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We won’t get the final season of Game of Thrones until 2018 or 2019, but HBO is already preparing to prevent leakers from spoiling it by shooting multiple endings, according to HBO programming president Casey Bloys.
Bloys spoke at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, last week where he revealed HBO’s game plan.
“I know in Game of Thrones, the ending, they’re going to shoot multiple versions so that nobody really knows what happens,” Bloys said, according to the Morning Call. “You have to do that on a long show. Because when you’re shooting something, people know. So they’re going to shoot multiple versions so that there’s no real definitive answer until the end.”
Previously, the Game of Thrones showrunners were less willing to confirm what they planned to prevent the final season from leaking while it’s in production. (Per Entertainment Weekly, HBO hasn’t confirmed or denied the Morning Call’s report of Bloys’ discussion.)
The stakes for Game of Thrones to prevent the final season from leaking are even higher. Last year, someone leaked plot outlines of the entirety of Game of Thrones’ seventh season on Reddit that proved to be almost completely accurate. (A few things didn’t make the cut, and at least one plot point might’ve been held for season 8.) And everyone will probably be on edge after hackers stole 1.5TB of data from HBO, leaking several Game of Thrones script outlines and episodes of other shows including the yet-to-air Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Game of Thrones has previously gone to great lengths to prevent spoilers. It had actress Sibel Kekilli (Shae) visit the set in-costume during the filming of season 6 to fool fans into thinking she would return seasons after her character’s death. Game of Thrones showrunners and HBO heads claimed for a year that Jon Snow was dead, but Kit Harington’s frequent visits to Belfast, Northern Ireland—and photos capturing him on the set in Jon Snow’s costume—ruined that illusion. Ahead of season 7, Harington told Jimmy Kimmel that the cast shot fake scenes to throw would-be leakers (and the paparazzi) off the scent of what was really going on.
We’ll likely still see pieces of season 8 come out ahead of time, whether it’s from an actor’s resume or what set watchers have spotted in outdoor shoots. Shooting those extra endings will most certainly be time-consuming (though, like The Walking Dead season 7 premiere, not unprecedented), but it might also be necessary—especially if the ending has to be shot outside. Whatever does get out will certainly give fans some pause, though they’re better at sifting through what’s out there far more than some give them credit for.
Production for the final season of Game of Thrones will start in October with the eventual premiere still up in the air.
H/T Morning Call
Michelle Jaworski is a staff writer and the resident Game of Thrones expert at the Daily Dot. She covers entertainment, geek culture, and pop culture and has brought her knowledge to conventions like Con of Thrones. She is based in New Jersey.