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HBO Max Says ‘Dracarys’ as ‘House of the Dragon’ Finale Leaks Online

Release the dragons!

Leo Hart, Harvey Sadler, and Emma D'Arcy in House of the Dragon (2022)

Few episodes of television are more highly awaited than this weekend’s season one finale of ‘House of the Dragon’. But HBO Max was in for a nasty surprise when episode 10, “The Black Queen”, was leaked online yesterday. HBO Max put out a statement blaming the leak on a “distribution partner in the EMEA region,” which includes Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. The press release continued, “HBO is aggressively monitoring and pulling these copies from the internet. 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.”

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This is the first major leak for House of the Dragon, but its predecessor Game of Thrones was no stranger to illegal uploads and internet piracy. It’s a fate that befalls many a popular series, and few shows had the global fandom that GOT did at its height. It’s not a surprise then that HotD, which has broken viewership streaming records, was subject to the same kind of leak. Films are no exception, as the buzzy mid-credits scene from DC’s Black Adam was also leaked during the week of its release.

Of course, the leak won’t harm HofD‘s viewership or the finale. For one, the leak comes just 2 days before the episode premiere, meaning that by the time most folks catch wind of it, they’ll be able to watch the episode on HBO Max. And furthermore, most folks would rather watch the 4K version than try and hunt down an inferior torrent version of the episode. Pirates are gonna pirate, but ultimately this won’t hurt the success of the series in the slightest. The only major downside for fans is their potential to get spoiled for the events of the finale, so if you’re worried for spoilers, it might be a good time to block any HotD hashtags. And if you’re someone who not only torrented the episode but is posting spoilers on social media, congratulations: everyone hates you.

Many fans took to social media to comment on the leak:

(via Variety, featured image: HBO)

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.

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