*Warning: Spoilers ahead*
There's a long, long winter between us and the eighth season of HBO's mega-hit Game of Thrones, which will premiere in late 2018 (or possibly 2019). This final season will feature eight episodes that bring to a head the countless storylines we've been following for years: Will Dany become Queen of Westeros? Will Arya finish off the rest of her revenge list? Will Hot Pie ever perfect the ever-popular wolf-shaped bread he's become known for?
The Game of Thrones crew is intent on answering all of these questions... but not a second before the episodes air.
Last season, hackers lifted entire episodes from HBO's servers and ransomed them for millions of dollars. In a separate hacking incident, the script for the season 7 episode "Spoils of War" appeared online long before its premiere. In a world where knowledge of a Game of Thrones plot twist is as valuable as gold, nefarious forces took the GoT team to the cleaners.
HBO has upped their game for season 8. The scripts themselves are under lock and key, existing solely in digital form and accessible only at the show's studio in Belfast.
I got six of [the scripts], I’ve got them all. I can’t open them because of all the security, and I can’t walk it out.
Other reports say the show is taking even more drastic measures. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who plays Jaime Lannister, recently appeared on a Scandinavian talk show and claimed the cast would not even see scripts prior to filming. Instead, they will reportedly wear earpieces and hear their lines as they act out their scenes.
While this all may seem rather paranoid, let's remember how Game of Thrones fans, following the apparent "death" of Jon Snow in season 5, began obsessing over the length of Kit Harrington's hair in an effort to see whether he might return for season 6.
Why even tell the actors their lines? Just put them in costume and film them walking around the set, having normal conversations. Then edit it all together to match the script. Also, don't show the editors the script! Have a hundred editors making their own versions of what they think the show should be, then have the writers piece together the scenes of the ones who guessed right. But, you know, having the writers know the plot may be too risky. What if George R.R. Martin just sat in a locked room and doodled season 8 until 2019 and then just aired that? HBO has surely considered all of those options.
Scripts being leaked is the least of their worries when whole episodes gets leaked before HBO releases them.— Μᴏᴏɴsʜɪɴᴇ (@Skyw4rd) October 13, 2017