Are You Behind on ‘Game of Thrones’? Here’s How Long It Would Take to Catch Up.

April 4, 2019, 2:17 PM UTC

There are few television events in 2019 that will match the anticipation of Game of Throneseighth and final season. As the televised adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s fantasy saga, which has long since passed the books, starts to come to a close with the season 8 premiere on April 14, interest in the show is higher than ever.

The problem is: A lot of people haven’t watched the first seven seasons of the HBO smash. (And many of those who have are determined to rewatch them before the premiere, since it’s been almost 20 months since a new episode aired.)

That’s easily fixed with a binge watching marathon. Just be sure you’ve cleared your calendar of all responsibilities, since doing so will take over two days and 14 hours of uninterrupted viewing.

Even if you take time off work between now and the April 14 debut, that’s going to a tall order, requiring you to watch more than six hours per day as of Thursday, so it’s not a bad idea to set your DVR to record the eight season premiere and try to avoid spoilers until you’re caught up. (And if you wait until the weekend to start your binge, you’ll be facing at least nine hours per day of viewing.)

There are, of course, other ways to catch up. There are hundreds of episode recaps online, both print and video. You could ignore many of the side stories that almost certainly won’t factor into the show’s conclusion. You could even watch the entire final season without understanding (or caring) why Hodor was so universally loved.

But that’d be like watching Star Wars and ignoring Jabba the Hutt and the Jawas. They might not be critical to the final story, but they’re a key part of the universe.

Game of Thrones, after all, has won 47 Emmys and been nominated 128 times, the most of any show ever aired. And it has smashed HBO viewership records regularly. To fully appreciate it, you’ll want to watch from the beginning.