How HBO Ended Up Leaking Game Of Thrones

Game of Thrones has had a lot of trouble dealing with leaks over the years. Screeners, spoilers and footage from the show have all made it online at various points, and HBO has worked hard to quash the information that is out there. At one point, critics screener copies were even banned by the subscription cable network. However, this weekend Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 5 hit the internet in its entirety thanks to an unlikely source: The company itself. That’s right, the most recent episode of the fantasy drama leaked because HBO—well HBO Nordic specifically—put up the episode a full 24 hours before it was scheduled to air.  

If you are about to leave this article to scramble around and try to figure out how to subscribe to HBO Nordic, don't bother. The episode was already pulled from the site, although pirated copies are roaming around. The pirated copies are low quality compared to the HD footage we’ve come to know and love from the television series, according to Torrent Freak. Still, information about the episode is out there.  

Savvy HBO Nordic subscribers first noticed the leak about a day before Sunday night’s premiere. The episodes were available to subscribers in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland. The move was clearly a mistake and the episode was later pulled, but by the time that happened, the damage was already done. The ironic thing is that the company has worked incredibly hard to keep episode leaks from happening before each episode airs, yet it was a branch of HBO that ended up releasing the latest leak onto the internet.  

Game of Thrones has frequently been revealed as the most pirated TV show on the internet. It earned that title in 2014 and again in 2015 and I wouldn’t be remotely surprised to hear it ranks at the top or near the chart again this year. The Game of Thrones showrunners have expressed their irritation over the leaks and HBO has done what it could to crack down on information getting out into the universe before an episode airs. As noted prior, screeners for Season 6 were neither sent out nor available on the press site. HBO also worked really hard to make HBO Now available so that consumers would have more options to stream the hit series legally. Episodes are available for streaming, On Demand and live TV viewing. But many people on the internet are still pirating the series. 

If you have been waiting for Episode 5, you won't have much longer to wait. Game of Thrones airs on Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET. To find out what we know about what is coming head here

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.