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JHav

HBO: Game of Thrones

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In The Prince of Winterfell episode Qhorin tells Jon something like "When Mance marches his army, one man on the inside is worth a thousand on the Wall." That might be way off but I know for a fact he says something about having a man on the inside.

The show did a pretty bad job of conveying that Qhorin knew he was going to die at the hands of the Wildlings and wanted a man of the Night's Watch to do it before they had the chance. The actual fight played out pretty much the same way in both the book and the show. Jon realizes halfway through their fight that Qhorin isn't ******* around and will kill him if Jon doesn't kill him first. At that point they had gone too far and put on too much of a show to just be like "LOL jk"

Might should have put that in spoilers. Just saying.

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If people haven't watched the finale yet they really shouldn't be in this thread.

yep, i don't refresh the thread til i watched that episode of the week

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If people haven't watched the finale yet they really shouldn't be in this thread.

yeah, people have to live in the now at a certain point.

And I assume you already know.. don't even go in Breaking Bad thread till you're completely caught-up. Several mere images will spoil sh-t.

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My brother (A non book reader) had an interesting theory, and since this vision is unique to the show, I'm not really at liberty to argue with him. He thinks that the Iron Throne covered in snow symbolizes that in this glimpse of the future, in the time of winter, John Snow is sitting the Iron Throne.

I asked him what he thought of the other scene but he didn't really think it meant anything, he just assumed the warlocks were trying to give her a glimpse of a false existence so she would stay with the Undying forever.

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I thought it might mean the future would be some white walker-plagued frozen hel.l on earth that only she and her dragons could rescue Westeros from. That's admittedly a little over the top.

But Dany had to know it was fakery cause Drogo said more in that tent than he did all season 1 put together. Still touching scene though.

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what could white walkers do to dragons?

dragons fly around and breathe fire.. which is the weakness of white walkers.. don't think white walkers can fly around.

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That's what I've always felt the title of the series meant, White Walkers vs. Dragons.

I have a theory that goes deeper into this concept. The book follows the various characters as they battle for the Iron Throne, but I don't think it's the real war. The series is called, "A Song of Fire and Ice," and in it you have the White Walkers, who are agents of the 'The Great Other,' who is essentially an ice god, and then there is Melisandre who is influencing Stannis to do the bidding of the Lord of Light, who is the eternal enemy of the Great Other. So, there is the war for the Iron Throne but the real war is between the agents of the gods of fire and ice as they try to wrest control of Westeros for whatever reasons they have.

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what could white walkers do to dragons?

dragons fly around and breathe fire.. which is the weakness of white walkers.. don't think white walkers can fly around.

Humans are the ones who whiped out the dragons the first go-around, so I assume the Others could do the same eventually.

Plus I have a feeling that dragons may be vulnerable to ice, and the Others make magical ice weapons.

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Martin has released a 3rd preview chapter for The Winds of Winter. I'm not reading any of them until the book comes out though.

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This is a very interesting read..

In restructuring its foundation, Game Of Thrones built a bigger, better second season

by Todd VanDerWerff June 1, 2012

As Game Of Thrones entered its second season, the biggest challenge facing the show was how to tell a story that spanned two continents and something like nine separate geographical locations in any given episode. Where the show’s first season had a strong central figure in Sean Bean’s Ned Stark, the second has no such luxuries. Peter Dinklage’s Tyrion Lannister is the closest thing the season has to a “main character,” but his storyline of learning how much he enjoys playing the titular game doesn’t often intersect with other major characters. In some ways, the show’s main organizing principle is the War Of The Five Kings, which sweeps across the country of Westeros, where much of the show is set. However, characters like Emilia Clarke’s Daenerys Targaryen (plotting a return to Westeros across the sea) or Kit Harington’s Jon Snow (exploring beyond the Wall that protects Westeros from invasion by the White Walkers) have nothing to do with this war. Squeezing all of this into one 10-episode television season easily could have felt forced.

Then why has the series’ second season been so much better than its first? The episodes have moved with more confidence than they did in the first season—when it often felt like the show’s writers were learning how to adapt George R.R. Martin’s novels on the fly—and the various cast members have settled into the roles so well that the writers seem much more confident in allowing certain relationships to be built via subtext. In addition, the war has been a good way to keep most of the show’s episodes solid on a structural level. Characters are always talking about the war, evaluating their place in it, or discussing who’s currently winning the most battles, and that has led to sweeping episodes that visit all fronts of the battle, as well as more focused ones like last Sunday’s “Blackwater,” which depicted the central battle of the war in thrilling fashion.

