Jack Gleeson as the much-loathed King Joffrey on HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” (Macall B. Polay/HBO)

Winter came sooner than expected.

Online viewers eager for the bloody swordfights and casual nudity of the kingdom of Westeros were left out in the cold last night when the season four premiere of “Game of Thrones” crashed HBO Go, the network’s streaming service, Variety reported.

“Looks like there’s trouble in the realm,” the network posted on Twitter. “Apologies for the inconvenience.”

HBO Go users may remember a similar problem with the season finale of “True Detective,” which left laptops buffering during its season finale last month.

Ten months ago, the third season finale of “Thrones” drew 5.4 million viewers – about a third of those who watched the finale of “The Walking Dead,” basic cable’s most-watched series, last month.

In another tweet, HBO advised unhappy viewers to “send a raven” – the ornithological form of communication preferred by pretenders to the Iron Throne.

“Thrones” fanatics who missed the premiere can enjoy our review of the episode or a GIF guide to the show’s cast courtesy MTV.com.