Winter came early when DirecTV Now apparently "leaked" the Game of Thrones season premiere hours before it aired on Sunday night.
Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 1 became available about four hours early on DirecTV Now, the cable provider's streaming app. It was unclear whether this was a mistake or a surprise treat, but fans flooded social media with their excitement about the so-called "leak."
"Four hours early? I'll take it," one fan tweeted, showing a screenshot of their push notification from DirecTV.
Four hours early? I’ll take it pic.twitter.com/upp3cWrc11— Cody Keenan (@codykeenan) April 14, 2019
Other DirecTV Now subsribers soon confirmed that they were in the process of watching the episode early. According to a report by Consequences of Sound, representatives for DirecTV and HBO did not immediately respond to questions about the early premiere.
"Sooo DirecTV Now leaked Game of Thrones... like the whole first episode is up on that right now...?!?!?!" another person tweeted. "Considering it started being available to [stream] at 9 GMT I think someone forgot to check the ole timezone settings when they put it up... Y'all this ain't a joke."
"So this is season 8. I think @directvnow screwed up. But I get to watch @GameOfThrones 3 hours early," added another.
Considering it started being available to steam at 9 GMT I think someone forgot to check the ole timezone settings when they put it up...— Eóin Tinney (@eoin_tinney) April 14, 2019
If the early release is a mistake, it is a relatively late and harmless one by Game of Thrones standards. In years past, the production has been the victim of cyber-attacks, with plot details, script fragments and even footage leaking long before the premiere date.
HBO has reportedly undertaken strict security measures to stop similar spoilers this season. In interviews, the cast has discussed getting script pages the day of shooting and having them taken away immediately after. The show has taken every precaution to avoid spoilers, but in this case at least it was not long before the actual premiere.0comments
Meanwhile, the rest of the Internet was left hanging for a while as they await the actual premiere at 9 p.m. ET. Subscribers to cable providers, HBO Go or HBO Now do not have access yet, and it seems unlikely that HBO's proprietary apps will make the same mistake.
Game of Thrones Season 8 premieres on Sunday, April 14 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.