The answer lies in how the show structures its episodes. Like many HBO series (Boardwalk Empire and Treme come to mind), individual episodes borrow something from the structure of traditional daytime soaps. Each storyline is separated into roughly equal-sized chunks, then split between episodes. Every week, viewers drop in on one of those storylines for a few minutes, hopefully departing enticed to come back the next week by a cliffhanger (or two). Some episodes focus more heavily on certain characters, but each hour goes out of its way to drop in on as many characters as possible, just to keep the audience aware of what’s going on. As in soaps, this creates stories that don’t so much build as exist in an eternal present. The show has climaxes and traditional stories, but it seems to constantly be moving forward. There’s always something else coming, and the series has to maintain the illusion that whatever finality there is offers more of a comma than a period.

Especially in the early going of season one, this structure was sometimes confusing and off-putting. The series occasionally seemed like it was adapting the book literally, pulling out a chunk of pages and turning it into a teleplay, then stopping at a high point. (Perhaps the most obvious example of this comes in the series’ first episode, which attempts to lay out the show’s core relationships, but does such a poor job of it that Michelle Fairley’s Catelyn Stark has a more poignant scene with her husband’s unseen corpse in season two than she ever shared with him in season one.) To some degree, this simply stems from the way TV always requires the first season of a show to prioritize which characters and storylines it will develop first, but that challenge was doubled by the fact that virtually every Game Of Thrones character who has a speaking line in those first few episodes becomes vastly important to the story somewhere down the line. And the series just keeps adding characters, all of them important in one way or another, which meant the show sometimes seems confused about which characters to follow when.

Around the midpoint of the first season, however, the show’s writers found more confidence in their adaptation, inventing scenes that never existed on the page, and switching minor plot points around, even including dialogue from later books in places where it would fit within the first season. The show could still occasionally feel like things were happening simply because they needed to for the plot to progress, but as it neared its climactic ninth episode, “Baelor,” it had finally figured out how to convey the emotion and power of the book in a cinematic fashion. That episode was thrilling, and it showed just how far the series had come in a very short time.

In that sense, perhaps it’s unsurprising that the series has become so much more confident in its second season. Every episode has moved like a series that knows what it wants to be and exactly how to do what it needs to do, even if everything it does doesn’t always work. The soap-opera-esque storytelling feels much more purposeful, and with that added boost of confidence, it suggests a genuinely new way to tell serialized stories on TV: by organizing episodes around theme, rather than plot.

Briefly, the traditional way to structure an episode of a serialized drama on television involves taking the season’s major goal (Walter White wants to set up a meth-dealing operation), then breaking it down into smaller, component parts (he needs to contact someone who can move his product). Each episode can then be about one of those parts, allowing for a traditional three-act structure with a beginning, middle, and end. When done perfectly, as on The Wire or Breaking Bad, this can feel so organic that viewers don’t even realize the longer story is actually a long series of interlocking smaller stories. There’s also the less-used method of telling a long series of short stories about individual characters that gradually cohere into a central mass by season’s end. Mad Men, The Sopranos, and Lost have all used this strategy, but it’s murderously difficult to pull off, so few shows even attempt it.

By virtue of the sheer disparity of characters and locations, Game Of Thrones can’t do that. If it used the method of following only one central character per episode, something like two-thirds of the ensemble likely wouldn’t even appear, and the storyline itself is hard to break into smaller components, thanks to its wartime setting. (Witness how the show has struggled to find things to do with Clarke, often giving her small stories that begin and end within an episode, but feel inconsequential.) The show is essentially locked into its soap-operatic storytelling structure, and while it can use the war to organize that structure somewhat, it can’t use it to make it feel more cohesive or focused.

