Though the episode was posted for a "brief" amount of time, the leak quickly spread on the Internet early Wednesday.
For the second time in two weeks, the network has seen an upcoming episode of Game of Thrones leak ahead of its scheduled premiere. A HBO Europe spokesperson acknowledged the leak, which was described as "brief."
"We have 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 spokesperson said. "The error appears to have originated with a third-party vendor and the episode was removed as soon as it was recognized. This is not connected to the recent cyber incident at HBO in the U.S."
A Reddit forum dedicated to Game of Thrones, however, was discussing the quality of the episode that has hit torrent sites (it was described as high quality and only missing the closing credits). The episode appears to have spread quickly on the Internet early Wednesday.
On Aug. 3, the fourth episode of Game of Thrones' Season 7 leaked online and made its way onto torrent sites nearly three days ahead of its scheduled bow. That breach was attributed to theft at Star India, which distributes the series in that country. Four arrests have been made in that case, which police say was carried out by current and former employees of Prime Focus Technologies, the company contracted by Star India to manage the data.
The two cases come at a time when HBO has been dealing with anonymous hackers who claim to have taken 1.5 terabytes of data and plan to release it slowly if their ransom demands are not met. So far, the hackers have released a mix of content, including episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm's highly anticipated upcoming season, as well as Game of Thrones script summaries and one executive's emails that spanned a 30-day period.
The Aug. 3 leak as well as the hacker disruptions have had no effect on Game of Thrones ratings. The Aug. 6 episode, titled "Spoils of War," posted record-breaking numbers for HBO's crown jewel series.