This week's episode of Game of Thrones has been accidentally leaked, not by online hackers, but by folks over at HBO themselves. The seventh season of the highly popular series is breaking viewership records almost every episode as the overall narrative starts to finally come together - and with this latest kerfuffle, some fans who have seen the upcoming installment have already gone to social media to share spoilers, to the dismay of others.
For all the security measures that HBO, as well as, the production cast and crew of the show exercise to preserve Game of Thrones' narrative secrecy, the cable channel made a huge mistake by accidentally releasing the upcoming episode of the series, titled "Death is the Enemy". As it turns out, HBO Nordic in Spain mixed up the broadcast for the show by airing episode 6 instead of last week's outing (titled "Eastwatch").
In an official statement from HBO regarding this incident (via EW), the company confirmed the error and explained that this is by no means connected to the infamous security breach that they suffered just last month:
“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 U.S.”
Unsurprisingly, the one hour that the episode was up on HBO's platform was enough for it to be recorded and illegally distributed online around the world. Copies of the installment are now floating around the internet, but of course, the quality of the video is not the same compared to the official one that HBO will release this Sunday. So while it could be tempting to watch "Death is the Enemy" right now, waiting a few more days for its scheduled rollout will be worth it to fully immerse in the exciting narrative that the show is treading.
This unfortunate mistake from HBO's camp is the latest in the slew of leaks that Game of Thrones has been plagued by in this season alone. First, spoilers came via the unofficial release of scripts online. Things got worse when online hackers broke into HBO servers and reportedly got ahold of 1.5 terabytes of stolen data, which they have used as leverage for ransom. It is interesting to see come Sunday night if this mishap will have a significant effect on the show's ratings - although it is expected that those who have seen the episode through the leak will more likely go for another (and proper) viewing of "Death is the Enemy".
Game of Thrones continues with "Death is the Enemy" on Sunday, August 20th.