Google Searches For ‘Cancel HBO’ Spiked After Game Of Thrones Finale

Game of Thrones Dany

More and more people are canceling their HBO subscriptions in the wake of Game of Thrones season 8.

As reported by BGR (h/t, Google searches for “cancel HBO” witnessed a sizeable spike after Sunday’s series finale, “The Iron Throne.” And while it’s nigh on certain that a number of subscribers will reach for the cancel button once their favorite show has come to an end, given the divisive nature of season 8’s swan song, there may be more to this data than meets the eye.

For one, it’s the highest surge in search results for ‘cancel HBO’ since Game of Thrones began – again, this is to be expected, given the main Thrones saga is done and dusted – while the second biggest spike corresponds to the end of season 7. Unfortunately, Google Trends only yields raw search data, meaning it’s impossible to know exactly how many people actually pulled the plug on their HBO subscription.

Be that as it may, the network itself doesn’t seem too surprised by the results. Not only does it still have Westworld season 3 waiting in the wings for a 2020 premiere, but programming president Casey Bloys told Deadline earlier this week that a surge in cancellations is inevitable any time a big tentpole show like Game of Thrones comes to a close.

Historically what we have seen is, before any kind of tentpole show like Game of Thrones, True Detective, Westworld — obviously, Game of Thrones is the biggest — there is usually an uptick of subscriptions for the show and then down afterwards. Usually what we are expecting is a net gain. So there are absolutely people who watched HBO for Game of Thrones, but historically, we usually end up with a net gain, and that’s what I expect in this case as well.

The difference here is that Game of Thrones is gone for good. HBO’s A Song of Ice and Fire officially bowed off the airwaves this past weekend, igniting fan petitions and all sorts of debate about loose ends and the newly-crowned king of Westeros. But the book has closed, and we won’t be visiting Westeros until such time as the Powers That Be are ready to wind back the clock 10,000 years, to explore the Children of the Forest and their mysterious history with the Night King.