More than twenty-four hours before its official premiere, the fifth episode of the latest Game of Thrones season is already widely available on torrent and streaming sites.
According reports from several viewers, HBO Nordic accidentally made the episode available on its site a few hours ago.
“It’s online right now, if you want to go and watch it, but they might remove it soon. Someone probably messed up by putting it there,” Reddit user Ozires writes (spoiler warning).
After this it didn’t take long before someone ripped the show, and soon after many links to pirated copies started to appear.
TorrentFreak can confirm that the leak is indeed legitimate. The quality of the pirated copy we’ve seen is rather low (update below), but nonetheless it’s receiving a lot of attention from Game of Thrones fans.
It’s rather ironic that HBO itself appears to be the source for this leak. The company decided to stop releasing promotional screeners this year, fearing that outsiders would leak them. Perhaps the company should take a good look at its internal policies as well.
For several years in a row Game of Thrones has been the most pirated TV-show, and this year the interest is once again overwhelming.
While it’s too late to stop today’s leak from getting out, HBO has increased its efforts to combat piracy. In recent weeks thousands of pirates have received warnings in their mailboxes, and the company is also fervently taking down links to pirated copies of the show.
Update: Higher quality ‘1080p’ versions of the leaked episode have started circulating as well.