Sunday’s Game of Thrones episode included a dramatic ending — but GoT fans frequenting piracy websites to watch the show weren’t surprised at all. That’s because they had access to the episode earlier than most other viewers, thanks to an unintentional leak by one of HBO’s own online services.
The leak was first reported by Torrentfreak, and has since been confirmed by HBO. “This past Sunday’s episode was made available early on the HBO Nordic platform temporarily due to a technical issue, at which time it seems to have been copied,” a spokesperson told Variety. “Upon learning of the incident, we used the available means to limit further access to the episode.”
At first, these copies were of low quality, according to Torrentfreak. However, a 1080p HD version started appearing online soon after.
Game of Thrones has long been one of the most-pirated TV shows on the internet. With this current season picking up pace, there once again seems to be a lot illicit downloading of show. But piracy notwithstanding, there also seems to be a lot of interest in streaming the show legally. HBO Now’s app briefly surpassed Netflix’s app to become the top-ranked entertainment app on Apple’s app store when the show’s current season debuted last month.