A Game Of Thrones Actor Just Accused HBO Of Leaking Its Own Episodes

A couple of TV seasons ago, HBO dealt with a huge leak of its popular series, Game of Thrones. The move prompted the network to button up and stop releasing press screeners before the episodes hit the schedule. However, now one Game of Thrones actor has accused the subscription cable network of leaking the episodes on purpose as part of a ploy to keep fans interested in the fantasy series. Here's what Alexander Siddig, who played Prince Doran on the hit series, had to say in a recent interview:

The more secretive it is, the more special it is. And certainly Game of Thrones plays that. They misinform the crowd and they give them tidbits to send them in wrong directions. So, for example, last season, I believe that the first few episodes were stolen and downloaded online, and everybody got to see them before the show actually aired, and everybody was furious at HBO and whatnot. I don't know if you remember. I am almost positive that those four episodes were leaked by HBO themselves. So there is an enormous amount of spin going on.

At the time, when the four episodes from Season 5 were leaked, HBO was adamant that the leak came from a press screener that was mailed out. That DVD screener then found its way onto the Internet, although the episodes were fairly low quality compared to the HD that most viewers are used to. However, Alexander Siddig told Startrek.com that he really believes HBO was responsible for the leak and then made sure a big deal was made of the leak after it happened, presumably to keep buzz up for the new episodes of the series.

alexander siddig game of thrones

The huge Season 5 leak is not to be confused with the reported leak of the Season 6 premiere, which literally was leaked by HBO's Nordic division when the company put up the episode too early on accident. That episode was quickly pulled, but not before a few pirates got ahold of it and disseminated it all around the Internet. That leak was reportedly an accident, as the Nordic version of HBO mistakenly scheduled the episode to go up 24 hours in advance. Theoretically, under Siddig's theory, however, that could all be a part of the buzz plan, too.

For his part, Alexander Siddig says that he cannot prove HBO is the master manipulator behind the leaks.

I can't tell you that for sure; that's just my opinion, but it's games; everybody's playing these games.

So, the leaks also could have happened exactly the way HBO said they happened, although that does put HBO in a pretty bad light in terms of competence. In some ways, it might be better to think of the network as a sneaky mastermind than a network that flubs the release of its most popular show two years in a row. Regardless one actual Game of Thrones actor is certainly speculating and even speaking up about what he believes. I guess we'll have to just wait and see whether a Game of Thrones Season 7 episode leaks before the actual premiere and draw our own conclusions accordingly.

You can find out what we know about the upcoming seventh season of Game of Thrones, here. In addition, you can find out what HBO still has coming out in 2016 with our fall TV premiere schedule.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.