‘Game of Thrones’ Finale Becomes Latest Trade War Casualty

The beloved fantasy show’s last episode managed to disappoint Chinese fans even before they started watching it.

Warning: This post is dark and full of spoilers.

In Chinese, the word lanwei — meaning “unfinished” or “incomplete” — is commonly used to describe construction projects. This week, however, the term’s alternative and slightly more modern meaning of “crap ending” was in vogue following the debacle that was the “Game of Thrones” series finale.

The last episode of the wildly popular HBO fantasy series had been scheduled to air in China Monday morning exclusively on Tencent Video — albeit with some of the sexier and more violent bits redacted. But when the appointed time came, fans were distraught to discover that the episode had not been released. The delay, Tencent explained via one of its Weibo microblog accounts, was due to “transmission medium problems.”

After Tencent’s announcement, however, a spokesman for HBO confirmed fans’ worst fears: Tencent had been blocked from broadcasting the show because of the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China. As of Wednesday afternoon, the program still wasn’t available on Tencent Video.

When more resourceful netizens were able to watch the show’s 73rd episode by other means, such as torrents or cloud downloads, many cursed what they saw as a terrible ending to a season rife with pacing issues and head-scratching plot twists — like beatific teenager Bran Stark’s ultimate ascent to the throne.

review with 5,000 likes posted Tuesday on the IMDb-like platform Douban suggested that the only way Bran could have accomplished such a feat was by telepathically possessing Daenerys Targaryen, her dragons, and even the show’s two screenwriters, D.B. Weiss and David Benioff. Continue to read the full story here.


—-This article first appeared on Sixth Tone