Fans will have to dig deeper to get their hands on Game of Thrones spoilers this season. With only two seasons left, producers are desperately trying to keep every bit of information under wraps.
Since its not-so-humble beginnings six years ago, HBO’s medieval fantasy drama has racked up quite a following. But this comes at a cost as die-hard fans continue to reveal important details about the plot.
For a show that heavily relies on keeping its fanbase guessing, this is bad news. This is probably why HBO is so adamant at keeping information leaks to a minimum.
For the past five seasons, this has been an uphill battle due to the availability George R.R. Martin’s books. That all changed with season six where, for the first time, the TV continuity has overtaken the books regarding plot.
Producers avoided Jon Snow-related spoilers last season by preventing reviewers and the press to view the episodes in advance. With the character being the focal point for much of the series, it seemed necessary to prevent any information about him to be prematurely released to the public.
Unfortunately, their efforts were in vain given that fans were relying on logic rather than information to piece together what will happen next. And true enough, while the ascension of House Stark back into power was highly anticipated, it was hardly a surprise.
Nevertheless, HBO will continue to keep spoilers under wraps. This means fewer trailers, limited access to scripts, and no more on-set access for the press.
According to Entertainment Weekly, the decision to withhold early screeners to the press will continue until the end of the series. This means that if they want to review new episodes, they will have to view it Sunday night just like everyone else.
Losing the privilege to view episodes in advance has greatly increased competition for the press. Now, reviewers will have to race against time to publish their reviews as soon as possible.
While it seems unfair for the press to be denied early access to these episodes, they only have themselves to blame. It all began two years ago during the series’ fifth season.
HBO used to send DVD screeners to the press and industry insiders in advance. However, in 2015, the first four episodes of the season were leaked to BitTorrent weeks before the season premiere.
While spoilers and leaks are a fact of life for any series, Game of Thrones spoilers and leaks are a different matter entirely given that the show is HBO’s most popular series to date. It is also the most expensive show on television and has become an international phenomenon.
This popularity also meant it is the world’s most illegally downloaded series. Four episodes being leaked online is no laughing matter.
Aside from the fear of leaks, showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss generally choose to keep any information regarding the storyline a secret. Even actors on set don’t know what will happen to their characters in a series that has quite a penchant for killing them. So much secrecy, it’s hard to imagine how leaks even get out in the first place.
Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean critics and the press will be robbed of the opportunity to view an episode before everyone else. There is still the show’s red carpet premiere where insider will get to see at least one episode in advance.
Still, expect spoilers to be in short supply in the coming months. Fans hoping for a tidbit of information will just have to lurk in forums waiting for someone to spill the beans. Game of Thrones Season 7 is set to premiere on July 16, Sunday 9 p.m. ET.
[Featured Image by Robb Cohen/AP Images]