HBO, in the midst of a crackdown on Game of Thrones piracy problems and an ongoing battle with hackers holding them to ransom, has seemingly been responsible for a leak of next week’s Game of Thrones episode.
Game of Thrones Season 7 episode 6, “Death is the enemy” appeared online thanks to over-eager uploading by HBO Spain to its subscription HBO Go service. The episode was then pulled within the hour but, as we all know how the internet works, that was long enough for it to spill out into the wider internet.
Within minutes of the video going live, Reddit user Kingrdgz stuck up a screenshot in Game of Thrones subreddit r/FreeFolk (lots of spoilers here!). Kingrdgz also posted a two-minute video from the leak, which only a sadist who loves spoilers would willingly watch.
Naturally, all links that lead back to the leaked video being hosted online have all been deleted as HBO desperately tries to stem the flow of the new Game of Thrones episode online.
This isn’t the first time HBO has managed to leak an unaired episode of Game of Thrones itself. Last year HBO Nordic managed to put out Season 6 Episode 5 “The Door” onto HBO’s on-demand video service HBO Go. The episode was available to watch in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland a whole 24 hours before it aired in the US.
At the time, TorrentFreak managed to grab a screenshot of the HBO Nordic interface showing the episode ready to be watched.
It’s still unclear exactly how HBO Nordic managed to mess up so spectacularly, but the episode was eventually taken down ahead of its official airing. Perhaps grappling with the technology of online video distribution is still just a bit too much for some of the folks at HBO.
In both instances, I imagine someone has probably had a stern telling off for messing up so spectacularly. But at least the HBO hackers can’t hold this unreleased Game of Thrones episode against them.