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GAME OF THRONES’ Latest Episode Got Pirated…Like, A LOT

Well, you’ve done it again, Game of Thrones: you broke the Internet. Or rather, the Internet’s busiest pirates broke it in the name of watching Sunday night’s episode by any means necessary. The most illegally downloaded show ever just beat its own record (set by its third season finale episode) thanks to “The Lion and The Rose,” which saw — Spoiler Alert! Spoiler Alert! — King Joffrey of House Brat-atheon (har har har) get himself good and murdered.

And, naturally, the dispatch of the most hated villain in television history (a lofty title but we feel comfortable handing it thusly) sent the web’s fiercest torrenters into a veritable feeding frenzy; we’re sure it’s because people just wanted to see how their fantasy fantasy league players were doing. Mere hours after the Purple Wedding took place, the episode was up online and being shared by 193,418 people. According to The Hollywood Reporter, “at the time of the record torrent, 145,594 had a complete copy and continued to upload, while 47,824 were still downloading the file.” BitTorrent, one of the most popular torrent platforms on the web, explained that this bested their current record-holder, the previous season of Game of Thrones‘ finale, which saw 171,572 users sharing the episode online and was downloaded by approximately 1.5 million people.

Serious question, though: why did everyone insist on stealing it when HBO has already openly admitted to not caring about HBO Go password sharing? (When are you going to allow people subscription options for the Go platform as a standalone, HBO? Eh?) Surely connection to an HBO Go account must be fewer degrees than it takes to get to Kevin Bacon, right? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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21 comments

  • When will channels learn that if they put out ad supported torrents of their own they could make money off it?

    It would reduce server load and I know I would go for an “official” torrent with an ad or 2 for commercial breaks over pirating something

  • OK, so the HBO servers are crashing from the weight of demand for GOT. Seems to me like they need to rebuild their platform to TAKE ADVANTAGE of Bittorrent users. If I’m not mistaken, Blizzard uses a P2P torrent system to distribute updates for MMOs like Warcraft – if HBO did something similar and had a micropayment system for each show that someone wanted to watch, not only would their servers not crash, but they’d probably get more subscribers. If someone can download an HD episode of something via torrent in just a few minutes, but it’s choppy and laggy via HBOGO, it sounds like they’re using the wrong technology model.

    Neal Stephenson first suggested this distributed model to combat piracy via his book, Snowcrash. More companies should sit up and take notice.

  • Sal – Im an Aussie and I have a netflix and a hulu subscription… pack it up with a VPN from unblock-us.com and you’re out about $20 for the month. Get on it. Oh and I stream GoT. Did pay iTunes for it, but now that Foxtel have prohibited that, they can go jump

  • Because there is no legal way to watch it in Australia in a timely fashion unless you subscribe to the monopoly cable package and pay $100 per month. Foxtel bought exclusive rights to GoT so we can’t even get it on iTunes. Aus is way behind in streaming media digitally, too. Even then, there’s no guarantee that viewers would get it on time. I don’t even watch Game of Thrones and I’m pissed about it! Other shows take their sweet time to get to Australia too.

    In this age of globalisation the fact that we have to wait months for films or episodes of TV is ridiculous. We HAVE the technology for On Demand streaming, as evidenced in the US. It just doesn’t exist for Australia.

    I want to pay for my favourite shows – I just want to see them within a few days of airing, otherwise I can’t participate in the fandom as they enjoy discussing what’s happened lately. Furthermore, I have to essentially avoid the internet in fear of spoilers.

    I would gladly pay the fuck out of a subscription to Hulu or Netflix or HBO Go or ANYTHING. Please – let me pay for it!

  • We paid for an iTunes season pass for seasons 1-3, but after Foxtel stopped that in court this will be the first season that I’ll “be waiting for the Blu-Ray”. I won’t be paying $74AUD a month into Murdoch’s pockets for one show.

  • Because in Australia, you can only watch it if you pay Rupert Murdoch and view it on one of his channels. So we have two options: 1. Pay the bastard or 2. Download it.

    Most Australian’s would choose 2 any day.

  • I want to give HBO my money… but I refuse to give either of my local Canadian sat/cable providers my money for whatever bundle their selling to get HBO. I buy the bluRays the moment they come out here, but I’m hardly gonna wait a year for that before I watch the episodes.

    Plain and simple… HBO needs to get out of / ‘bend’ whatever broadcast contracts they have with cable providers and offer a straight online subscription service… because again, I WANT to support the shows I enjoy with my money!!! I just refuse to give my money to the local pirate corporations that bundle TV to my house! ;)

  • I will say that HBO Go has been spotty at best during actual airing times (it crashed last week — booyah). I dunno about pirating (those days are long behind me) but I like being able to watch the show right when the rest of the world is (those that pay for it). As for what I pay to watch Game of Thrones….worth it. :)

  • While it’s all nice an good that HBO doesn’t care if we password share our HBOGo account, HBOGo isn’t like Netflix. More than one person can’t access the account at the same time. People get booted. So either everyone has to be watching the same screen or you have to set up times when people can use the account.

  • I really really REALLY wish they would allow a stand alone HBO go subscription… As I watched it at a friends house (no clue as to where they got the episode…….) I would GLADLY pay a monthly fee for HBO because I do not have cable and refuse to pay for it. Also, I think it is also worth mentioning that not one of my peers currently pay for HBO, therefore, I have no one that I can mooch off of for their username/password for GO.

    That is all.