Game Of Thrones Episode Breaks Record, With 193K BitTorrent Users Sharing Single File At Same Time

Apparently people couldn't wait to see the blessed nuptials of Joffrey and Margaery... May their love and reign be fruitful and long.

Apparently people couldn’t wait to see the blessed nuptials of Joffrey and Margaery… May their love and reign be fruitful and long.

The new season of HBO’s Game of Thrones is doing well in the TV ratings for the premium network, but it’s also gaining popularity with pirates who don’t feel like subscribing to the channel (or whichever premium stations air the show in other parts of the world) or waiting until it’s available to buy or rent legally. In fact, the most recent episode of the series has shattered a record for the number of people simultaneously sharing a single file via BitTorrent.

According to TorrentFreak, some 1.5 million people had already shared pirated files of this past Sunday’s GoT episode within the first day after it aired. One particular file had more than 193,000 users actively sharing at once.

This is a record for a single torrent swarm, claims the site. The previous record had also been held by a Thrones episode, when one pirated version of last season’s finale drew more than 171,000 people to a single swarm.

Interestingly, the largest swarm for season premiere of the fantasy series based on the bestselling Song of Ice and Fire books by George R.R. Martin only reached 144,000 users at its peak. This may be due to the fact that the premiere episode aired during a weekend on which many cable providers offered HBO access for free.

The rush to share the second episode might also have something to do with a huge plot development. It’s hardly a spoiler to anyone even vaguely familiar with the series, but surprise surprise, someone dies. This news immediately hit Twitter, Facebook, and other outlets on Sunday night, perhaps pushing curious folks to jump onto the best available torrent.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.