It's coming. No, not winter, that's finally gone. I'm talking about the Season 4 finale of Game of Thrones. HBO has graced fans with an extra-long episode called "The Children," which, according to the promo, will involve Jon Snow trying to kill Mance Rayder to end the Battle at The Wall, Dany dealing with the banishment of Jorah Mormont among many other problems, Tyrion's outcome after losing his trial by combat (RIP Prince Oberyn), and many, many more truly insane and captivating stories. But you guys know what else the extra-long episode means, right? HBO Go will be down for an extra-long time.
During the Season 4 premiere, CNN reported – and many fans realized – that the streaming device crashed under heavy demand for the episode. The TV premieres of each episode have already brought in record-breaking numbers for HBO. In fact, Game of Thrones just passed The Sopranos in the ratings, making it the most popular show on HBO. Ever. And this isn't the first time that the show has caused HBO Go to crash, as the series also crashed the streaming site during both Season 3's premiere and finale. So there's no chance the Season 4 finale will be readily available to watch on HBO Go without crash-type consequences.
What is it about the show that causes these crashes and slow moments for HBOGo? The most obvious reason is because of the urgent need to know what happens due to cliffhangers from previous episodes. That's almost definitely the reason behind the show's premieres crashing the site and application. Plus, Game of Thrones was rated by Nielsen as one of the top tweeted shows of the 2013-2014 season and no one wants to be behind on the times or see a spoiler before they've watched the episode.
Then there are the hardcore fans of the novels the shows is based on. The A Song of Ice and Fire novels have huge audiences and with the positive response to the TV series, more and more people have joined the legions of Game Of Thrones fans.
I personally believe, however, that the biggest reason HBO Go crashes during Game of Thrones and even shows like True Detective is because of all the people who "borrow" their friends or family members' HBO Go passwords. With more people than HBO subscribers using the streaming site and app, it's no wonder HBO can't properly maintain the traffic during big premieres and finales.
But here's what HBO needs to realize: When you produce a show as good as Game of Thrones, you need to prepare for this type of response. Sorry, that's just a consequence of great TV.