Fans in China hoping to tune in for the Game of Thrones series finale Sunday night were left angered after the final episode was delayed on streaming platform Tencent Video.
According to the Daily Mail, the episode, titled "The Iron Throne," was set to air at 9 a.m. local time, or 9 p.m. ET, its scheduled American release time, though just an hour before Westeros' fate was sealed, the streaming service, which owns the exclusive online broadcast rights in China for the HBO series, announced that the episode would be delayed.
"Dear users, we regret to inform you that the sixth episode of the eighth season of Game of Thrones will not go online at the intended time due to media transfer issues," the notice read. "We will keep you informed of the broadcast time."
As fans across the world were able to access the HBO app or other platform streaming the episode in their country, fans in Chinese slammed Tencent Video for the delay, with some going as far as demanding refunds for their 15 yuan (roughly $2) or 198 yuan (roughly $28) per month subscription cost.
"All those paying members and their trust, and this is how you repay them," one fan wrote.
"Thank you Tencent, due to your delay, the ending has been spoiled for me," another wrote. "I specifically purchased the membership for the purpose of avoiding spoilers."
Several more wondered if the delay was due to the ongoing trade wars between the United States and China.
"The trade war has hit Westeros!" one person penned.
Fans in China were not the only ones who have faced difficulties streaming episodes of Game of Thrones' eighth and final season. Nearly every scheduled airing of each of the final episodes had been plagued by viewers claiming online that the HBO or HBO Go app had crashed due to the influx of subscribers attempting to stream the series.
The season has also faced several leaks, with multiple episodes dropping on different services hours before their scheduled premiere times.
The crashes and leaks led to spoilers running rampant on social media, with many fans disgruntled that major plot points of the final season had been ruined for them well in advance of their eyes ever setting sight on the episodes.
Even with the spoilers, Season 8 has faced criticism for its fast pace, lack of lighting during the Battle of Winterfell, characters acting out of character, and a number of gaffes in the episodes, including a plastic water bottle spotted in the final episode.