Yet Game Of Thrones has solved the issue other HBO series with its structure have often struggled with. The second season’s episodes have each been organized by a single theme that runs throughout, whether that’s the role of women in a Middle Ages society, how magic appears to people who don’t have access to it, what earns followers’ fealty, or the miseries war visits upon those followers. These themes are all present in Martin’s series, but the TV series has cunningly lined them all up so each episode can almost seem like a debate, in which all the show’s characters express, via dialogue and action, all the sides of a particular issue in the show’s universe. The season’s third episode, “What Is Dead May Never Die,” was particularly masterful at this, dissecting what makes a good and just ruler, and what options are available to people under corrupt or evil men in a monarchy. Through teenage tyrant Joffrey, the show has spent much of the season asking whether anyone—even those related to him—can deal with such a cruel ruler other than having him removed, and it has skillfully woven several smaller themes throughout that larger one. (Anyone confused about what an episode’s theme is can just look to Tyrion. There will inevitably be a scene where he discusses it directly with another character, and Dinklage has played these scenes masterfully.)

This allows for storylines as far-flung as the Dany and Jon ones to feel like they stand right alongside the War Of The Five Kings, even though they have little connection to it in a plot sense. Dany can encounter a far-off city where the power structure is very different, only to find that the lust for power will always corrupt some men absolutely. Jon can visit people beyond the Wall who live their lives in a society that’s said to be “free”—even as they take any Night’s Watch personnel they come across prisoner—as well as an old man who rules a little forest hollow with a sniveling contempt for everyone but himself. The series often feels like it could end with any of these characters becoming the king, so having them discover new systems almost feels like they’re auditioning to be better leaders than the current one.

In addition to this, the series’ writers have been much better about making changes from the book, both to condense the story, which would be too big to fit in a 10-episode season, and to tighten up loopholes that seem fine on the page but would have become more glaring onscreen—like the reason the Lannisters seem to abandon searching for Robert Baratheon’s ******* son. Not every change has worked—that Dany storyline, again, has been plodding in places, and some of the changes made to the Arya Stark storyline have weakened the character—but this increased sense of confidence in deviating from the material has also helped with the new thematically oriented storytelling. Need a scene in the Arya storyline that speaks to that week’s theme? Make one up, and toss her into it with Tywin, since that pairing has accounted for many of the season’s highlights. More and more, the book feels like a general blueprint, and that’s been a good thing.

The show is still occasionally a sprawling mess—a few of season two’s episodes have tried to incorporate too much, and have nearly flown off the rails—and in seasons to come, even more stuff will have to be crammed into the storyline. There’s every possibility the show won’t ever work right again. But in its second season, Game Of Thrones has done something that seemed nearly impossible, and done it largely without breaking a sweat. The storylines move quickly, but still leave time for character development. The thematic development is rich, but it doesn’t overwhelm the plot twists. And by organizing every episode in a soap-opera structure that allows the show’s start-and-stop nature to feel organic, rather than forced, the series has solved a problem that’s bedeviled TV producers for some time. This hasn’t been a perfect season of television, but in terms of lessons other writers will take from it, it might be the most influential.

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Martin has released a 3rd preview chapter for The Winds of Winter. I'm not reading any of them until the book comes out though.

We know that the third book will take 2 seasons to cover, but do you think the fourth & fifth books could be covered in one season each?

I believe somebody told me that the fourth & fifth books cover the same timespan, but have different POV characters. If that's the case, I guess the show would do something like have one season cover the first half of books 4 & 5, then the season after would cover the second half of both books.

So why was Samwell NOT slaughtered by the white walker on the horse at the end of the episode?

I would be willing to bet it had something to do with this..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ca2-q541rOQ

Dragonglass

dragonglass-game-of-thrones-the-prince-of-winterfell-01-1280x720.png

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We know that the third book will take 2 seasons to cover, but do you think the fourth & fifth books could be covered in one season each?

I believe somebody told me that the fourth & fifth books cover the same timespan, but have different POV characters. If that's the case, I guess the show would do something like have one season cover the first half of books 4 & 5, then the season after would cover the second half of both books.

Yeah the 4th book was supposed to be A Dance With Dragons, but it swelled up to gigantic proportions and Martin's publicist told him to split it into 2 books. Instead of splitting it halfway he made an odd decision to split it up by POV's and call the first book A Feast For Crows. AFfC and the majority of ADwD takes place at the same time but split into different regions. Towards the end of Dance though it catches back up with Feast and the story continues in its regular setup.

