by Graham Pierrepoint
If you’ve been paying attention to any news surrounding the current season of Game of Thrones in recent weeks, you’ll know that the primetime fantasy series has once again come under threat of hacks, leaks and major spoilers. One News Page even announced a spoiler-protective policy earlier this summer in light of the show returning to our screens – but it seems that leaks and spoiling of some of the show’s biggest and most shocking moments have continued to roll out despite network HBO’s best efforts.
The most recent episode of Game of Thrones, entitled ‘Death is The Enemy’, is set to feature many of the cast’s biggest characters head up into the cold North in an effort to find the dreaded White Walkers and their zombie brethren – but those keen on seeing the episode earlier than planned, those who are willing to risk break copyright and piracy law – have been able to get a sneak peek at events set to unfold in an episode due to air on HBO this Sunday. While previous scripts and episodes have been leaked by hackers and other third party sources, this most recent episode found its way to the internet on behalf of perhaps someone everyone least expected – HBO themselves.
It appears that HBO Spain accidentally aired the penultimate episode of season seven four days ahead of schedule – meaning that viewers are able to obtain the episode illegally through online streaming. This habit of leaking and advance episode streaming has led to further protection within certain Game of Thrones forums – particularly the show’s discussion group over on Reddit, whom clearly advised that all spoilers for the forthcoming episode would be closely guarded and restricted from publication.
Keeping spoilers for shows like Game of Thrones to a minimum is incredibly difficult and increasingly so when there are still routes through for leaks of footage, scripts and other details ahead of time. This means that HBO are likely going to need to be on their guard even more so than usual for the series’ final season next year – though it is enlightening to see more and more true fans stay away from major spoilers and to protect fellow viewers by refraining from spreading such material. With only eight episodes left to air, every minute counts for Game of Thrones – and for die-hard fans, this means leaving matters as unspoilt as possible.