By now the story is going to sound familiar. Cable network Home Box Office has been hard-pressed to contain the secrets of their programming episodes, following the series of media leaks both related and otherwise to the recent piracy hack of their systems weeks ago. One of the shows affected by this digital escapade is, of course, HBO’s premier TV series “Game of Thrones,” which is on its seventh and second-to-the-last season. Said season officially is in its fifth episode, which showed last Sunday, August 13. Unfortunately, or perhaps, fortunately, the network’s efforts to keep a lid on things proved not enough when episode 6, set to air August 20, was also leaked

Their fault this time

A lot of fantasy fans who are rabid fans of “Game of Thrones,” the HBO TV adaptation of George R.R.

Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” books, must be very happy right now with the leak of the latest episode of season 7. What is more, it would seem like this came about through the network’s own misstep. Despite HBO doubling down on security measures following the media hack and the premature leak of episode 4 by a distribution partner in India two weeks prior, the same has transpired for episode 6.

An investigation by the network reveals that two of their overseas divisions, HBO Nordic and HBO España, had accidentally posted the upcoming “Thrones” episode on their service platforms. The error was discovered and the programming taken down, but of course, nowadays it is guaranteed to be too little, too late.

Intrepid viewers with recording equipment have seen to it that the episode was distributed online for perusal. Its episode title has not been officially released, but distributors of the leak tended to label it “Death is the Enemy” or “Death is My Enemy.”

Internet spoilers

Game of Thrones” followers would know the situation in the show’s setting grows ever grimmer with every episode that passes.

The last scene from episode 5, “Eastwatch,” has a small party led by Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) march into the lands beyond the Wall to capture an undead wight as proof to bring before the warring courts of Westeros. It is all but guaranteed that more characters will die at this point, and without blatantly spoiling, the leaked episode 6 does indeed feature some deaths, one of them being very epic.

Regarding whether or not the HBO leak will harm viewership for the official release this coming Sunday, there is a possibility that it will repeat the ratings surge of the leaked episode 4, “The Spoils of War,” instead. The fact that “Game of Thrones” is coming to an end, season-wise and series-wise, has greatly aided in viewer interest and consistent ratings.