Torrent Freak reports a record 193,418 people where sharing one single torrent hours after the episode premiered on Sunday, which beats a previous high of 171,572 people sharing on a single torrent after the Season 3 finale last year.
With tens of thousands sharing other torrents that hit the web within the first 12 hours of the episode’s release, it is estimated that the episode titled “The Lion and the Rose” was downloaded roughly 1.5 million times.
When addressing the issue of piracy in the past, HBO reasoned that it is a consequence of success.
“‘Game of Thrones’ is a global phenomenon and HBO uses every tool available to protect its content. Unfortunately, with such success also comes theft,” the premium cable network said in a statement last year. “Many anti-piracy tactics have been effective and we will continue to improve those efforts so we can continue to deliver high quality, acclaimed programming to our customers.”
6.3 million total viewers tuned in legally for Sunday’s episode, which was a 48 percent increase for Season 4’s second episode as compared to last season.