Game of Thrones critics won't get to review season 8 episodes in advance
TV critics aren't going to get Game of Thrones screeners for the final season.
This will not come as a surprise to critics, who have been making do without GoT screeners for the past two seasons. But fans who might expect to see reviews of the new season will have to wait until the first episode airs.
HBO used to send out GoT screener DVDs in advance, mailing them far and wide across the land. Critics sometimes got to view as many as six episodes of the new season before the first had even aired (though often with low resolution and incomplete special effects). Yet season 5 changed all that after the first four episodes leaked online from DVD screeners. The leaker was not a critic, but the event halted the practice of distributing GoT episodes in advance.
In the run-up to season 7, HBO was even infiltrated by a hacker trying to get spoilers on the new season and other corporate intel, which resulted in the network's security being tightened even more. The hacker, an Iranian national, was eventually identified and charged by U.S. authorities.
For season 8, HBO has yet to announce a red carpet premiere screening, but such an event usually happens. Members of the media who attend such an event may get to see the premiere in advance yet their coverage will almost certainly be embargoed per usual until the first episode airs on HBO (which, as you already know if you're reading this, is April 14).
In the meantime, the exact run times of the first two GoT season 8 episodes have been posted by HBO — 54 and 58 minutes, respectively. No episode titles or descriptions yet, however.
EW.com will have daily GoT coverage up until launch and through the season, including post-episode recaps and interviews. Follow @jameshibberd for GoT scoop. Catch up on our popular GoT recaps. <iframe src="https://player.megaphone.fm/DGT3867856739?" width="100%" height="200" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" class="" allowfullscreen="" resize="0" replace_attributes="1" name=""></iframe>
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HBO's epic fantasy drama based on George R.R. Martin's novel series A Song of Ice and Fire.