“Game of Thrones” is the perfect show for the Internet. It’s based on a mega-popular book beloved by fantasy and non-fantasy nerds alike. It’s bloody (decapitations!), thrilling (sword fights!), sexy (boobs!), and endlessly GIF-able (Joffrey slaps! Dragons!). And millions of people are illegally downloading it every week.
According to numbers from the BitTorrent-tracking and analysis firm Big Champagne [Ed. Note: that’s a great name for an upper-middle class rapper], the second season of “Game of Thrones” has been downloaded more than 25 million times from public torrent trackers since it began in early April, and its piracy hit a new peak following April 30th’s episode, with more than 2.5 million downloads in a day. (Via)
“GoT” was the second most pirated show of 2011, and its season two numbers are consistently higher than last year’s #1, season six of “Dexter” (what?). The reason why so many are watching the show via illegal means isn’t difficult to figure out, either: their only other option is to have an expensive cable package. The new episodes aren’t available on Hulu, Netflix, or iTunes, and you need cable to access HBO Go. So, as one theory goes, why not download when HBO makes access so difficult? It’s not like the show’s ratings or DVD sales are hurting.
I’m not gonna lie: I didn’t have HBO when season one aired, so I downloaded every episode via the Pirate Bay. But right before season two, I added HBO to my cable package, just for “GoT.” Then I’ll keep it for “The Newsroom,” and then “Boardwalk Empire,” and then…damn, they got me. I’m neither for or against torrenting (I’d be a hypocrite to condemn it), but I do wish HBO would make accessibility to their shows easier, so that everyone can enjoy (if not “enjoy”) the beauty that is Margaery not on a tiny laptop, but on a big TV.