The increased security measures imposed upon the cast have been news for a while. Notably, Liam Cunningham revealed just how well guarded the scripts are this time — just as it was with season seven, the scripts are only to be read in digital form, obtained through a two-step verification process, but now they can’t even read them off-set. Now, Emilia Clarke claims these efforts go much further than protecting the scripts.
In an extensive interview with The Telegraph, the actress discusses the downsides to her increasing fame, her other projects, how she was cast in Game of Thrones and, most interestingly, the way leaks are supposed to be avoided for season eight:
“We have a very strict social-media ban this year,” Clarke reveals, “because people need to stop spoiling it for everyone. It’s really frustrating.”
If keeping the scripts under lock and key and restricting the cast’s social media usage wasn’t enough, Clarke also claims that showunners Benioff and Weiss have “written a number of different endings.” According to her, “none of the cast know what the actual ending is. If there’s ever a leak of any kind, don’t believe it because it’s probably not true.”
This past September, HBO’s programming president Casey Bloys said this would happen. And yet again we advise to take it with a grain of salt. Though a few key yet inexpensive alternative scenes could easily be filmed (let’s say, a final scene with different character combinations, some of whom will in fact be dead), we were doubtful their efforts would go further than that, and we remain skeptical. As we argued, HBO simply can’t afford to film multiple finale sequences, let alone episodes, that will never air. So, for example, if we see an elaborate battle sequence being filmed, it’s fair to say it won’t be a ruse.
Then again, if these alternative endings aren’t supposed to go beyond the script stage — if they have simply written a number of versions of who will survive, reign and other such endgame scenarios but only one is to be produced, — it may be more than enough to prevent major script leaks. Season seven, sadly, was spoiled in its entirety this way. From that point of view, these different scripted endings may be a worthwhile endeavor.