Spoiler alert: Spoilers for the first episode of the fifth season of Game of Thrones below.
It’s all about a loss of control for the characters of Game of Thrones this season. In the first episode of the fifth season that debuted Sunday, several personalities were grasping for the reigns to their life. But as audiences reconnected with the fantastical world of HBO’s hit show, the network experienced a shocking plot twist of its own.
Before the season five premiere, the initial four installments were leaked online.
“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,” said HBO in a statement. “We’re actively assessing how this breach occurred.”
Game of Thrones is the most-pirated show of 2014, according to the piracy-tracking site TorrentFreak. It was downloaded over 8 million times and topped the ranking for the third year in a row. It’s also HBO’s most popular series to date.
When season four opened last year, it got 6.6 million viewers, the largest same-night audience for any HBO show since The Sopranos finale saw 11.9 million viewers in 2007. The only program that has come close to that figure was an episode of True Blood that aired in 2011 and garnered 5.5 million viewers, according to Variety.
This means the show is growing. And while some members of the Game of Thrones world feel lost, audiences are on a direct path for more.
by Emily Canal