If there’s one thing that annoys the team making HBO’s Game of Thrones, it’s paparazzi and others who attempt to put spoilers from their upcoming episodes online. The production takes intricate measures to try and protect its secrets. But as “the biggest TV show in the world” there’s only so much that can be done.
“I get so angry about it like we all do,” says Jon Snow actor Kit Harington. “Even some publications I would think better of using them. There’s nothing you can do about it. People for some reason want to spoil things for other people and, hopefully, most people don’t look at the stuff. For those who do, it’s so easy to slip up and see something you don’t want to see.”
Adian Gillen, who plays Littlefinger, says spoilers make him think about all the effort he personally puts in to not revealing any secrets — even to those closest to him. “You think about all the work you do,” he says. “I’d never say anything to anybody — even my closest family members. I take security very seriously. Maybe that’s just the Littlefinger in me.”
Gwendoline Christie, who plays Brienne of Tarth, is a bit more circumspect and is used to guarding secrets on the Star Wars franchise too. “It’s the world we live in and people are very curious and excited about the show,” she says. “I love the element of surprise. There’s something wonderfully child-like about receiving something you didn’t expect and the more your favorite TV show and films that can be protected the better. But I understand people are excited.”
Thrones takes a considerable number of security measures, from coded scripts, to ultra-secure sets, to policing their airspace from peeping drones. But GoT also films outdoors for nearly half a year, often in tourist-drawing locations — and all it takes is one sneak with a camera to potentially ruin a plot-point.
Even Varys, the Master of Whispers himself, disapproves. “It doesn’t make any difference to what we do,” says actor Conleth Hill. “We have nothing against the genuine fan, it’s just the asshole element of your profession. They get it all wrong anyway. They’ll take a photo between two actors between shots and say they’re in a scene together.”
Indeed the number of false rumors online has inspired showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss to encourage HBO to avoid denying inaccurate information when reporters call about story elements. “Thankfully, there are so many false rumors — which makes us happy, because it becomes harder for people to know what’s real and what’s not real,” Benioff says. “We will do everything we can to keep [leaks] from happening but some of this is on people who watch the show.”
But you won’t have to avoid season premiere spoilers much longer, because Game of Thrones returns TONIGHT! Afterward, EW.com will have a deep-dive recap, an interview, and a new episode of our GoT discussion podcast with Darren Franich and myself. Subscribe to our GoT newsletter for breaking news alerts.
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Game of Thrones airs Sunday night.