We have reached peak Game of Thrones secrecy. Earlier today, HBO confirmed that it will not be sending out any advanced screeners of the much-talked-about sixth season of Game of Thrones to anyone, “anywhere in the world.” The company — and co-creators David Benioff and Dan Weiss — are trying to avoid an incident last year where screeners leaked online and got traction on various blogging sites.
That leak spoiled nearly half of the fifth season of the show, causing HBO to switch to more secure online screening systems. Apparently not secure enough, however, given today’s news.
HBO programming president spoke with EW about the news and said the following:
“It’s painful for Dan and David [when leaks happen],” Lombardo said. “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.”
Makes sense for the company to want to avoid even a whisper about the sixth season’s content, especially when it’s been known to give out up to six episodes of a show to critics (aka over half of Game of Thrones‘ ten-episode seasons). By the sixth hour this year, we should all be well versed in the fate of Jon Snow’s sort-of-death in last year’s cut-to-black cliffhanger.
Many see his character’s fate as a done deal, but recent ads and artwork for the show very much rely on poking and prodding Game of Thrones fans with amusing cruelty. His face (along with that of most of the cast) plastered recent posters themed around the Hall of Faces in Braavos.
No doubt today’s news of a full media lockdown for season six will only whip fans up into even more of a fervor ahead of the premiere. And it’s still a ways out, unfortunately: Game of Thrones will return to HBO on April 24.