The first four episodes of the fifth season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” arrived on piracy networks this weekend, a full day before the scheduled April 12th premiere of the fantasy series.
HBO has already released a statement regarding the leak, saying: “Sadly, it seems the leaked four episodes of the upcoming season of ‘Game of Thrones’ originated from within a group approved by HBO to receive them. We’re actively assessing how this breach occurred.”
Piracy-tracking firm Excipio estimated that more than one million individual clients worldwide have downloaded at least one of the episodes so far. The leak’s source is uncertain at this point, though it has been speculated to be a press screener. ‘Thrones’ has topped the list as the most illegally downloaded TV series in the world for the past several years.
The news comes at something of a watershed time for the network. The activation of the standalone HBO Now streaming service earlier this week undergoes its first big test with the ‘Thrones’ premiere in a few hours. The launch of HBO Go was near disastrous and the hope is the same problems will not be repeated with this new service.
Speaking of ‘Thrones’, Warners has released a cute tie-in between the new season premiere and the upcoming theatrical release of “Terminator Genisys”. Taking advantage of the fact that Emilia Clarke stars in both productions, the short spot blends elements of the two franchises: