Has Game of Thrones Season 6, Episode 9, “The Winds of Winter,” leaked online?


“Battle of the Bastards,” the finale of Game of Thrones Season 6, airs tonight at 8:00 pm CST, but if people can get their hands on it beforehand, you can bet they will. It wouldn’t be the first time. For example, the first four episodes of Season 5 leaked before “The Wars to Come,” the Season 5 premiere, made its debut. The episodes were leaked by someone with access to press copies. To keep such an incident from repeating, HBO refrained from sending press copies to anyone ahead of Season 6, and tightened security in general.

By and large, this strategy has worked, but while Season 6 has had fewer piracy problems than Season 5, there have still been issues. For example, an HBO affiliate accidentally uploaded “The Door,” aka “The One Where Hodor Dies and Everyone Cries,” to its website a day before it aired on HBO. Not long after, the eighth episode of Season 6, “No One,” leaked just before airtime. And then there was Jose Senaris, a Spanish fan who posted eerily accurate spoiler videos before several episodes. Eventually, it came out that he was getting information from someone inside the production, and he stopped after HBO leaned on him.

As of this moment, “The Winds of Winter” has yet to leak, and if it doesn’t, HBO can at least claim that it plugged all the leaks by the end of the year, since the important “Battle of the Bastards” didn’t leak ahead of time, either.

Will HBO take even more extreme security measures during Seasons 7 and 8? Perhaps they won’t tell people when the episode will air until ten minutes beforehand? Will they fly over the outdoor sets in helicopters to spot people trying to pictures? Unfortunately, we won’t find out for months, since “The Winds of Winter” will be the last episode that airs for a while. Let’s enjoy it while we can.