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Leaked episodes and Game Of Thrones have gone hand in hand these past couple weeks, and while others were found responsible the last go-around, this time it's HBO's fault. Two foreign HBO services accidentally published this coming week's penultimate episode early, and while it was only up for a short time, the leaks following have been widespread. HBO commented on the incident in an official statement, which can be read below:
We have learned that the upcoming episode of Game of Thrones was accidentally posted for a brief time on the HBO Nordic and HBO España platforms. The error appears to have originated with a third-party vendor and the episode was removed as soon as it was recognized. This is not connected to the recent cyber incident at HBO in the US.
As for exactly what happened, TVLine reports that the sixth episode of Game Of Thrones, "Death Is the Enemy," was accidentally made available to HBO Espana and HBO Nordic subscribers on-demand. The episode was only live for an hour, but in that short time, several copies were ripped and distributed across the web for pirates to share and impatient Game Of Thrones fans to feast on. While not amazing for HBO, not having to deal with hackers again is a plus, considering their reported negotiations following the last incident could've been quite costly.
The impact of the last leak did not affect HBO's massive ratings for Episode 4, so it doesn't appear likely that will be the case with this Sunday's episode either, although nothing is certain. Game of Thrones fans who haven't viewed the leak will want to be wary of what fan sites they visit, as Reddit and a couple others have created threads to discuss the events of the penultimate episode ahead of its official release. Those wishing to avoid spoilers might need to pull a Gendry and disappear from those sites for a bit should they wish to not be spoiled on any secrets before Sunday. Maybe, if we're lucky, HBO might throw up their hands and make the episode available on demand ahead of the premiere as they have with other shows in the past, although that doesn't appear likely.
Anyone who doesn't wish to be a pirate should check out Game Of Thrones' latest episode when it premieres August 20th at 9 p.m. ET. The temptation to tune in is strong, what with rumors regarding Gendry's role in the show's future and folks racking their brains trying to figure out what Littlefinger's next move is following the reveal of his intentions in letting Arya find that note. Those committed to not watching will be rewarded, as our summer premiere guide is still ripe with dozens of shows worth watching up until then. If nothing there is of any interest, perhaps looking ahead to our fall premiere guide will help fight the urge to search for torrents.