HBO announces switch to online-only screeners after Game of Thrones leaks

Stannis in episode 504

With the leaking of the new season of Game of Thrones, it’s been widely speculated that HBO would change their screener procedures next year for the show to prevent another occurrence. As it turns out, all HBO programs are making a change, and quickly.

According to Variety, instead of mailing DVD episode screeners to journalists, the network is switching to a streaming-only model for all shows, beginning today with the release of their new episodes of Veep. Critics will have secure online access, reducing the risk of leaks and piracy.

The switch has been planned for a while but the leaks moved up the timeline, says Variety.  

The use of streaming websites for screeners is not uncommon and so it’s a natural move for HBO. Personally I wouldn’t mind seeing a screener online, since I do most of my viewing on my laptop as it is. As long as the streaming service works better than HBOGo. (I kid. But really, how is HBONow going for those of you who signed up?)

I hope this is successful at alleviating the issue. It’s been incredibly difficult for anyone to avoid spoilers from all four episodes. Additionally, the ratings this year haven’t seen the growth that we’ve seen in previous years, most likely because so many people have already downloaded these episodes. It’ll be interesting to see what the figures look like next week after “Kill the Boy,” the first episode that wasn’t leaked.

123 responses

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    1. This is the death of physical media. lol

      Having a screener episode is not the problem no matter what format it is.

      Giving out almost half of your season as a screen is the problem.

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    2. I don’t get need for screeners after the first season of a tv show tbh,i mean you already know what that specific show is about why do you need it so bad ? Netflix used to not give out screeners for their shows until the critics whined like bitches because they felt the need to be entitled now granted i know Netflix releases all their episodes at once but still .

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    3. tyrion101356:
      I don’t getneed for screeners after the first season of a tv show tbh,i mean you already know what that specific show is about why do you need it so bad ? Netflix used to not give out screeners for their show until the critics whined like bitches because they felt the need to be entitled now granted i know Netflix releases all their episodes at once but still .

      Every group complains. Critics complain because they don’t have early access. Feminists complain that Joss Wheaton is some anti female person…. The man who did Buffy is anti-female because of a few jokes in The Avengers 2?

      The world has become too sensitive. We need Stannis as a ruler to stop all of this nonsense.

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    4. The Bastard:

      Giving out almost half of your season as a screen is the problem.

      This, 4 episodes was too much, sending the first 2 episodes would have been enough since they were pretty good episodes.

        Quote  Reply

    5. The Bastard,

      I agree. A stream would still be recordable, right? Also, just because a journalist is given a screening password doesn’t mean that that password can’t be taken/intercepted, and HBO cannot control who/how many are in the room viewing any given stream. This seems to be the same risk. Riskier even, given that a stream can be hacked. Keep the episodes under wraps and let the journalists see them with the rest of us. Only 2 more seasons anyway, and the show hardly needs the pub anymore. No more leakage!

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    6. Good move on their part. Seems like a reasonable and interesting solution to the problem.

      I will admit, however, discussing the procedure for the screeners next time around has me a little sad, as I will be trying to remain unsullied going into S6 and will most likely be less active on here next year. That being said, I am hoping HBO’s solution will be effective and still allow for good pre-season reviews (particularly from Sue here at WotW!)

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    7. I’m not seeing how this reduces the risk… “The screeners were leaked online, so now we will only put them online!” If anything, you have just reduced by one the number of steps a potential leaker would have to perform… no need to rip a poor copy from a DVD, it’s already digital HD quality!

      Fewer screener episodes would be the sensible thing – if only 2 eps leaked (for example) this would have only been a problem for one week instead of three.

      Oh wait, maybe that’s what those visions of the raven (or whatever) were about! Testing the new system: the screeners will only appear once at a time that HBO chooses and you’ll have no way to replay them! Just kidding… maybe…

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    8. Ashara D,

      It’ll be obvious if someone shares their password or has it intercepted somehow- everytime you go to a website, your IP address is attached to it. So if one username is using a password/code key, but there’s many IP addresses over multiple rewatchings, that raises a big red flag. And that journalist is up the creek.

      Someone can record a stream, yeah but it’s not as easy to do it well as it is to burning a DVD (unless you’re very good at that sort of thing). And again multiple viewings/various IPs & locations are going to be a tipoff.

      It’s not a foolproof method at all, but it does reduce the likelihood of a leak.

