Among the many lessons and messages Game Of Thrones has scattered across its CGI pop-up map, there’s this: Be careful how you handle your most precious resources. Those resources can be gold or fire-breathing serpents or DVD screeners of Game Of Thrones, the latter of which have traditionally found their way to TV critics and journalists prior to each new GOT season. But all it takes is one Jorah Mormont to get the people who hold those resources to rethink their whole way of operating things—which partially explains why HBO announced today that it’s ending the practice of mailing DVDs for advance review, relying instead on a secure streaming site.
As reported by Variety, the transition was already in motion before torrenting networks made nearly half of Game Of Thrones’ fifth season available before its premiere. But that nasty bit of piracy sped the process along, making DVDs of upcoming HBO programming scarcer than dragons’ eggs. According to an HBO press release, it was only recently that a press screener turned up on the digital black market, so the DVDs haven’t really been a factor in the bootlegging of the most bootlegged show on TV. But they definitely won’t be a factor now, joining Periscope on the chopping block for having violated the rules of gods and men who should know better than to go about lending their things all willy nilly. (That’s what an HBO Go password is for.)