Almost Half of the New Season of 'Game of Thrones' Just Leaked Online

Winter is downloading.

TechCrunch reports that the first four episodes of Game of Thrones' fifth season have mysteriously ended up on various Internet piracy hubs after first appearing online at around 6 p.m. Saturday. That's more than 24 hours before the show was scheduled to air at 9 p.m. Sunday. 

In just a few hours, over 50,000 people had downloaded the files. By Sunday morning, according to Variety, the files had been downloaded nearly 800,000 times.

Basically, the fifth season premiere just imploded harder than Oberyn Martell's head.

Judging from various screenshots floating around the Internet, the leak is legitimate and high quality as well:

This probably constitutes a Red Wedding for HBO's new online-only, $15-a-month streaming service HBO Now, which launched Tuesday and was anticipating its first trial by combat Sunday during the season premiere. 

In the wake of the four-episode leak, HBO Now is behind by at least four weeks — and that's assuming more episodes don't drop at some point in the interim. It's entirely possible that the whole show will be available to watch online sometime soon. Fans of the show will have to choose between illegally catching up or dodging spoilers for weeks. 

There's probably something to be said for patience, but no one will listen. As Gizmodo's Maddie Stone points out, perhaps the smart thing to do would have been to release the entire season at once, Netflix-style.

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Tom McKay

Tom is a staff writer at Mic, covering national politics, media, policing and the war on drugs. He is based in New York and can be reached at tmckay@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Watchdog groups sue Trump for deleting tweets, allegedly violating Presidential Records Act

Trump's deleted tweets may come back to haunt him.

Grizzly bear protections in Yellowstone National park are ending

A final ruling by US government officials will strike the Yellowstone grizzly bear from the list of threatened species after its population increased to 700.

Another day, another off-camera White House press briefing

The move to scale back on-camera press briefings comes amid Trump's increasing unwillingness to interact with the press.

Minneapolis might get a $15 minimum wage, but restaurant workers aren't celebrating

Discord has been brewing in Minneapolis over whether tipped work will be counted toward a $15 minimum wage.

These abysmal new poll numbers for House health care bill don't bode well for Senate version

Only 34% of Republicans approve of the new proposed law.

'Pizzagate' shooter gets 4-year prison sentence, lawyers urged judge to deter vigilantism

Welch stormed a Washington, D.C., pizza place and shot off a firearm because of the internet.

Watchdog groups sue Trump for deleting tweets, allegedly violating Presidential Records Act

Trump's deleted tweets may come back to haunt him.

Grizzly bear protections in Yellowstone National park are ending

A final ruling by US government officials will strike the Yellowstone grizzly bear from the list of threatened species after its population increased to 700.

Another day, another off-camera White House press briefing

The move to scale back on-camera press briefings comes amid Trump's increasing unwillingness to interact with the press.

Minneapolis might get a $15 minimum wage, but restaurant workers aren't celebrating

Discord has been brewing in Minneapolis over whether tipped work will be counted toward a $15 minimum wage.

These abysmal new poll numbers for House health care bill don't bode well for Senate version

Only 34% of Republicans approve of the new proposed law.

'Pizzagate' shooter gets 4-year prison sentence, lawyers urged judge to deter vigilantism

Welch stormed a Washington, D.C., pizza place and shot off a firearm because of the internet.