Game of Thrones sets a new piracy record with “Kill the Boy”

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According to Variety and piracy-tracking site Excipio, less than twelve hours after the airing of “Kill the Boy,” Game of Thrones has broken the record for illegal downloads in a day.

This shatters the record previously set by Game of Thrones last year, when 1.86 million users downloaded the season four premiere.

Variety says:

The first pirated copies of episode five of the current season of HBO’s popular fantasy epic showed up on file-sharing sites shortly after it aired in the U.S. at 9 p.m. ET Sunday, according to piracy-tracking firm Excipio. The 2.2 million individual Internet addresses tracked by the firm were recorded as of 10 a.m. ET Monday.

The top 5 downloading countries according to Variety and Excipio for Game of Thrones season 5 episode 5 are: the U.S. (214,468 downloaders), Australia (167,301), Brazil (134,994), India (113,614) and the U.K. (107,857).

With the introduction of HBO Now, the network’s new standalone streaming service, it seemed that HBO was hoping to decrease piracy with a legal and affordable way to access the show. However the piracy only continues to grows with the show’s popularity.

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    1. The leaks didn’t have any effect, right guys ? I didn’t expect the US to have the top download though,i thought that would go to countries where is more difficult to access the show .

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    2. HBO Now wouldn’t affect piracy outside the US, would it, and that’s where most of this is. But, of course, there’s always a dedicated group of people everywhere who will steal rather than pay.

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    3. Well if they’d make the app available in Canada, I wouldn’t f*cking download it for convenience (and yes, I pay HBO normally, so shut it).

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    4. Sadly there will always be people who would rather steal than pay. I get if you have no access to it because of location and want to know what happens, you might find away around the system. However, the people in areas with direct access (and a wide variety of ways to access it) are just thieves. You want quality programming? Don’t expect everyone else around you to pay for it so you can skid by.

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    5. Sean C.,

      That’s 200,000 downloaders up above who are in the US, so I think them using or not using HBONow is relevant. And you know a ton of those people have iphones or something similarly compatible. People so often said they would pay for Game of Thrones if they didn’t have to pay for an entire cable package, or if they could pay for a streaming service like HBOGo, but I think a lot of that was just talk. (I’m not particularly surprised by it or even bothered by it. Just making an observation.)

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    6. However, the people in areas with direct access (and a wide variety of ways to access it) are just thieves.

      What about those of us who did actually pay for it, but torrented it as well for the sake of convenience?

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    7. With the leaks they were trying to justify it by saying they didn’t want to be spoiled,now we see that the real answer is they will never pay for it even if they made it available on a potato to watch,end of story .

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    8. Damn. But I wonder how many HBO viewers there were for this episode, since it was the first episode that hadn’t leaked.

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    9. Paying for HBO and watching the leaks early? Who cares.

      Downloading the episodes without paying even though they can easily pay for access… just downright thieves.

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    10. I still hold HBO accountable for my paying the Iron Price.

      I tried to get HBO Now, I wanted to get HBO Now, and the second they make it available in Canada I will get HBO Now, but until they get over their regional licensing crap (let it bloody work with Hola) the only one to blame for them not getting my money is HBO.

      Please, please,please, let me get HBO Now!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    11. What is HBO now???

      I have HBO as part of my cable package. ( I live in Canada)
      It costs me 16$ per month plus tax. I cant get HBO alone. It comes with some other movie channels which actually SUCK. I never use them.

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    12. Brazil only in third place? I guess I’ll have to work harder next week… LOL

      Anyway, regarding the leaks — we know that the first-time live viewer numbers were down compared to the premiere, but were the total viewership numbers down at all? I’d heard in previous seasons that HBO cares a lot more about the total viewership numbers than the limited number who watched live on first airing. Are those numbers available for the previous weeks?

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    13. Abyss,

      That is lame… so if we do get it in Canada id only be able to watch on my tiny iphone 5? No thanks… id rather get the cable
      But they should expand it to Canada and to all devices….

      how much is it??

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    14. Sue the Fury,

      I don’t know that that necessarily follows, though. (For the record, I have legal access to HBO so I don’t have a dog in this race).

      People who were downloading the show illegally said they’d pay for it if given the option. The option is made available. People still download illegally.

