Last night, a hacker group announced it had stolen 1.5 terabytes of data from HBO, including material for Game Of Thrones Season 7. The group has already leaked plot details and it may have access to entire episodes. Here's why you should avoid these spoilers like an outbreak of greyscale.
To date, the hackers have only released a script treatment that is purportedly from the show's fourth episode with the promise of "more to come”. In the same missive, the hackers released upcoming episodes of Ballers and Room 104, which suggests episodes of Game Of Thrones may eventually be leaked too.
The only thing we know for certain is that these hackers did steal HBO material, some of which relates to Game Of Thrones. The extent of their ill-gotten treasure trove will undoubtedly be revealed soon.
As one of the most popular TV shows in existence, Game Of Thrones has been a frequent target for hackers. In 2015, a torrent containing the first four episodes of season five was leaked online, resulting in hundreds of thousands of illegal downloads. More recently, multiple plot details for season 7 popped up on Reddit.
As we have stated in the past, Game Of Thrones leaks are definitely best avoided, for a multitude of reasons. Accessing leaked episodes - if they do eventually appear online - carries obvious legal risks.
While rights holders are not currently pursuing individual infringers in court, there's no guarantee that this won't change in the near future. If these hackers do leak unreleased episodes into the wild, there's little doubt that HBO and Foxtel will be monitoring public torrents very closely.
In addition to the legal risks, any episodes leaked ahead of the broadcast probably won't be of optimum viewing quality. During the last big leak, all episodes were in standard definition. Unless you're watching on a tiny tablet (in which case, you're an idiot), stick to the official HD streams. The wait will be worth it.
It's possible that these hackers only have access to future scripts and story treatments. Even then, we urge you not to access these either. While reading spoilers is perfectly legal, you will be doing yourself a huge disservice. (This is why they call them "spoilers"!)
Think about it: would the Red Wedding have had the same impact if you'd read what happened weeks before? I actually did have the Red Wedding spoiled for me - in its original prose form - by reading a review on Amazon prior to finishing A Storm Of Swords. I can attest that this lessened the gut-punch and robbed the scene of much of its emotion. I vowed then and there never to read another online book review.
I have no idea what the rest of Season 7 has in store for us - but if there are any shock deaths or game-changing revelations on the horizon, you're much better off experiencing them unsullied. Unfortunately, a lot of people will eagerly devour anything and everything that these hackers leak. To keep the spoilers at bay, you'll need to scrub your social media feed of anything Game Of Thrones related. This guide explains how to pull it off. Good luck!
A torrent containing the first four episodes of HBO's Game Of Thrones hit the Internet over the weekend and has already been accessed hundreds of thousands of times. Here's why you shouldn't join the swarm.