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Whether you were gunning for House of Stark over House of Lannister in Season 1, preparing to go to battle with Tyrion as he rallied the troops in Season 2, fighting back tears of complete anguish over the Red Wedding in Season 3, following it to the bitter sweet revenge between The Mountain and the Viper in Season 4 one things for sure – you were bracing yourself for the Season 5 premiere on April 12. With the first 5 episodes of Season 5 being leaked online, the Season 5 Premiere was on track to to set records (Forbes).
Despite the leaked episodes of Game of Thrones, the initial airing on HBO recorded 8 million viewers, a 17% increase on last season’s premiere episode – despite the leakage of those first 5 episodes. To the fandom, watching the episodes ahead of time would only hurt themselves. By watching the leaked episodes they would get drawn back into the Game of Thrones world, then have to wait a whole month to enjoy the rest of the season along with everyone else, and why do that to yourself?
With such a large viewer base, viewers prefer to watch the series on a weekly basis – almost religiously, so that they can gain a true grasp of the storyline and discuss each episode as it comes in heated discussion. Rolling Stone made the observation that the Game of Thrones hype is so feverish that even the Season 5 trailer was leaked – with efforts to minimize the leakage being done so in vain.