I assume they'll combine Feast and Dance and get 2 seasons out of it. The story slows back down to about the same pace as Book 1 by that point and it gets back to the politics and intrigue after 2 books of a lot of open warfare so maybe the story will be easier for them to tell.

I still really think this show needs 12-13 episodes a season. I'm hoping Season 2 blu-ray sales are enough to get HBO to throw a lot more money behind this thing.

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Humans are the ones who whiped out the dragons the first go-around, so I assume the Others could do the same eventually.

Plus I have a feeling that dragons may be vulnerable to ice, and the Others make magical ice weapons.

hm.. white walker did have a spear with it seemed ice tipped.. makes sense.

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Yeah the 4th book was supposed to be A Dance With Dragons, but it swelled up to gigantic proportions and Martin's publicist told him to split it into 2 books. Instead of splitting it halfway he made an odd decision to split it up by POV's and call the first book A Feast For Crows. AFfC and the majority of ADwD takes place at the same time but split into different regions. Towards the end of Dance though it catches back up with Feast and the story continues in its regular setup.

I assume they'll combine Feast and Dance and get 2 seasons out of it. The story slows back down to about the same pace as Book 1 by that point and it gets back to the politics and intrigue after 2 books of a lot of open warfare so maybe the story will be easier for them to tell.

I still really think this show needs 12-13 episodes a season. I'm hoping Season 2 blu-ray sales are enough to get HBO to throw a lot more money behind this thing.

I've heard a few people state that A Clash of Kings is the least enjoyable book in the series and it's been described as chiefly serving the purpose of moving the pieces into position for future events. Would you (or any of you other guys who have read the books) more or less agree with that assessment? FWIW everybody labels the third book a masterpiece.

And in the past few days I saw where it was reiterated again that it isn't possible for them to make more than 10 episodes on the schedule they currently operate under. The only way we could get more episodes is if we waited longer in between seasons.

I remember routinely waiting 18 months-2 years between some seasons of The Sopranos.. it wasn't because of logistical issues like with GoT, but rather contractual stuff and the fact that Sopranos' creator David Chase was allowed to set his own schedule, like Larry David with Curb.

I would have no problem waiting something like 12 or 16 months in between seasons (rather than the current 10 months) if it meant we could get 12 episodes.

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People wait like 2-3 years for sequels to movies they love and if they're lucky they get 2.5 hours out of it. I don't understand why we can't do the same for TV shows, especially ones like this where the scope is so big and the story is so deep and nuanced. If you told me that I would have to wait 2 years for the next Game Of Thrones season, that it would have a $150-200 million budget, and I would get 12 hours out of it- ******* sign me up. No problem with that at all.

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http://www.digitaltrends.com/movies/shut-up-and-take-my-money-hbo-website-pushes-for-standalone-hbo-streaming-service/

June 5, 2012 By Andrew Couts

Take My Money, HBO!, a new website, launches viral campaign for a standalone HBO streaming service.

Newly launched website TakeMyMoneyHBO.com wants to send HBO a clear message: We love your shows. We’re willing to pay to watch them upon release. Now please, for the love of Winterfell, give us a way to do that — without forcing a cable subscription down our throats.

The site allows visitors to tweet how much money they would be willing to spend on a standalone, streaming HBO service; like Netflix, but with Game of Thrones. An outpouring of tweets using the hashtag #takemymoneyhbo flows forth from the middle of the website’s homepage. A brief look at the tweets show a steady string of $10s and $15s and a surprising number or $20s. Quite a few $9s and $8s and $7s, too. There’s the stray $5 or $4 here and there. But an inadequately brief and mathematical measure of the proposed fees shows that a stand-alone HBO service would be worth more than all of Netflix to a majority of tech-savvy, Twitter-using fans, at the very least.

Website designer and creator of Take My Money, HBO! Jake Caputo says that he raked in “1,300+”visits in one hour after launch, 12,000 within two hours, and 21,000 after three hours. Despite this, Caputo says he didn’t specifically intend to launch a viral campaign.

“I was just hoping to get HBO’s attention, and I never thought it’d get this much traffic,” he tweeted. So far, HBO has not yet responded to fans’ wave of requests.

Of course, HBO does offer a streaming service of sorts through its HBO Go app. Unfortunately, access to this service requires an HBO subscription, which in turn requires a costly cable subscription — unless, as Caputo notes on the site, you simply use your friend’s login to get your dose of HBO show goodness, a practice HBO surely despises.

