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House of the Dragon’s final episode of its first season was illegally made available Friday ahead of its scheduled Sunday launch. An HBO spokesperson said in a statement shared with The Hollywood Reporter that it 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,” said the spokesperson. “HBO is aggressively monitoring and pulling these copies from the internet.”
The message continued: “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.”
HBO’s heavily marketed Game of Thrones prequel series, focusing on House Targaryen, launched its 10-episode first season in August. It stars Paddy Considine, Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke, Emma D’Arcy, Rhys Ifans, Steve Toussaint and Eve Best.
Back in 2017, a Game of Thrones episode from its seventh season similarly made its way to illegal torrent sites ahead of the scheduled airdate. At the time, HBO attributed the leak to the episode having been accidentally posted by a third-party vendor.
In a recent interview with THR, House of the Dragon executive producer Sara Hess explained why some fans have felt that the series has been improving as it nears its first-season conclusion.
“The first half of the season is, by its nature, scene-setting,” she said. “There is some really good stuff in there, but it is a windup. When we finally arrive in episode eight, that’s when we finally have the whole cast together for the first time.”
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