Season 5 of Game of Thrones will finally begin airing in over 170 countries this evening, but its first four episodes have already been leaked online. In just three hours, the apparent press copies have been downloaded more than 100,000 times.
“The copies were first spotted on the private torrent tracker IPT, but they soon made their way to more public sites such as The Pirate Bay, RARBG and KickassTorrents,” reports Torrent Freak. “One source informs TF that the leak most likely originates from review copies sent to the press.”
Game of Thrones is already the most-pirated TV show, but this particular leak will be a massive blow to HBO, which has taken steps to decrease illegal downloads for season 5 by broadcasting all ten episodes in over 170 countries at the same time.
The number of downloads for these four episodes alone is expected to surpass 1 million by the end of the day, and will only become even more popular among pirates as the week goes on and season 5 gets more and more coverage.
But there’s one big reason why you should wait for the official release later today: the episodes available for download now are in standard definition, which will look no good on today’s high-resolution displays.