It has been a whirlwind week for Game of Thrones fans as major spoilers made their way online. Or did they?
It is time to separate fact from fiction.
Warning: The following post contains spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 7...
Here are 5 things you need to know about all of the activity on and off the Game of Thrones set, this week.
1. The Jon Snow Leak
Earlier last week, Spanish fan site Los Siete Reinos reported a rumor that Game of Thrones actor Kit Harington would film in Spain as Jon Snow for the hit series. Spain is significant, as it is the locale that will play the area Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) is stationed at in Season 7.
Then last Friday (October 21), word of the rumor's confirmation spread like wildfire. When a fan in Spain snapped a picture of Harington and posted it online, confirming the rumors.
Speculation immediately went into overdrive. As many believed a first-time meeting between Jon Snow (Harington) and Daenerys Targaryen (Clarke) would take place in Season 7.
The next day, that theory was also confirmed when a blurry picture of Harington and Clarke surfaced online. In the picture, Harington and Clarke can be seen interacting with each other, in character.
Since then, pictures from the set have not let up. Throughout the week, various Game of Thrones cast members were photographed filming scenes together.
#GameofThrones Season 7 filming: New pics from Zumaia, Spain show various characters reaching their destinations. https://t.co/Lk6THwGupC pic.twitter.com/Ar9N4pQfQr2. Then Came the Alleged Game of Thrones Season 7 Plot Leak
— Winter is Coming (@WiCnet) October 28, 2016
On Saturday (October 22), the site HeatStreet relayed a report that a user on Reddit (awayforthelads) had claimed to leak the entire Season 7 plot outline on the Game of Thrones subreddit: /r/FreeFolk.
The original thread was deleted and later reassembled by another user (maureencreates). The internet erupted, despite serious questions surrounding its validity.
3. Game of Thrones and None of its Stars have Responded to the Alleged Season 7 Plot Leak
One thing that encouraged many to believe in the legitimacy of the "leak" was a tweet by actress Nathalie Emmanuel. Emmanuel, who plays Missandei on Game of Thrones, vented her disappointment over "#spoilsports" that same day on Twitter.
It's really disappointing there are people who are determined to ruin Season 7 for everyone...???? #spoilsportsThe thing is Emmanuel posted that tweet on Saturday at 1:06 a.m. EST, nearly six hours before news of the alleged Reddit leak was picked up by HeatStreet and subsequently went viral. They published their article at 6:57 p.m. EST.
— Nathalie Emmanuel (@missnemmanuel) October 22, 2016
IndieWire's Michael Nordine attempted to clarify the connection between Emmanuel's comments and the alleged leak, stating the following in his article.
"…network insiders say Emmanuel was actually referring to the paparazzi, whose habit of photographing cast members on set has revealed spoilers in the past."In conclusion, there has been no official response from Game of Thrones, either confirming or denying the alleged leak.
4. The Same "Leak" Occurred in Season 6
It is incredibly important to remember that the same exact claim of a leak was made about Season 6 last year. It turned out to be false.
There are a lot of similarities between that and Season 7's alleged leak, including an episode-by-episode plot breakdown.
The writer of the fake Season 6 leak ended up being correct on some things and wrong on many others. Looking back now, it may have been good guesswork.
Season 7's "leak" writer could have done the same. The rabid supply of recent set photos could have easily served as a source for the Reddit user's post.
5. The Set Photo Conspiracy
Entertainment Weekly urged Game of Thrones fans to reconsider believing any of the recent Season 7 spoilers. Even the ones you might have seen with your own eyes.
EW writer James Hibberd supported his argument by positing a theory about the legitimacy of those set photos. He pointed out that it would not have been the first time cameras captured an actor filming under staged circumstances.
It is an astute observation, and the theories surrounding the production of Game of Thrones Season 7 have only grown since.
If Game of Thrones really wanted to eschew any spoilers getting out, would they film in broad daylight, knowing non-production cameras are watching?
The fact Thrones has been so out in the open this week could mean something and not that they have given up on keeping the series' latest plot twists a secret. That said, would they spend an entire week filming false scenes? Only time will tell.
We will all learn the truth when Game of Thrones Season 7 bows next summer on HBO.
[Featured Image by HBO]