What in the seven hells is happening at HBO? Sounds like it's time to Dracarys more employees!

"Game of Thrones" Season 7 just faced its third known internal leak of the year. Yes, third. The first would be the full Season 7 breakdown that was leaked several months before the season even premiered. That had to be from someone inside. The second was the Star India release of Season 7, Episode 4, "The Spoils of War," a few days ahead of the scheduled air date. And now, TVLine reports, HBO Spain and HBO Nordic accidentally made Season 7, Episode 6 available On Demand for its subscribers for a full hour, several days ahead of the Aug. 20 premiere date.

Oops. But lucky subscribers! (But also, very emotional subscribers.)

HBO Europe said in a statement (via the Associated Press) that it had "learned that the upcoming episode of 'Game of Thrones' was accidentally posted for a brief time on the HBO Nordic and HBO Espana platforms. The error appears to have originated with a third party vendor and the episode was removed as soon as it was recognized."

That was enough time for the episode to be shared online, with confirmation that it's legit -- and, unlike "The Spoils of War" -- in HD. The ep also spread to Reddit and beyond, with all current links being removed. Since it was not a low-quality leak like Episode 4, we now have to see if that changes anything for the overall Sunday night ratings. (It probably won't.)

This is all separate from the hackers leaking information. That's its own trouble. Plus the whole "Confederate" controversy. You'd think this was an awful time for HBO, but "The Spoils of War" was the most-watched episode ever, to that point, despite the leak. Episode 5 "Eastwatch" just upped the ante to claim the throne as the most-watched episode to this point. So despite this new leak, there's every chance "Death Is the Enemy" (the supposed title of Episode 6) will have record ratings too.

Still. What is going on? If you want to go full conspiracy theory, maybe it's a way to get the rest of the viewers around the world obsessively watching their own HBO On Demand set-ups to see if Episode 6 magically pops up. It'll premiere this Sunday, Aug. 20 at 9 p.m. on HBO (unless you see it sooner).

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Game of Thrones TV Show Poster
Game of Thrones
HBOTVMAApril 17, 2011
Based on 9 critics

Noble families in the seven kingdoms of Westeros vie for control of the Iron Throne. Read More

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