Winter didn’t quite come on time for some who tuned in for the long-anticipated season 7 premiere of Game of Thrones. Dragonstone, which reunited fans with the major players in Westeros such as Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, and newly appointed Queen Cersei, and set the stage for the wars to come.
The network’s website, HBO.com, crashed during the season premiere as some viewers attempted to log on. Instead of quips from Tyrion or flights of dragons, viewers were met with an error message noting a problem loading the page. HBO’s streaming service, HBO NOW, introduced in 2015, also experienced similar problems during the episode’s first half, displaying a loading bar in lieu of episode access. Still others, while ultimately able to view the episode, complained about slower buffering. The website did go back to working order during the final half of the episode. But after waiting so long for something so highly anticipated, the jilted premiere left a sour taste in the mouth of some.
HBO Now – a cable subscription service from the network which has been offered as an alternative to traditional viewing options for $15 a month since 2015 – experienced similar problems in 2016 during the epic “Battle of the Bastards”, which pit Jon Snow against Ramsay Bolton in a battle for the North.
A spokeswoman for HBO spoke with Hollywood Reporter and shared details regarding the outages. While this loading and buffering problem was wide-spread in Latin America on Sunday night, it was only experienced sparsely in America and otherwise across the globe. Still, shouldn’t HBO expect and plan for such a massive amount of concurrent logins for the premiere of this cultural phenomenon?
Here’s hoping that the remainder of the shortened seventh season are (only seven episodes!) broadcast without issue as we continue toward the conclusion and find out who ultimately winds up on the Iron Throne.