With Game of Thrones' in its eighth and final season, every episode is significant. The wildly popular HBO series has only six episodes to wrap up a huge story and see a new ruler sit on the Iron Throne. Tonight's episode is particularly significant with the aptly titled "Battle of Winterfell" likely to be game-changing for many of the series' beloved characters. With so much at stake, fans have been eagerly looking out for a leak of the episode online.
However, as of the time of this article's writing, does not appear to have been leaked online. This is a bit surprising considering that the first two episodes of the season did end up available early. In the case of the first episode, DirecTV accidentally made the episode available several hours early and last week's second episode had a similar fate. Amazon Prime Video customers in Germany noted that the episode appeared on their service hours before its scheduled debut. With that sort of track record, many Game of Thrones fans have assumed that the same thing would happen today. It just... hasn't.
That doesn't mean the demand for or popularity of a Game of Thrones leak today has diminished any, though, even with the episode being just a handful of hours away from air. Fans are still on social media begging for leaks. In fact, fans were begging for leaks last week right after episode two aired. The demand is real. It's so real that while no actual leak appears to have been located, many sneaky folks on Twitter have falsely claimed to have the leak in order to get retweets and new followers. An ingenious strategy to be sure, but one that may not serve them so well once fans find out they really don't have the leak.
The key to getting likes, retweets, and mentions on twitter today is definitely to say you’ve found the episode 3 leak and are watching it/have already watched it #GameOfThrones #omgitscrazy #everyonedies— Francesca (@beingfrancake) April 28, 2019
If tonight's "Battle of Winterfell" does manage to make it to its regularly-scheduled airtime without being leaked, it will be a big win for HBO who has struggled with leaks and spoilers pretty much since the show's initial debut. Season 7 in particular was very challenging with HBO hacked for spoilers, including full episodes and an alleged script. With the series in its final season, HBO took its leak and spoiler avoidance game to a new level, even going so far as to have a device on set during production that could kill drones flying in the area around the show's set to prevent spoiler-filled images from getting out.
For now, it looks like fans will just have to wait until Game of Thrones hits HBO, HBO Go, and HBO Now tonight at 9 p.m. ET to see the epic battle against the Night King and his army.
"This is the dread coming to your door." writer and producer Bryan Cogman recently explained. "The White Walkers and the Night King are the end personified. Whatever that means to you, that's what you're going to see next week."
"We just have to tell the story we want to tell and feel the rhythm of the story as we're laying it out," Cogman added. "There aren't any conversations about what people are going to think. If it feels right, that's what we do. We determined pretty early on that we would explore this idea of, "What would you do if you thought it was your last night on Earth?" It felt appropriate, and even necessary, at this stage in the game — no pun intended."
As mentioned above, Game of Thrones will continue tonight at 9/8c on HBO.
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