‘Game of Thrones’ Holding Back Season 7 Screenings to Fight Leaks
Game of Thrones understandably kept Season 6 episodes under lock and key, so as to avoid any remote leak of Jon Snow’s fate. Season 7 has nowhere near the immediate cliffhanger to address, but nonetheless won’t take the chance of early screeners, likely ever again.
Entertainment Weekly confirmed what recappers and readers have dreaded all year, that Game of Thrones will make no Season 7 episodes available in advance of their official premieres. Season 5 suffered one of the series’ biggest leaks to date, as four episodes made their way online weeks ahead of schedule, and it seems the lesson stuck.
Granted, it’s a little inside-baseball for us TV folk (and the first episode will likely have a red-carpet premiere regardless), but it does raise questions of any dragon-sized spoilers hiding in those first few episodes. At only seven (extended) hours, Game of Thrones Season 7 is likely to burn through stories and major deaths more quickly than usual, some of which have already been observed on set and scrutinized for months.
Here’s what former HBO boss Mike Lombardo said of the decision last year:
It’s painful for Dan and David [when leaks happen]. When you have press copies, inevitably friends ask, ‘Can I see your copy?’ There are things that happen. We talked about the upsides and downsides. Some of the press are fans who might be disappointed, but they’ll understand.
Declining Season 7 screeners also likely means that the eighth and final season will fall under the same, if not greater security (whenever that will be), so we’re likely waiting for one of those five spinoffs to ever watch a Game of Thrones screener again. And hey, maybe one day we’ll find out if Season 7 actually spoils anything in George R.R. Martin’s The Winds of Winter.
We’ll hopefully have another trailer to pore over before long, but in the meantime, watch the first below and stay tuned for more on Season 7’s July 16 premiere.