For the second week this season, HBO is dealing with an early Game of Thrones episode leak, although this time, it came from HBO itself. The international versions of HBO known as HBO Nordic and HBO Espana accidentally made the upcoming episode of Game of Thrones, entitled Death Is The Enemy, available through its on demand portals for just one hour, which was long enough for it to be ripped and shared online. Here's the brief statement HBO made after the leak, revealing the leak originated through a third-party vendor and that it isn't related to the HBO cyber attack.
"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."
TV Line reports that this new episode surfaced on Reddit, which included links to YouTube, Instagram and Twitch to watch the episode, which have all been removed, although the episode has since spread through a number of torrent websites. Last week's leak was perpetrated by a group of individuals in India, who were connected to Star India, one of HBO's international distribution partners. Just days after the leak, Indian police arresting four individuals in connection to the leak, whose identities were not yet disclosed. The leaked episode featured a Star India watermark, although the true source of the leak was Prime Focus Technologies, a firm that Star India used to manage Star India's data. The four individuals arrested in last week's episode leak were either current or former employees of Prime Focus Technologies.
Still, despite the leak, several days before The Spoils of War episode aired legitimately on HBO, the fourth episode this year set yet another Game of Thrones ratings record, with 10.2 million viewers tuning in. That mark just barely beat the previous record, the 10.1 million viewers who tuned in to watch the Season 7 premiere, Dragonstone, but that record was broken again by the most recent episode, Eastwatch, which drew in 10.7 million viewers. Both the season premiere and the second episode this season Stormborn, have passed over 30 million views on all HBO platforms, including HBO GO, HBO NOW and on demand platforms.
It has since been confirmed that next week's Season 7 finale will be the longest in series history, at a whopping 80 minutes long. It remains unclear if yet another accidental leak will happen with one of the network's international vendors, or if the mysterious hackers who have been leaking data and episodes of other HBO shows will try to leak this episode as well. There was a report last week that HBO offered $250,000 to stop the leak of their data, which was revealed through a leaked email exchange between the network and the hackers. For those who still want to watch through legitimate platforms, this week's episode of Game of Thrones, Death Is the Enemy, airs Sunday, August 20 at 9 PM ET on HBO.