Caputo’s efforts come amidst news that the HBO series Game of Thrones is destined to become the most-pirated show of 2012 — as well as a growing resentment toward the current Hollywood distribution system and legislative efforts that recklessly seek to maintain its status quo.

While Caputo’s message-spreading technique is new, the idea of Take My Money, HBO! is not. In March, cartoonist and computer programmer Matthew Inman, creator of The Oatmeal, summed up the widely-echoed problems with HBO’s current business model perfectly in one of his Web-only comic strips. This was followed by a forceful piece by Forbes contributor Erik Kain, who argued that “HBO only has itself to blame” for getting reamed by online piracy.

“…HBO is missing out on a huge potential audience by limiting themselves to cable TV subscribers,” writes Kain. “I don’t blame the company for keeping their shows off of Hulu or Netflix, but offering HBO GO as a stand-alone service could put a serious dent in these piracy numbers, and bring in a lot more legitimate viewers to shows like Game of Thrones.”

Unfortunately for everyone, HBO co-president Eric Kessler essentially shot down all possibility of a standalone HBO service during an interview with Will Richmond of Video Nuze last December. Kessler indicated that HBO has not been hurt by piracy, has no plans to launch a standalone streaming service. He asserts that the premium channel’s exclusivity remains one of its most vital assets.

Watch the whole interview below. (Waring: It’s 40 minutes long — but well worth your time. For a shorter, more candid explanation, see here.)

For those of us on the consumer side of this debate, a fundamental switch to a la carte TV seems inevitable — it’s what we want; give it to us. At this point,however, Caputo remains humble about the giant elephant he just pointed out in HBO’s room. When we asked whether he thought there was a chance in **** that HBO would launch the service so many wish for, Caputo had a simple answer: “Probably not,” he wrote, “but I hope so!”

Read more: http://www.digitaltrends.com/movies/shut-up-and-take-my-money-hbo-website-pushes-for-standalone-hbo-streaming-service/#ixzz1x39KbFaG

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I actually like A Clash Of Kings more than I liked A Game Of Thrones. Arya/Jaqen, Jon Snow, and Stannis/Melisandre/Davos were just fascinating stories. But, above all of that, there was nothing more engrossing and mind-blowing than Daenerys' visit to the House of the Undying. I still to this day go back and read that chapter.

A Storm of Swords may have been the best book in the series, but House of the Undying was the best chapter in my opinion, especially when you start finding out what it all really means.

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People wait like 2-3 years for sequels to movies they love and if they're lucky they get 2.5 hours out of it. I don't understand why we can't do the same for TV shows, especially ones like this where the scope is so big and the story is so deep and nuanced. If you told me that I would have to wait 2 years for the next Game Of Thrones season, that it would have a $150-200 million budget, and I would get 12 hours out of it- ******* sign me up. No problem with that at all.

its because people develop a far closer relationship with their favorite TV shows than with movies due to it being a weekly viewing rather than a one time viewing. a good television show doesn't just build excitement and anticipation before the season premiere, it continues to build it as you are experiencing it week to week. plus it becomes a part of your life and routine in a way that movies can't

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My brother (A non book reader) had an interesting theory, and since this vision is unique to the show, I'm not really at liberty to argue with him. He thinks that the Iron Throne covered in snow symbolizes that in this glimpse of the future, in the time of winter, John Snow is sitting the Iron Throne.

Game of Thrones’ Alfie Allen on Theon’s Finale Speech, His Daddy Issues, and George R.R. Martin’s Love of Lily Allen

"You know, I asked [George RR Martin] about who Jon Snow's real parents were, and he told me. I can't say who, but I can tell you that it involves a bit of a Luke Skywalker situation. It will all come to fruition eventually. The whole thing with all the fight over proper succession is partly inspired by the War of the Roses in the late 1400s, and back then, to ensure pedigree, the monarchies were kind of inbred. It's definitely ****** up, but it definitely happened back then, so that's why there's incest with the Targaryen line. It's toned down, though."

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I already have a good idea who Jon's mother is, and it's pretty much the majority opinion.

Unless Martin decides to throw a curve ball, I think most people who have read the books have this one figured out.

