King Viserys might be dead but interest in House of the Dragon remains strong. So strong, in fact, that the season finale of the Game of Thrones spinoff has leaked online ahead of its scheduled debut.
An HBO spokesperson confirmed the leak, saying in a statement that the company is “disappointed that this unlawful action has disrupted the viewing experience for loyal fans of the show.” The leak “appears to have originated from a distribution partner in the EMEA region,” the spokesperson added. “HBO is aggressively monitoring and pulling these copies from the internet.”
Though not an ideal scenario for HBO—which wants as many people to watch what the spokesperson called “a pristine version” of House of the Dragon’s tenth and final episode on its platforms on Sunday night—it does show that fans are eager to see how the fight for the Iron Throne unfolds. House of the Dragon had the biggest new show premiere in the history of HBO when it debuted at the end of August, the company said at the time. The show’s viewership has remained consistent throughout the first season, with each episode averaging around 29 million viewers across all platforms. The popularity of both House of the Dragon and Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power has offered valuable lessons for Hollywood as competitors search for their own platform-defining genre hits.
HBO renewed House of the Dragon in August, though the show will be without one of its co-showrunners moving forward. Miguel Sapochnik, who co-led the first season of the show alongside Ryan Condal and directed its premiere episode, said he would not work on the fantasy drama’s second season.
This isn’t the first time that the Game of Thrones franchise has faced online leaks ahead of its scheduled air date. An episode of the seventh season of the original series was also uploaded to torrent sites in 2017.
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