by Graham Pierrepoint
Game of Thrones is thought to be the most-pirated TV show of all time – with hundreds of millions worldwide allegedly downloading the series illegally through file sharing or backdoor streaming – and it is also a series which has suffered from a diehard fan’s worst nightmare – leaks. While spoilers and leaks can appeal to many people who simply want to know the juicy details regarding certain upcoming storylines and what could happen to their favorite characters, the Thrones fandom has famously rallied against the leaking – with communities such as the Game of Thrones Subreddit clamping down on the leaks that came thick and fast during the show’s seventh season.
HBO have been at the mercy of hackers recently – they’ve had scripts and footage stolen from their servers at the demand for ransom – meaning that much of the last season of Game of Thrones debuted early online. Hackers also claimed to have possession over personal details relating to cast and crew – though no ransom, as it appears, was ever settled. HBO is therefore taking swift action for the final season of Game of Thrones, supposedly due next year – by protecting its fans with a spoiler-free finale.
Casey Bloys, head of HBO, advised that ‘they’re going to shoot multiple versions so that there’s no real definitive answer until the end’. This soundbite means that the network and the show’s bosses are keen to cloak over the true nature of how the epic series will come to an end with multiple different scenarios – a technique used in various different mediums and for various different shows over the years. This may mean that, to the angst of anyone hoping to spoil themselves ahead of HBO releasing the final scenes on their own terms, the true ending may not come to light until they authorize it.
It’s not currently known which alternate endings could pop up – but after all is said and done, it may be interesting to watch them back should HBO decide to release the footage. Game of Thrones is one of the most controversial and most hotly-debated TV series of all time – and its finale, supposedly due in 2018 (though bosses could increase the delay until 2019 to perfect the final season), will need to be suitably breath-taking. Creator George RR Martin is said to have advised the finale to be ‘bittersweet’ – meaning anyone expecting happy endings for all their favorite characters will need to start bracing themselves.