House of the Dragon is the high-profile, big budget prequel to Game of Thrones and it debuted on Sky Atlantic in the UK this week. The first episode of the GoT prequel aired on Monday and received strong reviews from critics, but it somehow managed to leak early and appear on illegal streaming sites before it premiered. If you’re ready to jump back into the world of Game of Thrones, after moving on from the disappointment of the final season, and are curious about House of the Dragon there’s some important things you need to know about illegal and free streaming sites before House of the Dragon episode 2 airs.
Turning to illegal streaming sites – or torrent download portals such as The Pirate Bay – to watch House of the Dragon poses significant risks.
The most obvious being watching copyrighted content for free is illegal and you’ll be breaking the law.
Copyright holders have been clamping down on those that infringe their rights during recent years, and while those that distribute material illegally are usually in crosshairs viewers can be too.
As Express.co.uk reported before, Virgin Media customers in the UK who illegally watched a film that was available on Netflix – Ava – received a letter in the post demanding hundreds of pounds in damages from the rights holders.
Besides breaking the law, illegal streaming and torrent download sites can also be used to spread dangerous malware which can infect your machine.
Malware can not only slow down your PC or laptop but it can also steal sensitive information
Research from anti-piracy organisation Fact has revealed three in five people in the UK are unaware of the hidden dangers of piracy.
These dangers include putting yourself at risk from malware which can lead to fraud and identity theft, as well as how criminal gangs can be involved with piracy.
Speaking previously, Fact CEO Kieron Sharp said: “While it’s good to see that so many people are aware of the illegality of piracy, there appears to be a lack of understanding about the very real risks consumers face, with many unwittingly putting themselves in danger as a result. Identity theft, fraud and exposure to malware and viruses as a result of piracy are all too real. I’d ask anyone who is considering turning to illegal content to think twice about whether it’s worth risking giving criminals access to your devices and bank accounts.”
According to TorrentFreak, House of the Dragon episode 1 began circulating on piracy websites around 15 hours before it aired for the first time in the US.
It’s unclear what the source of the leak is, but it’s believed to be an official HBO feed that went live early.
Whether House of the Dragon episode 2 leaks next week or not remains to be seen. But, due to the considerable risks of turning to illegal piracy website, you should stay well clear of these streams or torrent downloads.
Instead, Sky is the exclusive broadcaster of House of the Dragon in the UK and are running deals on both its Sky Q and Sky Glass TV offerings as well as the contract-free NOW subscription service that are available for the new show’s launch.
If you turn to Sky TV or Sky Glass you’ll also be able to take advantage of an exclusive feature – the ability to watch House of the Dragon in 4K.
Given complaints that GoT fans made during the final season about the picture quality and action on screen being too dark – especially during the Battle of Winterfell – the 4K HDR support will be a huge incentive to subscribe to Sky TV.