The series finale of Game of Thrones sent shockwaves through the Internet this weekend, but it sounds like a real-world conflict may have prevented some fans from joining in on the fun. According to a new report from CNN, the video platform Tencent, which has the Chinese streaming rights for Thrones, recently announced a delay in uploading the series finale "due to a media transmission problem". While there's no telling exactly what caused this delay, some have already begun to speculate that this could be a result of the recent trade war between China and the United States.
"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," Tencent's notice read (via LiveMint). "We will keep you informed of the broadcast time."
Tencent's statement does not provide a new air date for the episode, which is titled "The Iron Throne", or any further details behind the delay. In a statement, HBO said that it "had no issue with content delivery", and that "further clarification from Tencent" would be needed to figure out what happened.
Some have reportedly already lashed out at Tencent on social media, demanding a refund of subscription fees and speculating what Internet-related problem could happen next.
While the trade war between China and the US has gone on since before Thrones' final season premiered, recent tariff raises from both countries have brought things to a fever pitch. As CNN explains, this conflict has already bled out into the entertainment world, with the premiere of the American-set Chinese TV drama Over the Sea I Come to You being canceled recently.
This isn't the first time that the Chinese government has impacted the entertainment industry as a result of contentious relations, with an "unofficial ban" on popular South Korean content coming up two years ago. But given Thrones' popularity in China and around the world, it's hard to deny that this delay comes at a pretty unique point in time.
"Not everyone will be happy," Isaac Hempstead-Wright, who played Bran Stark, explained after the finale. "It's so difficult to finish a series as popular as this without pissing some people off. I don't think anybody will think it's predictable and that's as much as you can hope for. People are going to be angry. There's going to be a lot of broken hearts. It's 'bittersweet,' exactly as [saga author] George R.R. Martin intended. It's a fitting conclusion to this epic saga."
What do you think of Game of Thrones' series finale not airing in China? Do you think it's a result of the trade war, or some other reason? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!