HBO Accidentally Leaked the New ‘Game of Thrones’ Episode

By Jonathan Zhou
Jonathan Zhou
Jonathan Zhou
Jonathan Zhou is a tech reporter who has written about drones, artificial intelligence, and space exploration.
May 22, 2016 Updated: May 22, 2016

Upcoming “Game of Thrones” episode 5, The Door, has been leaked on torrent trackers more than a day before its premiere on HBO. 

But the source of the leak wasn’t a renegade employee—it was an error by HBO itself. The episode became available on HBO Nordic, available in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Finland. 

A torrent is an information package that allows access to large files, and they are often used to pirate large files such as movies or software.

“Someone on HBO Nordic is gonna be fired,” wrote one Reddit user. 

Another used a VPN-proxy to visit HBO Nordic and confirmed that the new episode was available for viewing. 

The episode was quickly downloaded and distributed to various peer-to-peer websites. “Game of Thrones” was the most torrented TV show in 2015, according to TorrentFreak. It is estimated that it was downloaded on BitTorrent 14,400,000 times, while the actual TV viewership was 8,110,000.

HBO has tried to deal with the piracy problem by having the show simultaneously broadcast in 170 countries. 

The leaked episode has since been removed from HBO Nordic. 

Spoilers for the new episode are available here

Jonathan Zhou
Jonathan Zhou
Jonathan Zhou is a tech reporter who has written about drones, artificial intelligence, and space exploration.