Even Tyrion's impressed by all that illegal downloading

Game Of Thrones was resting comfortably, secure in the knowledge that its piracy record was unchallenged. But, like anyone in Westeros with an ounce of sense, it should’ve known that life at the top is often fleeting. Much like winter, a new one-day piracy record is coming, and it is coming from the one challenger the HBO series should’ve known would topple it one day: itself. Variety reports that last night’s Game Of Thrones episode “Kill The Boy” was downloaded more than 2.2 million times in the first 12 hours after its first airing on the pay cable channel. That number makes the amount of goods the Onion Knight used to smuggle from the Free Cities into the Seven Kingdoms look like nothing, or at least less of a finger-severing offense.

According to piracy-tracking firm Excipio, the fifth episode of season five was up on file-sharing sites within minutes of its 9 P.M. ET airing in the United States. The 2.2 million individual Internet addresses tracked was the count as of 10 A.M. ET the next morning, a number that has surely grown faster than a dragon in the ensuing hours. The new piracy record comes only weeks after HBO launched HBO Now, the $15 service that allows users to watch HBO without a cable subscription package. Also, the channel has ended the practice of using DVD screeners, all in the name of cutting down on piracy. It’s working great. Soon, HBO will move on to a new method of dealing with illegal downloading, as teased in last night’s episode:

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They call it a “burn notice.”