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House Of The Dragon's Finale Leak Has HBO Playing The Blame Game

"House of the Dragon" is finding itself back in the heat of dragon fire as HBO confirmed that the final episode of the first season of the show has leaked online. The series follows the fall of the Targaryen dynasty, starting roughly 200 years before the events of "Game of Thrones" and is also based on the dark fantasy world created by author George R.R. Martin.

The "Game of Thrones" prequel has been incredibly well-received by both fans and critics (via Rotten Tomatoes), but that didn't stop "House of the Dragon" from leaking in the foreign distribution market. Unfortunately, this isn't the first time HBO has had to deal with a mess like this, either, as four episodes famously leaked from Season 5 of "Game of Thrones" (via The Verge). While HBO hasn't nailed down exactly where the leaked episode of "House of the Dragon" came from, the company does believe that they've got it narrowed down to a few different overseas markets.

HBO is pointing the finger at a distribution partner

As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, Season 1, Episode 10 ("The Black Queen") has leaked online, and though HBO has said they're trying to track down and pull each and every copy of the season finale offline, they've only narrowed down the source of the leak to three different distribution markets in foreign territories thus far. "It appears to have originated from a distribution partner in the EMEA region," a spokesperson from the network claimed. "HBO is aggressively monitoring and pulling these copies from the internet."

The EMEA region refers to Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, meaning that HBO thinks that the "House of the Dragon" leak came from one of those territories. Though "Game of Thrones" and "House of the Dragon" have both been immensely popular for the network, that unfortunately seems to make them leak more often than other HBO properties generally do (via Vulture), as leakers potentially see more value in leaking globally successful series like the dark fantasy shows.

Still, HBO continues to encourage fans to hold out for the real deal, which will air on Sunday night as planned. "We're disappointed that this unlawful action has disrupted the viewing experience for loyal fans of the show, who will get to see a pristine version of the episode when it premieres Sunday on HBO and HBO Max, where it will stream exclusively in 4K," a statement from the network concluded.