      Well, that only demonstrates it was all talk if it’s the same people who said they’d make use of a legal option. We don’t really have the data on how many people made that claim and how many of those people did or didn’t switch to tell at this point. I’m sure some people who said they’d make use of such a system followed through and some didn’t.

      Items just a matter of how many of each there is, and we really just don’t know. There are too many variables involved (I too saw many people make this claim, but generally on fansites with far, far fewer than 200,000 commenters. How representative are the people who comment on fansites like this of the general population of ‘pirates’?) How many people started downloading this season? How many people signed up for HBO Now that didn’t previously have an HBO subscription?

      Those are all necessary to make a definitive call on whether people in a broad sense were being sincere about their willingness to switch to paying, and we don’t really have any of it, let alone all of it.

      Although, out of curiosity, what was the country breakdown for the previous record? That won’t be definitive, but it might be at least a little telling depending on how the total number and overall percentage of downloaders from the U.S. compares. If it has gone down, HBO Now may have been effective. If it has risen at a pace matching the total increase, it probably hasn’t been very effective, and if it’s somewhere in between then we’re in a murky area where the actual impact is hard to tell.

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    15. HBO used to not care about this stuff,because for example for the last seasons they always had record breaking ratings after almost every episode,but if the ratings don’t improve after the leaks then i think that may change .

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    16. Deesensfan: so if we do get it in Canada id only be able to watch on my tiny iphone 5?

      No. You have to subscribe with an Apply device, but then you can watch on their website. IIRC. It’s 15 dollars.

      Nodor,

      With that amount of piracy I think it’s more the time to put on the brown pants.

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    17. Deesensfan,

      Where HBO Now is available it plays on the Web and on Apple TV as well as other iOS devices like iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. The Apple exclusivity is short-lived though, only 90 days (many of which have already passed.

      In the US it is priced at $15 USD/month for the programming and requires a high-speed data connection.

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    18. Wow, so much hate for pirates. I have HBO but I still torrent all the episodes. You guys know the reason why most people pirate is because they don’t have the ability to pay for HBO right?

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    19. Shock Me,

      Its 15/month?
      I pay 16.95 plus tax for the HBO package. I guess I am getting a better deal.

      Anyway, pirating (is that a word?) happens for everything. Its a thing we must accept in this day and age.

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    20. JJT,

      Oh,yeah those poor guys in the US,how about my country where the medium wage is 300$ yet i still manage to pay for my cable ? Are americans allergic to paying for things they want or what ? Now i’m not trying to generalise,i only mean the ones who do this sort of stuff on a regular basis just because they are cheap .

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    21. Well, in the U.S., HBO made the somewhat odd decision to broadcast Kurt Cobain’s home movies on the HBO HD channels and relegate Game of Thrones to Standard definition for the 6 PM broadcast (PST). HD had to wait until 9 PM…

      Apparently, Australian viewers have to pony up $35/month for HBO on Foxtel, so it’s no wonder that the majority choose to pirate the show instead.

      I hopped on HBO GO instead, but HBO posted the episode somewhat late. I think I managed to begin streaming around 6:20 PST, but the feed tended to stutter. (It was still an issue hours later.) Were HBO Now users in the same boat?

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    22. urangutan21:
      JJT,

      Oh,yeah those poor guys in the US,how about my country where the medium wage is 300$ yet i still manage to pay for my cable ? Are americans allergic to paying for things they want or what ? Now i’m not trying to generalise,i only mean the ones who do this sort of stuff on a regular basis just because they are cheap .

      $300 an hour? A month? A year? Your comments have no relevance due to lack of information. Plus if your only making 300 a month and your paying for HBO then your priorities are screwed up.

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    23. I love how they’re back to semi-bragging about record-breaking piracy levels now the leaked episodes are through…

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    24. A Girl Will Obey,

      Well they didn’t post these numbers or mention the records, to be fair. Variety and a piracy tracking website did. But I’m sure some of the execs are okay with these numbers.

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    25. I just think that those in the US that were complaining about not having a stand alone and are still pirating need to explain to the rest of us why we should pay and they are exempt. This eventually comes back to bite everyone that is paying with increased fees to pick up the slack. Akin to shop lifting or common thievery…

      (Can somewhat understand it in countries where Now is not available.)

