More People Are Pirating 'Game of Thrones' Than Ever Before

So much for HBO's new streaming service.

Game of Thrones is a show with characters who take whatever they want when they want it, so it's not much of a surprise that its fans do, too. GoT is already the most pirated TV show in the world, and those numbers are only going up.

Entertainment Weekly reports that the recent season premiere was illegally downloaded 13 million times, which is a new record for the show. And that's after it was available for non-cable subscribers through HBO Now, *and* after the network decided to premiere the show on the same day in 170 countries.

Why all the theft? Well, you still have to pay for HBO Now, which costs $14.99 a month. And it might have been because footage from the episode was leaked in advance of the premiere. But HBO is newly cracking down on illegal Thrones watchers; CNBC reports they're sending legal notices to people who have downloaded leaked episodes, and are even putting a stop to screenings at bars.

So if you dare cross Daenerys Targaryen and her friends at HBO, be careful: Winter is coming, and it might be in the form of a cease and desist letter.

You should also check out:

Daenerys Targaryen Is the Worst Character on TV

9 Horrible Lessons from 'Game of Thrones': Season 5, Episode 1

The Ultimate 'Game of Thrones' Quiz

'Game of Thrones' Bloopers Are the Best Bloopers

Megan Friedman

Megan Friedman is the former managing editor of the Newsroom at Hearst. She's worked at NBC and Time, and is a graduate of Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism.