As you’ve undoubtedly heard, Game of Thrones is the most pirated show in the world. Although millions and millions of people tune into the show every Sunday night on HBO, millions and millions more torrent or stream the show on various pirate sites. If you’re one of the latter, you may already know that the next episode of season 7 has already made its way online. It’s another blow to the premium cable channel who’s been on pins and needles all week worrying about a leak after it was announced they were hacked. Just one thing, this leak didn’t come from the hack, or the hackers.
The Verge initially reported the leak of “The Spoils of War”, an oddly prescient title given the situation. The source of the episode, which was low-quality and plastered with a “for internal viewing only” watermark, initially turned up on a Reddit feed and linking to Google Drive. Further reporting by Variety though revealed that the hack was not the source of the leak, but rather the episode came from Star India, one of HBO’s partners in distributing the show. Star India is a media company based in Mumbai and owned by 21st Century Fox; it’s one of many media partners that HBO relies on to air Game of Thrones around the world.
So on the brights side, this is not a release from the hack, of which still not much has been public revealed except that the information they purloined about Thrones has been called considerable; scripts for the final episodes are supposedly amongst the bounty they swiped from HBO servers. On the other hand though, HBO is going to have to take one of their business partners in hand because Game of Thrones material is only going to get more valuable on the internet black market the closer we get to the series finale.
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 pm on HBO.