There's A Special Way To Binge-Watch 'Westworld' Season 1 Without An HBO Subscription

by Ani Bundel

Westworld returns for the long-awaited Season 2 premiere on April 22, 2018, or what some fans might call "the old Game of Thrones slot." So far, the show has been Game of Thrones-like in releasing details about the upcoming season. Fans have had a couple of trailers, a Ramin Djawadi song, and a rick-roll, but that's about it. More importantly, it's been nearly 18 months since the first season ended and many fans need a refresher. That's why knowing how to stream Westworld Season 1 for free in the next ten days is going to be super important.

Can fans stream Westworld Season 1 for free? Part of the HBO's whole deal is that they are a pay cable station. Those who have HBO pay for it on top of paying their regular cable bill, which gives them access to stream via HBO Now, or they pay for HBO Go. In short, HBO programming is not free. (This is why Game of Thrones has been the most pirated show every year since Season 3.)

The only way for Westworld to stream free over the next ten days is for HBO to do one of those "free weekends" and then extend it over ten days, right?

Not so! Comcast/Xfinity has made a deal with HBO and starting this coming Monday, they will hold a "Watchathon Week" from April 16 to 22. During that time, all Xfinity TV subscribers can watch Westworld Season 1 for free without an HBO subscription.

This doesn't just include watching via streaming on one's cable box. Xfinity understands that fans are busy people and will be fitting in this ten-hour rewatch around their schedules. From the press release:

Since time is of the essence, customers can watch both at home on Xfinity X1 or on the go by downloading the Xfinity Stream app or visiting the web portal on their smartphone, laptop or tablet.

This is good for fans because one of the hallmarks of Westworld's first season was that they expect you to be paying attention, even more than Game of Thrones does week to week. Moreover, they expect you to retain the information doled out from episode to episode. This makes it a great show to binge and a fun show to obsess over. But HBO's decisions that lead to the show taking 18 months between seasons means that fans are going to be cramming like the final exam is coming next Sunday.

While some will insist cramming is never the way to study, when it comes to TV, binge-watching doesn't only re-cram all the information, it also helps fans remember how the show thinks. With a show like Westworld, that's crucial. From everything we've heard, Season 2 is going to be a whole lot more complex than Season 1. For one thing, Westworld's first season was set just in Westworld. Season 2 is going to go to Shogun World, and maybe beyond to Future World.

Talking to The Independent, actress Evan Rachel Wood, who stars as Dolores, even said the actors have a hard time keeping up.

We all pow wow a lot. Last season we didn't really talk to each other, but because there is so much to digest this season we couldn't not talk to one another. There were still a few things we didn't give away to each other but we definitely compared notes a lot more because it was just harder.

Westworld Season 2 arrives on HBO on April 22, 2018 at 9 p.m. ET. Xfinity watchers can stream Season 1 free starting on April 16, running through to the premiere of Season 2.