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Actors portraying knights guard the Iron Throne at an interactive Game Of Thrones installation called Bleed For The Throne at the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference and festivals in Austin, Texas
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Here’s how you can watch Game of Thrones’ new season in India—real time and uncensored

Ananya Bhattacharya
By Ananya Bhattacharya

Tech reporter

The excitement among Game of Thrones (GoT) fans in India is reaching a feverish pitch.

The eighth and final season of the fantasy show, based on George RR Martin’s novels, airs in mid-April. And while in the US, the show airs on HBO, in many other parts of the world, fans only get to watch pirated versions, often several weeks after an episode has been aired.

No wonder it is the world’s most pirated show and the craze for it is so high it even got four Indians arrested during the fourth season for leaking the show.

But this time around, Indian fans won’t be among that unlucky bunch.

Here’s how Indians can watch GoT in real-time along with the US:

When? 

Monday April 15, 6:30 am. Waking up early might be a challenge, but well, it’s a small price to pay to get “first to the throne.”

Who?

Hotstar Premium members. You can sign up for Rs999 ($14) for the year. If you only care about GoT and no other HBO shows or cricket content on the streaming platform, considering this is the last season of the show, there’s also a Rs199 per month package you can get.

Where?

Hotstar, duh.

“Whenever it airs, it has always been a landmark show for us,” a Hotstar spokesperson told Quartz. “This year being the last season for the show, and also being simulcast with the US, we expect the response to be bigger and better than ever before.”

Now, for the most curious question: Will it be censored?

When Crazy Rich Asians aired in India, the dead-fish scene was blurred out, confusing cine-goers who hadn’t read Kevin Kwan’s book. Movies like Fifty Shades of Grey didn’t even make it to the screens. The Cinematograph Act gives India’s censor board sweeping powers to cut out words, objects, and scenes it finds offensive or provocative—powers it has used and abused extensively over the years.

Even GoT is self-censored on Indian TV because the channels want to avoid consumer complaints and backlash. But you can’t blame the channels for playing it safe, really. Over a decade ago, India suspended Fashion TV over scantily-clad models. In 2014, Comedy Central was asked to go off the air for six days, costing the channel around Rs60 lakh. Last year, rightwing outfit Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) called for the ban of MTV’s Splitsvilla, accusing it of “eroding culture and morality of the Indian youth.”

However, the digital world is still largely unfettered. Like every other season of GoT on the platform, “the show will be unspoilt, unblurred and unbeeped on Hotstar Premium,” the company told Quartz.

Now grab your GoT tee from e-commerce sites Amazon and Mynta, or myriad smaller ones like Redwolf, Voxpop, or the Souled Store, and get your viewing party started.

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