In what may is probably turning into the worst summer ever for some HBO executives, yet another episode of Game of Thrones has leaked out before its premiere.
Game of Thrones season 7, episode 6 has found its way online as of Wednesday morning, but before you start pointing fingers at the hackers for this, the source is a tad more embarrassing. Apparently HBO Nordic and HBO Espana accidentally posted the episode online by accident. While the mistake was caught within one hour, it was still up long enough for users to have captured it.
According to some users on Reddit, this has been ‘100% confirmed’ to be the legitimate episode. HBO is currently engaged in an internet version of whack-a-mole trying to pull the episode from everywhere it is appearing, but it has already made its way out to the sharing networks meaning that it will be impossible to put this genie back in the bottle.
While HBO did suffer a hacking incident earlier this summer that saw unidentified individuals make off with 1.5TB of data – including some unaired episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm – none of the Game of Thrones leaks have come from them. The previous leak of episode 4 came from a distribution partner in India that has resulted in the arrest of four people who are current or former employees of Prime Focus Technologies.
While these leaks are annoying, they have not appeared to have any significant impact on viewership of this season. Episode 5, “Eastwatch,” scored the highest ratings ever for the series, up 6-percent from episode 4 which was the previous record holder, and one of the episodes that leaked. With 10.72M viewers last Sunday, it seems unlikely the latest leak will do much to the viewership numbers.
For those that fear spoilers, be warned. Episode 6 is out there on the internet, and it’s coming for you.