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    26. Remember, folks, that it is not difficult to disguise your IP address, and if someone is going to do this to download illegal US-based content, the odds are they are going to spoof a US-based IP address as well. Thus, a lot of those US-based downloads were actually likely foreign.

      Australia is so high because if you want to watch GoT legally, you have to shell out hundreds of dollars per year for a package to Rupert Murdoch, the owner of Fox News and many other right-wing media outlets. Obviously, half the population of the country is not particularly happy about being forced to support such a nakedly partisan plutocrat, particularly one who will use the profits to further spread his propaganda. HBO needs to find a less partisan partner in Australia so that people can watch GoT without essentially being forced to make a political donation.

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    27. Wow, GoT must be really popular in Australia considering it’s popular size and how many torrent downloads it has from there. I am surprised that GoT seems to be more popular among Australians than Britons.

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    28. JamesL,

      It is probably also due to the fact that the episode airs so much later in Australia. People just don’t want to wait that long (I can’t blame them).

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    29. JamesL,

      I think it’s because Britain are kinda used to all the medieval/period drama over the years,there is a saturation of those there .

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    30. Tech savvy Australians are sick of paying the “Australia Tax”. I imagine what most of them want is simply a fair go (and I can’t get GOT for ‘only’ $35/month); but there are other options.

      Plus, when looking at the US numbers one must also consider those using VPNs/proxy’s to torrent from overseas in a more secure fashion.

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    31. High Sparrow: $300 an hour? A month? A year? Your comments have no relevance due to lack of information. Plus if your only making 300 a month and your paying for HBO then your priorities are screwed up.

      Would you rather he pirated the show?

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    32. This is getting ridiculous. I really hate people who feel like they’re entitled to torrents, stop being a cheap bastard and watch the show like normal people.

      If there is absolutely no way you can watch GOT in your country I might understand, if the show is available in some manner you have no excuse!!!!!

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    33. JamesL,

      GoT must be really popular in Australia considering it’s popular size and how many torrent downloads it has from there.

      I meant population size* not popular size.

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    34. Al Swearengen,

      You Sir, are a joke. You mouth off about something which you know nothing.

      No doubt have been “special” deals I missed (last time I searched properly it was still $hundreds), but at this moment the only obvious way for me to get GOT through Foxtel is AU$45 per month on a 12 month contract plus $150 setup/equipment.

      Almost AU$700 to watch one season (unless I pay early termination fees). That’s what’s ridiculous; and idiots like you with tunnel vision.

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    35. Well having lived in India for a while I know there is no way to watch the show with the rest of the world … U gotta wait like 6-9 months before it airs on tv which is heavily censored and by then u can buy the blue Rays however waiting that long means u miss the whole on season hype and discussions and ure definitely gonna have spoilers . Meanwhile in Australia which is where I moved to this year it costs $360 (120 a month) to watch the entire season and we don’t have access to HBO NOW . I changed my iTunes store downloaded HBO NOW. Paid for it but when I tried watching the show it said I was in the wrong region (obviously) so I cudnt watch it . It has a lot to do with Foxtel trying to cash in big time on these foreign shows so yeh even though I paid for HBO NOW I still have to torrent the show . Like I’ve said before though I support the show by buying a lot of merchandise cuz heck I wants them all

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    36. gus,

      Its $700? … Ok I thought it was 120 a month and I cud pay every month as it went by … Hmm yeh didn’t think about termination fees … Unless ure in a different part of Australia and the plans are different … Well for $700 just to watch game of thrones I hope Foxtel gives u the limited edition box sets the dark horse figures and the funky pop figures too

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    37. Sansa’s Knight,

      You are probably correct. I just looked look for the cheapest advertised plans which had GoT (which was $45/month [used to be $75/month?] + $150 with 12 month contract). I didn’t see $120 month to month but of course that’s a better deal (over 3 months), although I assume the setup/equipment fees of $150 would still apply?

      I’m not saying either of these options are the absolute cheapest (and they’re definitely not the most expensive), there may have been specials or loopholes to get a few months for less. But these are the general prices Australians have to pay to watch GoT.

      There is no excuse for this greed, and I will not be subject to such unfair practices. It is quite simply, disgusting.

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    38. Torrent came in handy when The S3E9 Red Wedding episode premiered and broke HBOgo. I wasn’t able to watch it after two hours then I was like… “F*** it… I have a Peer block. Just torrent!”

      The night was saved and now it’s been my emergency back up.

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    39. gus,

      Cry me a river you tight arse. I have no sympathy for people who are too frugal to sign up for a service. I detest buffons like you who think they’re so self entitled to everything.

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    40. Al Swearengen,

      Whilst acknowledging I’m midst of the GoT superfans, I still suspect you’re the only one stupid enough to defend charging $700 for ten episodes of TV.

      You must live a sad life.

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    41. gus,

      I have a sad life because I pay for satellite TV? If anything you’re the one who seems quite sad, having to torrent shows instead of watching them legally.

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    42. Al Swearengen,

      No mate, I think it’s sad to live your life in only black or whites. In this case simply toeing the company line without any consideration.

      I suppose it’s a matter of pride, and definitely a matter of having a moral compass, but I will not be subject to extortion.

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    43. gus,

      I would agree but the person spending that kind of money ought to consider watching the additional, available programs to justify some of the expense. I’m assuming the charge isn’t for a single TV program, rather than the only program among many that this person wants to watch.

      If we make that argument then I’d have to add the entire cost of my cable subscription here in the States for the months that GoT is on TV in order to see it on it’s first run which would be a minimum of $600 were it not now available on HBO Now. (in which case it would still cost $330 counting the cost of the broadband in my area).

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    44. I live in Australia, Foxtel (the “cable network” that shows GOT). We pay $65 Per Month (on a two year contract) + $20 a month for entertainment channels, + $20 a month for sports + $90 for internet (that’s all per month). But I can’t watch Game of Thrones in the living room because the family is always there and the kids running around. Also I prefer watching it at 60FPS, as opposed to 24FPS (which is how the source is), so once you get used to watching series at 60FPS it’s hard to go back. We still pay for Foxtel and everything, we still use the TV 90% of the time, my money is going to HBO either way, but I still have to download the episodes to watch them in my room (with headphones, at 60FPS, at 1080p, on an IPS Monitor) an experience that no cable network or cinema can provide for me. So I get included as a statistic for these dumb sites, but I’m actually paying.

      Also take note if I was living by myself, there’s no way I could afford it; I have many friends who can’t afford it in Australia to pay it officially, and watch it online or download it. HBO are absolute assh*les for not giving everyone access to HBO NOW.

      Not only did they make it apple exclusive for the first few months (which was a big f-you to anyone who doesn’t use apple) but they’ve also restricted it to the US. I used to buy blu-ray copies of every season too, I’m not going to do that any more. I’ll pay my monthly subscriptions, but I’m not paying HBO a cent more than that, I’ll spend that money for blu-rays on GRRM related material and support him instead.

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    45. Chad Brick:
      Remember, folks, that it is not difficult to disguise your IP address, and if someone is going to do this to download illegal US-based content, the odds are they are going to spoof a US-based IP address as well. Thus, a lot of those US-based downloads were actually likely foreign.

      This is absurd…why should we spoof a US-based IP address when is not ilegal in our countries to download content?? I’d be surprised if that’s the case on more than 0.01% of those cases…anyway

      Regarding content-sharing it has been PROVEN that is GOOD for the show. That’s why HBO executives brag and encourage it.

      I’ll explain my personal case. Here in Spain it was impossible to watch the first season, so obviously I had to pirate it. Having done so, I told all my friends about it, who in turn downloaded the show etc, and in this manner the hype spread. Not only through me, but through hundreds like me.

      Then the next season came, I (and many people like me obviously) bought the blurays, dvd’s, books, t-shirts etc..and the hype kept on extending.

      Now, 5 years later, you can watch the show Mondays in V.O. and Tuesdays dubbed to Spanish through a cable provider that reached an agreement with HBO. MANY people that is too lazy, doesn’t speak English or is not tech savvy enough (i.e., the majority of population) has contracted this cable provider to watch GoT. THANKS TO THE HYPE that we who pirated the show in the first place help to build.

      THIS IS THE CASE IN MANY COUNTRIES. Thanks to piracy, the show got HUGE outside the US, and keeps on getting huge and GENERATING REVENUE for HBO.

      I’m also pretty sure that’s the case too in the US. Piracy of HBO shows end up generating more HBO subscribers, DVD/BR sales, etc…that is a FACT.

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    46. Pau: This is absurd…why should we spoof a US-based IP address when is not ilegal in our countries to download content?? I’d be surprised if that’s the case on more than 0.01% of those cases…anyway

      In most places on earth, it IS illegal to download. Some people use various IP spoofs to make themselves difficult to track and avoid geoblocking on otherwise legal services like Amazon Prime or Netflix. In this case, they would need to spoof a US IP address. If they are illegally downloading GoT on the side, they are probably going to use the same setup. Of course they COULD switch their spoof to somewhere else, by why bother?

      In any case, many people abroad have either no way to watch GoT, or have to pay absurd sums. It should be no surprise that a lot of the cheat. Australia having 60% of the downloads as the US while only having a tenth the population should be telling HBO something.

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    47. I live in Britain, and do watch the show legally using a friend’s Sky Go login details. However, I know many people who don’t have access to sky, and thus do torrent the series.

      It should be noted that Sky spend 60% of the programming budget on football, which accounts to 1% of the audience. Is this fair?
      Sky is owned by Fox, a company that has been found guilty of hacking the telephones of many people, including a murdered schoolgirl.

      This is big business. They don’t give a monkeys about the consumer. All they are interested is making a tonne of cash. TV is art. I think most artists want their work to be seen, no matter if people don’t pay straight away. Because a lot of people who torrent buy the merchandise & the DVDs. It really is true that torrents have has a positive financial impact for the show.

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    48. the problem with HBO Now, I feel, is the price. $14.99 a month? Netflix isn’t even that much. I wonder if they lowered the HBO Now price if that would help get more subscribers.

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    49. Jeb:
      I live in Britain,and do watch the show legally using a friend’s Sky Go login details.However, I know many people who don’t have access to sky,and thus do torrent the series.

      Same case here, except that I live in Spain and watch the show in live legally using my friend’s Canal Plus account, so I don’t pay anything. What does this make me? I didn’t know there were so many problems in other countries for watching the show. I can understand the amount of piracy, and I think it’s not bad at all for GoT.

      Do we have official numbers for 5×05 viewing-ratings?

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    50. Chad Brick: In most places on earth, it IS illegal to download. Some people use various IP spoofs to make themselves difficult to track and avoid geoblocking on otherwise legal services like Amazon Prime or Netflix. In this case, they would need to spoof a US IP address. If they are illegally downloading GoT on the side, they are probably going to use the same setup. Of course they COULD switch their spoof to somewhere else, by why bother?

      In any case, many people abroad have either no way to watch GoT, or have to pay absurd sums. It should be no surprise that a lot of the cheat. Australia having 60% of the downloads as the US while only having a tenth the population should be telling HBO something.

      Even if it’s ilegal, people just download it anyway because it can’t be actively prosecuted. I bet of those US downloads the huge majority are from the US

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    51. High Sparrow: Same case here, except that I live in Spain and watch the show in live legally using my friend’s Canal Plus account, so I don’t pay anything. What does this make me? I didn’t know there were so many problems in other countries for watching the show. I can understand the amount of piracy, and I think it’s not bad at all for GoT.

      Do we have official numbers for 5×05 viewing-ratings?

      Yes, 6.559M

      Edit: Seems the leaks DID NOT hurt the ratings as much as some people thought, uh? 😉

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    52. Pau,

      Mother’s Day, casual viewers losing the engagement with this season after a month waiting (maybe some of you think this is foolish, but I’ve seen it), 5×04 not being the most “hyper” of the show…

      With 5×06 the show will be back to the usual ratings, like the one one 5×01 had.

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    53. High Sparrow:
      Pau,

      Mother’s Day, casual viewers losing the engagement with this season after a month waiting (maybe some of you think this is foolish, but I’ve seen it), 5×04 not being the most “hyper” of the show…

      With 5×06 the show will be back to the usual ratings, like the one one 5×01 had.

      No, it won’t. It won’t rise from 6,5M to 8M. It will be back to the usual ratings, but the usual ratings are those of episodes 2-4

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    54. If HBO wasn’t so freaking ridiculously expensive maybe more people would add it to their lineup. The monthly charge in my area ranges from $28 to $36. Not worth it for me since GoT is what I watch. I don’t pirate it (don’t know how) so I go to my daughter’s for dinner and a show on Sundays. Not a bad deal!

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