Unless you’ve been out to sea (like poor Gendry, still rowing), you know the upcoming Episode 4 of Game of Thrones was leaked early.

We know. We get it. You’re thinking it. We thought it, too.

But I’m here to save your lizard brain from an impulsive and terrible decision. As you hover on that link and are filled with a deep feeling of shame, listen to it. If you watch, you willregret it.

Reactions from fans who did watch just prove it. (If you consider fan reactions spoilers, stop reading now. However, we promise you’ll find no plot or character spoilers here.)

If you’re someone who truly loves Game of Thrones, a leaked episode cheats you out of the viewing experience you’ve come to love and expect. The show’s scope is beautifully defined by breathtaking shots and locations — I mean, did you see that one of Olenna at High Garden?

If that’s the case, watching this leak will rob you of a particularly visual episode.

Don’t believe me?

While some reactions referenced insane plot developments, many others voiced regret at their life choices.

On the Game of Thrones subreddit, one of the top comments lamented: “I wouldn’t have watched [the leaked episode] if I wasn’t afraid of getting spoiled elsewhere. To anybody reading who hasn’t seen it: if you trust your ability to avoid spoilers elsewhere, get the fuck out of here and wait for Sunday. This episode is worth seeing in HD.”

Another agreed, writing that “[the low resolution leak] doesn’t do justice to this episode.”

Yet another voice of regret on the thread managed to make us weak:

“Holy….shit,” the reaction read. “I found that ‘budget’ thing we’ve been looking for.”

Leaks (and leak-related spoilers) aside: all of the trailers, previews, and fan predictions for Episode 4 heavily hinted that a major sequence would be taking place. At the very least, some dragon ownage was confirmed by the preview. And if certain theories were to be believed, it might even include a battle.

Let’s think back to all the moments of dragon ownage or battles from previous seasons: Dany’s first use of ‘dracarys’ that allowed her to stride off with an entire Unsullied army, the absolute shock of the Hardhome battle, the Battle of the Bastards, Dany’s annihilation of her enemies at Slaver’s Bay last season. The list goes on and on and on.

Now imagine watching those moments in 360p and trying to see the action over an intrusive watermark (or, if your journalistic calling requires it of you, through even lower resolution GIFs of big episode moments all jumbled and out of sequence).

Yeah. Kinda takes away from all that epic-ness a bit, doesn’t it?

That’s not to mention the fact that Game of Thrones continues to be one of the most pirated shows in all of history. More torrent downloads only undermine it. HBO presumably budgets based on viewership, and a huge drop in eyeballs could bode ill for any potential budget increases for the last season.

So if you consider yourself a true Game of Thrones fan, stay true and pure of heart. A wise man once said, “Good things come to those who wait.” (Just don’t ask me which wise man said it).





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