The spoils of torrent wars: Game of Thrones leak came from review copy

13 Apr 2015

Image of Tyrion Lannister via HBO

As torrenting services go into overdrive to download the four leaked episodes of the fifth season of Game of Thrones, HBO has revealed that the origin of the leak was a review copy sent to journalists.

Leaking just a day before its official launch on HBO, the torrent files for the four episodes went viral, having been downloaded more than 100,000 times in just under three hours.

Appearing online in standard definition, the four leaked episodes appear to be something of a blow to the producers of Game of Thrones and to HBO, despite the show already holding the title of the most torrented show in the world having last June broken the record, with five petabytes of downloads in two hours for the season four finale.

And now it appears that the source of the leak was someone who was considered a trusted source by HBO, them being an as-yet-unnamed journalist who was due to review the opening episodes of the incredibly popular show.

“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,” HBO said in a statement. “We’re actively assessing how this breach occurred.”

Those who have watched the four episodes will no doubt be reeling when they consider that they will have to wait more than a month for the fifth chapter in the season as the TV airings catch up with the leaks.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic