Game of Thrones persists as torrent champion till the very end

Cersei Lannister Euron Greyjoy Red Keep Season 8 804

Game of Thrones isn’t only popular on HBO. It’s also been a darling of torrent sites–a popular form of piracy based on peer-to-peer downloads–ever since the HBO series began. In fact, as of season seven it’d been the TV show most pirated via torrents every year since 2012; since season two. As you may not be surprised to learn, season eight didn’t break the streak.

As reported by specialist site TorrentFreak, “the interest was again overwhelming” for this final season; so much so that this year Game of Thrones “visibly boosted traffic” on torrent sites.

The torrent podium this year was shared by the HBO mini-series Chernobyl, on second place, and Disney’s The Mandalorian, which may well take the throne next year as the two HBO shows won’t be there to compete; and did in fact unseat The Walking Dead from the top-three for the first time in many years. However, as TorrentFreak points out, The Mandalorian may have been such a massive hit on torrent sites in large part because Disney+, the streaming platform in which the show is exclusively streamed, has only been available in a few countries, mostly in North America and Oceania, and will remains so until March of this year.

As we mentioned last year, “torrent” does not refer to any kind of unnoficial / illegal download, so the overall piracy numbers would be much higher if they were to be calculated, which is no easy feat. Nowadays, many (perhaps most) users of pirated content do not bother with peer-to-peer downloads, resorting to streaming sites instead; they require no direct downloads, so they can be watched instantaneously, at the expense of quality and long-term storage. Game of Thrones was as popular as ever on streaming sites, but there is simply no easy way to calculate just how popular.

Whatever the overall numbers may be, Game of Thrones held to its title as most torrented TV show of the year for as long as the show existed, which is a sort of honor; though I’d wager HBO would rather people watch their shows through official means, this record remains an indicator of popularity.

17 responses

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    1. The LightKing,

      I think we may end up with achy legs after our collective legs have been pulled by you and Jack Bauer, LK. That said, I didn’t think the showrunners deserved all the vitriol they had to put up with at the end of GoT.

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    2. Absolutely no surprise about Thrones given it’s only available on paid channels in most of the world. Similar for Mandalorian given it’s only available in a few countries people just want to see these shows and will watch streams if not available otherwise.

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    3. I don’t think HBO cares too much about pirating. They know it helped show’s popularity.

      You can find every scene from the show on YT. HBO knew it only helps. Some of those clips have 10+ million views.

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    4. mau,

      The scene where Drogon rescued Dany in Season 5 Episode 9 and The Light of the Seven have both 47 million views.

      Mr. Benioff and Mr. Weiss created a phenomenon that people will remember in 100 years and of course the brilliant last season. I will always be greatful.

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    5. “Game of Thrones isn’t only popular on HBO. It’s also been a darling of torrent sites–a popular form of piracy based on peer-to-peer downloads–ever since the HBO series began.”

      No worries about piracy. Arya Stark of Winterfell is patrolling the seas.

      👸🏻🗡 ⛵️🐬

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    6. mau:
      I don’t think HBO cares too much about pirating. They know it helped show’s popularity.

      You can find every scene from the show on YT. HBO knew it only helps. Some of those clips have 10+ million views.

      Arya spars with Brienne (S7e4) has 9.6 million views.

      0:19 – 0:50 is my favorite part. Arya. New hairdo. New combat suit. Awesome boots. Nifty dagger twirl.

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    7. I love the people’s delusion 😀

      It will never stop to amaze me. After all this time, people still need to emphasise and use the most elevated and positive wording to stay in the illusion of the last seaqson being “brilliant”. That’s hillarious! Same happens to The Witcher now. The show was at best mediocre, and yet people will find any possible way to justify any crap that happened 🙂

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    8. Sandor,

      Your comment sounds very pompous. Some people had a different opinion to you but that doesn’t mean they were deluded. Can’t you just agree to disagree. There are enough bad things in the real world at the moment without throwing shade at folk regarding a TV show.

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