(Photo: HBO, Macall B. Polay)

Pretty much since it began, Game Of Thrones has been the kind of show that you have to watch as soon as it airs—both because that will keep you from getting left behind and it will save you from getting spoiled by jerks on social media—and that has apparently stayed true even as the network was hit by hackers who attempted to leak all sorts of Game Of Thrones secrets onto the internet this summer. According to Vulture, the show’s recently-completed seventh season averaged 30.6 million viewers across various HBO platforms, a new record for the show, but keeping up with Game Of Thrones was so important this year that tons of people without HBO subscriptions have been finding (illegal) ways to tune in.

According to TorrentFreak (via Screen Rant), this most recent season of Game Of Thrones was pirated over a billion times, with each episode averaging 140 million illegal downloads. Also, most of the illicit views came from illegal streaming services and private torrents, rather than easily shareable public torrents or direct downloads. This comes just a few years after the Guinness World Records people declared Game Of Thrones the most-pirated TV show of all time, so this isn’t exactly a new problem for HBO. With only one season to go, though, maybe HBO should just sit back and stop caring about what pirates do with Game Of Thrones. It would certainly be easier, especially if a ton of people are going to watch it legally anyway.

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