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Game of Thrones season five piracy leak revitalizes series


When author George R.R. Martin announced that he would be delaying the last novel in his series, “A Song of Ice and Fire,” fans across the world reacted with surprise and frustration due to the long wait-period. The last book in the series, “The Winds of Winter” was to be delayed until the author finishes his latest project, a science-fiction novel. Yet, when the first four episodes of the season were leaked from the Home Box Office (HBO) database, and uploaded to the popular torrent site “The Pirate Bay,” the show has seen renewed interest by fans.

The new season, premiered on April 12, is approaching the fourth book in the series, which will mean that the show needs to come up with original material in order to make up for shows. Because of this, the show viewers had elicited complaints about the rate at which the author has been writing his novels, worried that the author may move on to different projects entirely. Yet, the leak, which released three extra episodes than fans would otherwise have received, has alleviated concerns of the series coming to a stop.

Another consequence of the leak was the revelation to fans that the series was still deviating from source material, which had been another source of frustration. Yet, the deviations in the first four episodes have convinced some that changes are not drastic, and that the executive producers are indeed collaborating with Mr. Martin to create storylines for the show.

“I know there are some changes from the novels even though I haven’t read them, but they haven’t done anything to lower the quality,” Matthew Shin (11) said. “The more important part is that the show has started again, which is both good news and bad news because it’s really good and because tests are coming up.”

The show, which is infamous for its use of nudity, gore, and dramatic plot-twists, will air on HBO every Sunday, for a total of ten episodes every season. The first episode of season five, “The Wars to Come” was directed by Michael Slovis, and written by the executive producers. Previous seasons saw viewership of over six million for the first episodes, and the first release has seen viewership of eight million.

The high viewer ratings have convinced some that part of HBO’s business plan is to allow for piracy because it serves to revitalize interest and boost viewership, instead of negatively affecting the show. According to Paul Tessi in a Forbes article published on April 15, the show has actually gained traction on television after the leak.

“[F]or now, Game of Thrones suffers an ‘acceptable’ level of piracy that doesn’t really hurt the bottom line for HBO or Time Warner,” Mr. Stessi said. “Piracy will never be stopped entirely, but neither will piracy take down the movie, television, music or video game industry.”