ByKara Hedash, writer at
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Kara Hedash

Daenerys and her dragon brought the heat in the latest episode of Game of Thrones, and viewers were sure not to miss it. The season's fourth episode 'The Spoils of War' has officially become the series' most watched episode to date, debuting at 10.2 million viewers - despite the fact that it leaked online three days early.

has been playing defense lately due to a series of cyber attacks, which gave hackers access to scripts, emails, and private information regarding network executives and actors. The cyber-hackers have been threatening to release private documents if HBO does not meet their ransom. They were responsible for leaking the script of 'The Spoils of War', but the full episode leak actually came from HBO’s international partner Star India. The extortion and leak undoubtedly worries HBO, but it seems to have benefited the hit series in terms of ratings this past week.

The action-packed episode narrowly beat out the season seven premiere, which stood as the previous record-holder with 10.1 million viewers. The fans that sought out the leaked episode raved about it on social media, adding the growing buzz that surrounded the event. The intense hype ultimately boosted the episode to break the show's viewing record, as many who watched the low-resolution leak decided to tune in for the HD version that aired during the official Sunday time slot.

This is not to say that HBO should stand back and let these leaks slip. The series -- nearing the end of its run -- still has a lot of story to tell, and the network owes it to the viewers to do everything in its power to keep that story under wraps. Viewers of leaked footage understand the unwritten rules of secrecy, but this is sadly not the case for all. Information is power, and there will always be a small portion who want to spoil major plot points for others. As if HBO needs more things to worry about these days.

Game of Thrones season 7 is currently airing on HBO.

What are your thoughts on the HBO hacking and episode leak? Tell us in the comments below!

(Source: Entertainment Weekly)


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