The season one finale of “House of the Dragon” has leaked online, said broadcaster HBO, who blamed its distribution partner in Europe, the Middle East or Africa (EMEA) for the “unlawful action”.
According to entertainment website The Hollywood Reporter, the 10th and final episode of the fantasy series was illegally made available on Friday ahead of its scheduled Sunday launch.
An HBO spokesperson said the company is “aggressively monitoring” the situation and has been taking down copies that have surfaced on torrent sites.
“It appears to have originated from a distribution partner in the EMEA region. HBO is aggressively monitoring and pulling these copies from the internet,” said the spokesperson in a statement.
“We’re disappointed that this unlawful action has disrupted the viewing experience for loyal fans of the show, who will get to see a pristine version of the episode when it premieres Sunday on HBO and HBO Max, where it will stream exclusively in 4K,” the spokesperson continued.
The eight-season run of “Game of Thrones”, the parent show of “House of the Dragon”, was also marred by online leaks.
In April 2019, the second episode of the eighth and final season of “Game of Thrones” was released ahead of its scheduled broadcast time via Amazon Prime Video in Germany. A month later, the fourth episode also found its way on the Internet in Thailand, hours ahead of its premiere.
Back in 2017, a “Game of Thrones” episode from its seventh season similarly made its way to illegal torrent sites ahead of the scheduled air date. At the time, HBO had attributed the leak to the episode having been accidentally posted by a third-party vendor.
Centred around Targaryen dynasty, the first season of “House of the Dragon” premiered on August 21. Starring Paddy Considine, Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke, Emma D’Arcy, Rhys Ifans, Steve Toussaint and Eve Best, the series aired in India a day later on Disney+ Hotstar.
Based on George RR Martin’s novels, the series was renewed for a second season five days after its premiere.
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