Game of Thrones Season 7, episode 4, “The Spoils of War,” was leaked several days before it hit television last week. Now, the leakers are set to pay the Iron price. The Independent reports that four people in India have been arrested for the illegal early release of the episode.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Akbar Pathan said that authorities received a complaint from a Mumbai-based company that processes episodes of Game of Thrones for an app. He told the media that “we investigated the case and have arrested four individuals for unauthorized publication of the fourth episode from Season 7.”
A leaked version of “The Spoils of War” hit the internet two days before it aired on HBO. The early version contained a watermark that led investigators to Indian distributor Star India similar to how Shireen’s burned toy led Davos to Melisandre.
Star India, owned by 20th Century Fox, said in a statement following the leak (via The Independent):
“This confirms the compromise of episode 4 of Game of Thrones Season 7, earlier this afternoon. We take this breach very seriously and have immediately initiated forensic investigations at our and the technology partner’s end to swiftly determine the cause. This is a grave issue and we are taking appropriate legal remedial action.”
Indeed, the night is dark and full of terrors.
Authorities confirmed that the four people arrested possessed company credentials that allowed them advanced access to the episodes, per the publication.
As is customary in television, HBO provided critics with early screeners for Game of Thrones during the show’s first few seasons. However, beginning with season six, the network has not done so in an effort to prevent leaks and spoilers. Unfortunately, HBO was the victim of a targeted cyberattack earlier this month that has already led to two script summaries being posted online.
It is unknown if more Thrones-related leaks are forthcoming.
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.