In this week's round of least surprising news ever, it turns out HBO's nudity-loving, violence-heavy, profanity-laden fantasy series Game of Thrones isn't actually in line with Tencent's TV-screening sensibilities. On Monday morning, the tech giant streamed the season premiere in China simultaneously to HBO, minus any titillating or explicit content. In total, a reported six minutes were left on Tencent's cutting room floor, with the approved-for-China cut clocking in at only 48 minutes, in comparison to HBO's full 54-minute-long episode.
HBO is unavailable to China residents, forcing fans here who'd like to watch the full episode to either use a wall-jumper, else resign themselves to the Tencent version. Since the premiere aired, viewers have taken to Weibo to express their displeasure over the removal of all sexual and violent content, referred to colloquially as huangbao 黄暴.
'These scenes are not a huangbao problem,' one user argued, 'It's the integrity of the entire work that's important. The deleted parts are actually quite influential.'
'Just like a straight Freddie Mercury is no longer him; Game of Thrones
without the killing and sex is no longer the show,' posted another user, drawing parallels to the similarly edited Chinese cut of Bohemian Rhapsody
'The huangbao you see is art to me,' one watcher simply commented.
In the lead up to the season premiere, Chinese viewers have petitioned Tencent to air the full version, an arguably optimistic move considering all previous seven seasons were also edited. Previous cut scenes include topless shots of Daenerys and a relatively benign scene of Samwell Tarly weighing body parts during an autopsy, according to the Inquisitr.
With the Game of Thrones hashtag on Weibo having reached over 100 million views, the Emmy award-winning programme is now well and truly an international phenomenon.