All hail the king of pirates! The Game of Thrones Season 4 finale (Episode 10, "The Children") didn't quite break the show's own ratings record — though it did pull in an impressive 7.1 million viewers, way more than last year's finale — but it did once again break its own record for online piracy.
Game of Thrones has held the record for most pirated show for a while and according to TorrentFreak, it managed to top itself once again this week. This episode created the largest BitTorrent swarm ever — as TorrentFreak puts it, that means "never before have so many people gathered to share a single file on the Internet."
Apparently at one point 254,114 viewers were sharing a single file, up from the previous record of 200,000 — also set by Game of Thrones. Funny that a show about so many people fighting over one throne could lead to so many people coming together to share in real life!
TorrentFreak also reports that within 12 hours, the episode was downloaded about 1.5 million times. Yes, you read that right. 1.5 million.
So, how does HBO feel about all this pirating? In the past HBO President Michael Lombardo has called the show's high piracy rate a "compliment of sorts." That said, the network has also sent Google takedown requests in what appears to be an attempt to curb some of the pirating, so it would appear the network would rather people pay to watch.
Still, one thing is clear: Everyone, not just HBO subscribers, is obsessed with this show.