When You Play The Game Of Thrones….In Australia, You Lose.

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The great debate about what to do about Australia and our obvious obsession with Game of Thrones has gone on longer than a Daenerys chapter in A Song of Ice and Fire. We apparently pirated the HBO series more than any other country in the world. But why? WHY do we love breaking the law so much?


Game of thrones

There’s a few things that people think might happen in Australia, but don’t. We don’t ride kangaroos to work and we don’t get Game of Thrones at the same time as everyone else (despite living in the future, which you would think would mean we get it BEFORE everyone else. In some cases we can get it ‘fast tracked’. But we’re sleeping then. Everyone in Australia is ordered to bed by a giant dog. True story).

Here’s an example of someone from America talking to someone from Australia about GoT-

“Hey, did you catch the last Game of Thrones episode?”

“Tell me nothing! I live in Australia and we don’t have it yet!”

Or as I like to put it- If you spoil this episode for me, I will Lannister your
Stark. Repeatedly.

Of course, with national icons like Ned Kelly, it shouldn’t be surprising that Australians have found some less than lawful ways around the problem. We’ve been pirating the series, a lot.


See? We're pirates. They're kind of like pirates. Australia is just westeros 2!
See? We’re pirates. They’re kind of like pirates.
Australia is just Westeros 2!

Which, for obvious reasons, is not going over too well with all the people who would like us to pay to watch the series.

But their responses to the massive amounts of pirating, has only highlighted how much they don’t get it.

‘They’ being people who want me to watch Game of Thrones.

George R.R Martin gets it (he should, he was a television writer for years). The actors get it (Lena Headey, marry me). But those aren’t the people I’m talking about.

I’m talking about the people in charge of actually distributing the product, known as Game of Thrones….. They either don’t know what an Internet is or they’ve never seen Game of Thrones because if they had, they’d know that waiting isn’t an option.

Stephen Langsford from Quickflix is a prime example of this. Quickflix won’t be able to make the series available for people to watch until the LAST episode has aired on HBO. He’s told the Financial Review

    “There is a huge demand that happens after a season finale, there is an importance of speed to market, but the way people are consuming shows these days means there is still a huge market to address for shows after they first run,”


This isn’t Friends. This is Game of Thrones. The Red Wedding hashtag spread on Twitter faster than Rob Starke’s blood through the Frey’s floorboards after that episode aired.

No one, absolutely no one, is waiting till the end of a Game of Thrones series to watch it. People are barely holding back 24 hours to release the spoilers!

Game of Thrones is an experience that continues long after the episode has aired. You talk to your friends about it. You join in conversations on Facebook and Twitter. And even if you were to just turn off the Internet for the entire series, to avoid spoilers, there’s still that ‘other’ social network. You know, the one where you actually see people’s faces.

I’ve read the books, I have a basic idea of what’s going to happen in each episode. I mean sometimes there’s surprises-

Nailed it

But the episodes can be spoiled, even for those of us who’ve read the A Song of Ice and Fire book series. We’ve played these events out in our imaginations, but to see how they do it on the small screen is still something very special. Seeing how it affects our friends who haven’t read the books, is even better-

Read the book

But it’s not just Quickflix. The other providers of Game of Thrones don’t seem to get it either. It’s not just about the waiting.

Most true Game of Thrones’ fans will buy the DVD and Blu Rays with limited edition covers. They’ll buy the merchandise. They’ll splash more cash than a Lannister about to start a war. It’s not like they don’t want to pay for it. But they want to pay for it on their terms and if someone would offer it to them, on the terms they want, then that someone could corner the market.

Basically, just let us download the series as it happens. We don’t need anything more than that (read: no extra channels, no extra shows, just Game of Thrones). You know, the way iTunes let us do it last year….Until someone stopped it because some men just want to see the world burn.

It comes down to a very simple premise- Everyone wants to be involved, they will pay for Game of Thrones but it needs to be more accessible than it is right now. Or, they will pirate it.

This is just the Australian view of it (and not even everyone here agrees with me!). So, what’s it like in your part of the world? What are the legal ways for you to get Game of Thrones? And is there a way for them to just be doing this better?