People will do whatever it takes to get their Game of Thrones fix. And with the latest season in the series recently wrapped up on HBO, the only cure for withdrawal for loyal Game of Thrones fans is to find alternative ways to watch the show any time they desire.

That means a lot of people are maneuvering away from the legal means of acquiring copyrighted material on the internet, and the downloads continue.

Season 7 of Game of Thrones has now been illegally downloaded “over a billion times,” according to Torrent Freak. Data shared by the torrent news outlet (via piracy tracking company MUSO) claims, on average, that each episode of the season has been downloaded an average of 140 million times through various torrent servers. That is more than four times the average viewership of the show as it aired on HBO.

HBO shows have always been some of the more popular downloaded shows, largely because not everybody is paying for HBO service and the content is readily available for those who know how to find it. It’s not that hard to do if you know how to use a search engine in your web browser.

Of course, HBO was also victimized by a hacking scandal that leaked a good amount of Game of Thrones content this season. That massive hacking effort contributed to the download numbers for sure, but Game of Thrones fans likely would have gotten their hands on the digital goodness one way or another regardless.

[Torrent Freak]

About Kevin McGuire

Contributor to NBCSports.com's College Football Talk, Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Host of the No 2-Minute Warning Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher Radio and iHeart Radio. FWAA member and Philadelphia-area resident.