'House of the Dragon' Finale Leaks Online Days Before Airing

House of the Dragon fans got a big surprise on Friday, as it was reported that the show's Season 1 finale leaked online, days before it was scheduled to air. IndieWire reports that HBO has blamed the leak on one of its distribution partners in either Europe, the Middle East, or the African region. The network also stated that it is "aggressively" seeking out and removing any streams or links to the big episode.

"We are aware that the tenth episode of House of the Dragon has been posted on illegal torrent sites. It appears to have originated from a distribution partner in the EMEA region," HBO said in a statement. "HBO is aggressively monitoring and pulling these copies from the internet. We're disappointed that this unlawful action has disrupted the viewing experience for loyal fans of the show, who will get to see a pristine version of the episode when it premieres Sunday on HBO and HBO Max, where it will stream exclusively in 4K."

House of the Dragon is set 200 years before the events in Game of Thrones, and explores the inner turmoil of the Targaryens, who eventually spark a civil war in Westeros. It was created by Ryan J. Condal and George R. R. Martin, with Condal serving as showrunner along with Miguel Sapochnik. Cast members include Paddy Considine, Olivia Cooke, Matt Smith, Emma D'Arcy, Steve Toussaint, Eve Best, Fabien Frankel, Sonoya Mizuno, and Rhys Ifans.

Previously, while speaking on his The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of podcast, Condal revealed that the series had wrapped filming in February. He added, "We at last finished. We did really well all the way through, and then Omicron really threw a monkey wrench...into the works. [I] Got to do all the hard work up to there but didn't get to, y'know, applaud and shake hands." While principal photography is down, Condal clarified "We're not anywhere close to done because we have lots of post stuff to do."

Back in November 2021, Condal spoke about the job of taking on the Game of Thrones franchise, saying on The Ugly American Werewolf in London podcast, "The job on House of the Dragon was actually much easier than it would have been had I been creating the original series. All credit to [Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss and creator Martin] having come before me. They did all this work for me. So I don't have to explain anything about what a Targaryen is or what Westeros is or what an Iron Throne is."