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The Reasons Why HBO Doesn’t Want Your Money

The Interweb pretty much had a nervous breakdown when Netflix decided to charge subscribers an extra $8 for its streaming service. But now, wannabe cord-cutters (that's the term for folks who try to get their TV without cable or satellite) are losing their **** because another web-based video service, HBO GO, won't let them pay to subscribe (the service is available only as a fringe benefit to anyone who gets HBO the old-fashioned way). Yesterday, a well-meaning website designer from Illinois created TakeMyMoneyHBO, a website/Twitter meme/battle cry whose intent is to convince the pay cable behemoth that HBO GO should be an à la carte option. Lots of people have visited the site, and tech types are tweeting about it, but here's the hard truth: All the Internet pleading in the world isn't going to convince HBO to blow up its business model, at least not anytime soon.

While it might seem nutty that HBO would turn down the chance to get more people paying for its service — and without having to split subscription fees with cable/satellite operators, as it does now — the logic behind the network's resistance is pretty simple. In the same way NBC and ABC rely on a whole bunch of local stations (a.k.a. "affiliates") to spread their signal across the United States, HBO exists because cable companies distribute, market, and promote the network to their millions of subscribers. Try calling up Time Warner Cable or DirecTV and ordering service: Just as you can't go to a fast-food joint without being asked if you want

, cable companies relentlessly pitch HBO (and Showtime or Starz) as add-ons to basic levels of service. They might even offer you a few months of HBO free, in the hopes you'll get hooked. If HBO were to suddenly let consumers skip the cable middlemen, said middlemen would rightly be pissed. They'd stop promoting HBO. They might even threaten to stop offering the channel at all.

HBO isn't officially commenting on the Take My Money HBO campaign, though it did acknowledge it via Twitter Wednesday. "Love the HBO love. Keep it up," the network tweeted. The same missive also linked to an article on Tech Crunch, which it says "has it right." But it's not as if HBO execs hadn't been thinking about the issue before this latest flurry of activity. Co-president Eric Kessler pretty much repeated all of what we wrote above late last year at an online conference in New York. According to a transcript of Kessler's remarks put together by writer Dustin Curtis, Kessler explained HBO "benefit tremendously from the existing ecosystem ... There are 60, 70, 80,000 customer service agents on the phone every day, and you know what they're talking about? They're talking about HBO. The affiliate covers that cost. The billing systems. That's the affiliates. If you watch HBO 5 minutes a month or 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, that's not a cost we have ... It's very beneficial to us to keep that transactional machinery going." But couldn't HBO make up some of those losses with direct subscriptions, particularly since it would keep every dollar you spend for the network (instead of sharing that money with cable companies)? Turns out, nope: "We'll gain a little over here [streaming], and we'll lose a lot over here [cable], and we think there will not be a net gain, there would be a net loss," the exec said. "So it's really about economics and a business issue."

An article last summer in The Economist laid out the math even more explicitly. Out of roughly 105 million TV homes with cable here in the U.S., the vast majority — 77 million — don't bother to pay for HBO. By contrast, there are just 3 million homes "with broadband connections and reasonable amounts of money but no" cable, the magazine reported. Trying to convince more of those 77 million without HBO to subscribe, while keeping those who already pay for it happy, seems to be a safer bet than trying to satisfy the cord-cutters. (This, despite the heart-tugging New York Times article from last month which detailed the tragic tale of Girls groupies who've had to beg friends and families for passwords to HBO's all-access app because they simply can't afford the cost of a cable subscription. Sniff.)

And yet, there's another stat worth noting: According to Nielsen, the number of TV homes with broadband but no cable jumped nearly 23 percent last year. While still under 5 percent of the overall TV homes, more folks are clearly experimenting with do-it-yourself TV programming. If we ever get anywhere close to a tipping point, where more people decide to give up on monthly cable bills, it's possible those who want to pay for HBO GO by itself will get their wish. Another HBO exec, Bill Nelson, hinted the company is open to change. “Let’s assume that in ten years’ time there has been a significant shift away from multichannel subscriptions,” Nelson said in the Economist article. “In that environment, HBO may reconsider its position.” For now, anyone who can't wait for HBO shows to hit iTunes or DVD will just have to get their fix the old-fashioned way: BitTorrent!

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