Earlier tonight, the first full four episodes of season five of HBO’s Game of Thrones were leaked online, and it seems like we could get the whole season by the end of the night. We definitely don’t condone piracy, but the leak of these three episodes raises some concerns for the future of television, online streaming and torrenting. HBO’s Game of Thrones has is already sitting on the throne as the most torrented television show for the past two years. This leaks comes just before season five is scheduled to premiere tomorrow evening.

Just over a week ago, producers from the hit television show directly stated in an interview that they were concerned with leaks and the show is no stranger to the desperation of fans and the lengths some will go. Still in today’s society and with the show’s popularity, I’m not surprised the show leaked. What is surprising is the quantity of episodes that were leaked.

Nearly half of the show’s episodes have been leaked online the night before the season premiere; it is a significant chunk and there is no telling if HBO will take a hit in viewing numbers. For a show with only ten episodes, the future looks somewhat grim for Game of Thrones, especially if they’ve got any big plot twists in the bag.

Fans have taken to Twitter, Tumblr, and Reddit with their reactions to the news. Many embrace the leak and are actively seeking out copies of the episodes to watch or download. Others remain hesitant and rightfully so, some fearing HBO and others feeling a bit guilty over not watching the show live. As with any leak of a television show there are always risks associated with viewing unaired episodes illegally.

Other fans can’t help but question how the GOT team will feel about the leaks. No doubt someone will be in hot water over the leaks come tomorrow morning. A few fans are even complaining and opting to sit out on the leaks, claiming they would rather view high definition quality copies rather than the bootlegged average quality leaks.

According to a reddit source, new evidence shows that the “leaked copies are screener copies and that watermarks have been obscured.”

There’s been no official response from HBO as of yet, but the company will likely make some sort of an announcement come tomorrow. So, what are your thoughts on the leak? Will this hurt HBO and their new subscription service? Is it really a big deal or will it simply blow over?

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