Here’s a rather inventive high-tech step that Game of Thrones used to prevent final season spoilers.
The HBO production employed a “drone killer” to keep away snooping aerial cameras.
The news was first mentioned by star Sophie Turner during her New York Comic Con appearance last Sunday. “If a drone flies above sets, there’s a thing that can kill the drones, which is really cool,” she said. “It creates a field around it and the drones just drop. It’s very X-Men.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, a “drone killer” is “an electronic device that can disable a drone in the sky and force it back to the ground.” It’s typically only used by police for “life and death situations.” The device “looks like a gun” and “can be aimed like a rifle or a shotgun at a drone in the air. The 30-degree field of its beam and its range of almost half a mile make the target hard to miss.”
The device was reportedly first used by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to protect the 2017 Rose Parade and has since been on guard at public events around L.A.
While EW was on the Game of Thrones set in Northern Ireland, we could see how the sprawling outdoor constructions on sets such as Winterfell castle were labeled with no-fly zone warnings — drones, helicopters and planes were not permitted over locations where GoT was filming. HBO worked together with local authorities to prevent any unauthorized photography (the hit fantasy series has added an estimated $200 million to the economy in Belfast).
The measures seemingly worked — while distant shots of the sets have leaked, surprisingly few images of active final season filming have gotten out.
It’s not clear, however, if the GoT team ever actually needed to use its drone killer to take down airborne paparazzi spies.
The drone killer is just one of many techniques the show employed to try and clamp down on spoilers for season 8, including abolishing all paper scripts — including on the set. Instead, scripts were only accessible through a highly secure app.
GoT returns for its final season in 2019.