, episode five: 'Kissed by Fire'
  10. Game of Thrones season three, episode nine: 'The Rains of Castamere'
  11. Game of Thrones season four, episode two: 'The Lion and the Rose'
  12. Game of Thrones season four, episode six: 'The Laws of Gods and Men'
  13. Game of Thrones season four, episode eight: 'The Mountain and the Viper'
  14. Game of Thrones season four, episode nine: 'The Watchers on the Wall'
  15. Game of Thrones season four, episode ten: 'The Children'
  16. Game of Thrones season five, episode four: 'Sons of the Harpy'
  17. Game of Thrones season five, episode eight: 'Hardhome'
  18. Game of Thrones season five, episode nine: 'The Dance of Dragons'
  19. Game of Thrones season five, episode ten: 'Mother's Mercy'
  20. Game of Thrones season six, episode two: 'Home'
  21. Game of Thrones season six, episode five: 'The Door'
  22. Game of Thrones season six, episode nine: 'Battle of the Bastards'
  23. Game of Thrones season six, episode ten: 'The Winds of Winter'
  24. Game of Thrones season seven, episode three: 'The Queen's Justice'
  25. Game of Thrones season seven, episode four: 'The Spoils of War'
  26. Game of Thrones season seven, episode six: 'Beyond the Wall'
  27. Game of Thrones season seven, episode seven: 'The Dragon and the Wolf'
  28. Game of Thrones season eight, episode two: 'A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms'
  29. Game of Thrones season eight, episode three: 'The Long Night'
  30. Game of Thrones season eight, episode five: 'The Bells'
  31. Game of Thrones season eight, episode six: 'The Iron Throne'

Upcoming Game of Thrones projects

House of the Dragon
Image credit: HBO

Finally, with Game of Thrones at the center of HBO's efforts to create shows built around proven and familiar characters and settings, there are a number of spinoffs in addition to House of the Dragon that have been announced, are in development, and/or have been canceled. As of this writing, those include:

  • The Sea Snake (once titled The Nine Voyages), centered on the seafaring adventures of House of the Dragon's Corlys Velaryon in his younger days. It is currently in the writing stage, with a pilot script from Bruno Heller, the creator of The Mentalist (who had previously approached HBO about a prequel series chronicling Robert Baratheon's rebellion against the Mad King, the event which looms large over the events of Game of Thrones).
  • 10,000 Ships is a spinoff set 1,000 years before the events of Game of Thrones, focused on the adventures of Princess Nymeria as she founded the nation of Dorne. This series is presumably the furthest along in development, as HBO recently retitled The Sea Snake to avoid having too many series with a number in their title.
  • Tales of Dunk Egg is inspired by a series of novellas written by George R.R. Martin featuring the adventures of the Hedge Knight Dunk and his squire Egg, set about 90 years before A Game of Thrones. The series is said to be in development, but little is known about its progress beyond that.
  • HBO is also looking to expand the Game of Thrones universe in animation, with two different cartoon series in development. All we know of them is that one, titled "The Golden Empire" will reportedly be set in the Essos province of Yi Ti, an area Martin likens to Imperial China (Yi Ti was offhandedly mentioned in the penultimate episode of House of the Dragon season 1, possibly to help get the name in viewers' minds).
  • In addition to all this, there were two spinoffs announced but ultimately canceled. One was Flea Bottom, set in the lower class slums of KIng's Landing. The other was Bloodmoon, the very first Game of Thrones spinoff to be announced. It was set 8,000 years before Game of Thrones and even had a full pilot shot, starring Naomi Watts and Jamie Campbell-Bower (Stranger Things' Vecna). But HBO ultimately decided the show needed more work than it was worth, and decided to move ahead with House of the Dragon instead.
  • Finally, the most recently announced spinoff has a working title of Snow. Taking place north of the Wall and featuring Kit Harrington's Jon Snow, it is the only spinoff currently in development intended to explore events taking place after the end of Game of Thrones. Reportedly, Harrington himself pitched HBO on the idea of the series.

Four ways House of the Dragon is different Than Game of Thrones.

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