It’s Sunday afternoon, so you know what that means: A Game of Thrones episode has leaked early.
Clips and screengrabs from season 8 episode 4 have found their away online purportedly revealing major spoilers many hours before the show’s planned premiere.
The news follows the season premiere leaking from DirecTV (particularly embarrassing as the satellite service shares the same AT&T parent company as HBO).
Then the second episode leaked from Amazon Prime in Germany.
In both cases, somebody at each respective company uploaded the episode early — apparently accidentally, but it’s funny how this always seems to happen to the same blockbuster hit and not to, say, Veep.
For episode 3, the video itself did not leak, but apparently, somebody in HBO’s distribution pipeline took screengrab photos of key deaths and posted them online.
Now there’s clips and screengrabs episode 4, with some claiming the whole episode has is also out there (so you might want to stay off social media to remain spoiler free).
Overall, Game of Thrones has done a tremendous job protecting season 8 spoilers from leaking from the set and from HBO itself. But before each episode airs, HBO has to send the episode and other supporting content to distributions around the world, many of whom air the episode “live” with the United States. During past seasons, HBO would send out the episode several episode days in advance. For the final season, the network shortened its distribution window considerably to try and prevent leaks. Clearly, that strategy hasn’t entirely been effective.
“We’re certainly happy we got through production without a leak,” showrunner David Benioff told EW in our producers interview conducted before the season began. “But there have been issues that have happened in postproduction, or a week before an episode airs. So we’re entering the most dangerous time.”
GoT’s recent final season premiere racked up 38 million viewers in the U.S. alone and the show is also setting ratings records around the world so it’s unclear if these same-day leaks, while rather embarrassing, actually have a financial impact. HBO hasn’t officially commented on them so far.
For those looking for an episode 4 teaser that doesn’t spoil anything, here are the official photos and HBO’s promo.
EW will have a deep-dive recap and interviews Sunday night and Monday with actors about some of the big moments that you won’t want to miss.
HBO’s epic fantasy drama based on George R.R. Martin’s novel series “A Song of Fire and Ice.”