Game of Thrones” ratings are like the formidable Drogon blasting to smithereens the Lannister armies and its loot from Highgarden. "The Spoils of War" topped the earlier record set by the premiere episode of "GoT" Season 7, "Dragonstone," earning 10.2 million viewers according to reported Nielsen ratings.

This is very impressive numbers for “Game of Thrones” given the fact that “The Spoils of War’s” full episode was accidentally leaked three days earlier. Prior to this, hackers were able to infiltrate HBO’s network and downloaded 1.3 TB of files.

This included the script for Episode 4, which was leaked on the web later on.

“Game of Thrones” leak may have boosted ratings

According to Entertainment Weekly, HBO insiders were positive that the leaked script and full episode of "The Spoils of War" would not adversely affect its ratings. However, they did never imagine that the episode would go on to achieve record breaking number of viewers.

EW posted that the leak “might have helped” “Game of Thrones” Season 7, Episode 4 by generating interest and hype on social media. Those who were able to view the leaked copy shared spoilers about how awesome “The Spoils of War” was. It never disappoints because the episode not only lived up to expectations but surpassed them.

Also, the fact that the leaked episode was in low resolution, those who were able to watch it decided to see “The Spoils of War” again, this time in HD. It was simply marvelous to watch, crystal clear, how Drogon obliterated the Lannister armies and the awesome scene when the attacking Dothraki horde stood on their galloping horses in one fluid motion.

According to, “Game of Thrones” Season 7, Episode 4’s numbers could reach over 20 million within the next month taking into account viewers who will watch it on DVR or replays on HBO linear channels.

Victory for HBO?

HBO, like Daenerys, may have won this battle, but certainly not its ongoing war with the hackers yet.

The Guardian website reported that a new batch of stolen data from HBO had been dumped on the internet. The files are said to include scripts, email, and personal phone numbers of Game of Throne stars Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey and Emilia Clarke.

The report further said that those responsible for the hacking demanded “our six-month salary in Bitcoin” in order not to dump the stolen data on the web. They claimed that they generate between $12m to $15m yearly income from blackmailing companies and groups whose networks they have infiltrated.

HBO said it is currently working with authorities and security experts in its continuing probe of the hacking of its network.

Well, it would appear that “Game of Thrones” and HBO are both fighting their own war.