game of thrones dragon

Binge on Game of Thrones instead of football with HBO’s free Thanksgiving preview

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Nov 22, 2018, 4:50 PM EST (Updated)

With the long Thanksgiving weekend set to give lots of people a much-deserved chance to pause and hit their reset buttons, there’s no better time to mix up the traditional formula of endless football and return trips to the gravy boat — and replace it by bingeing instead on the warring families of Westeros.

HBO and Cinemax are offering a Thanksgiving preview available to both DirecTV and most cable subscribers, giving newcomers the chance to bone up on their Game of Thrones knowledge ahead of the show’s eighth and final season, which debuts next April.

Eligible cable and satellite subscribers can catch the entire GoT first season in one big marathon this Saturday, with the first episode set to land at 8 a.m. ET, progressing through the day until the tenth and final episode airs at 5 p.m. ET. That’s a pretty big commitment, sure… but it definitely beats jostling in lines at the mall.

HBO knows its flagship show is likely the quickest way to new subscribers’ hearts, and it’s leaning heavily into the Game of Thrones angle to promote the free trial on social media:

Will HBO use the added exposure as an opportunity to release a trailer for Season 8? We don’t know, but we’re keeping our eyes peeled. FreepreviewTV, a website that aggregates — you guessed it — free previews on offer around the country, has a continually updating list of platforms participating in the HBO and Cinemax event, so head on over to their landing page to see if your cable provider is among them, or just check with your provider directly.

As of now, it doesn’t appear that the free preview applies to HBO’s Amazon channel, where you can stream GoT (or any other HBO show) at your convenience, but HBO offers its Amazon subscribers a 14-day free trial at any time — so going that route would land you two-week access not only to Game of Thrones, but also Westworld, back episodes of True Blood, Justice League, The Shape of Water, and pretty much anything else HBO has on offer.

It’s almost too perfect: a family drama in a high fantasy setting, set to air on what may be the most family-dramatic weekend of the entire year. So put down that turkey leg, stop fighting your relatives, and kick back this Saturday to let Game of Thrones show you what a real family fight looks like.