        Quote  Reply

    9. Agreed all of you, I think they should make special presentation for the critics in some theater every year. If they want to watch so much they should move their lazy ass, go here, watch it together and write down some notes

      It’s gonna be even more dangerous next year, or the year after that when the show outpace the books. Imagining only GRRM and critics know what will happen the first episodes is kinda distrubing lol

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    10. HBO Now works great! I’ve been watching right around 9pm for each episode except 4 and I’ve never had any trouble with it. HBO Go still has issues around showtime even last season.

        Quote  Reply

    11. Chrysee,

      Too bad only Apple users and US residents can watch it there,maybe if they did it internationally it would reduce some of the piracy as well .

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    12. tyrion101356:
      Balerion The Cat,

      In the first season they gave out 6 episodes. Now imagine if the leakage happened then when the series was just starting,it had the change to be cancelled .

      Actually the reason why this leakeage thing happened this year beceasue of shows buzz had peaked its top with season 4 and with all those shocking deaths.
      It is the most popular show around the world without doubt if not in USA, right now.

      I don’t think anyone would have taken that kinda of risk back then in s1 when the show didn’t even start and only nerds on the internet knew about it anyway

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    13. As somebody who watched the leaked episodes because I didn’t want somebody on a forum spoiling it for me…. I really want fewer screeners.

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    14. I haven’t made a comment here since the season started. I didn’t want to inadvertently get spoiled by someone commenting on the four episodes. Now that they have aired, I can read comments again.

      I don’t know about you guys, but this season is…weird so far. Maybe it’s because, as book readers, we always knew what was coming. You know, the iconic book moments: Red and Purple Wedding, certain character deaths, battles, etc. Now we have no idea.

      To paraphrase from a podcast I listened to, “This is the best Game of Thrones fan fiction,” I’ve ever seen.

      That gave me the lols.

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    15. The Bastard,

      WHY IS THERE NO ARIENNE?
      THE SAND SNAKES ARE TOO WHITE!
      WE’RE MISSING OUT ON ALL THE INTEGRAL LOCKED-IN-A-TOWER SCENES!
      WHY IS MARGAERY RAPING TOMMEN?
      WHY DOES SANSA NOT GET MORE SCENES?
      WHERE IS ASHA GREYJOY?
      WHY DID JAIME DO THAT TO STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE ANGEL CERSEI???

      #boycott D&D

        Quote  Reply

    16. I just wonder if there will be some kind of tracking mechanism if does a screener episode got leaked (regardless of HBO show).

      What prevents the person who leaked this season’s episodes to do the same thing next season?

        Quote  Reply

    17. Online is going to have problems, I’m sure. Agree with many here – no reason for 4 episodes, and they need to try to be a little more dear with their list.

        Quote  Reply

    18. Switching to online streaming will not stop further leakes.

      Someone with acces to the online stream only has to record his own screen and later edit out the watermark an he/she is good2go

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    19. They need to make the watermark hidden but unique to each screener. If a leak occurs it would be easy to tell where it originated

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    20. Yea speaking as someone who knows a thing or two about ripping video off an Internet stream I think this actually makes it easier. The real trick here is not the delivery method but the identification watermarks. They were too easy to blur out. HBO needs to invest in an algorithm that makes small unique changes to the video itself, such as extending sceens by fractions of a second.

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    21. Sue the Fury:
      Ashara D,

      Someone can record a stream, yeah but it’s not as easy to do it well as it is to burning a DVD (unlessyou’re very good at that sort of thing). And again multiple viewings/various IPs & locations are going to be a tipoff.

      Sue i have an 10 year old free program that can record anything i watch, and i need only watch it once to record it.

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    22. Hoyti Von Totiy,

      That was my point. It seems that rather than trying to PREVENT leaks, they are more concerned about PROSECUTION after the worst has happened. That is not better for us as the viewing public.

      Thanks for the explanation, Sue!

        Quote  Reply

    23. Renly’s Peach:
      The Bastard,

      WHY IS THERE NO ARIENNE?
      THE SAND SNAKES ARE TOO WHITE!
      WE’RE MISSING OUT ON ALL THE INTEGRAL LOCKED-IN-A-TOWER SCENES!
      WHY IS MARGAERY RAPING TOMMEN?
      WHY DOES SANSA NOT GET MORE SCENES?
      WHERE IS ASHA GREYJOY?
      WHY DID JAIME DO THAT TO STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE ANGEL CERSEI???

      #boycott D&D

      Sand snakes are “darker” then they are in the books….

      George said Dorne is European-Mediterraneann and people in the European-Mediterranean people are “white”.

      I dont get it whats with people trying to force “black” characters where they just do not naturally fit.

        Quote  Reply

    24. Maybe a watermark so big or right in the middle of the screen , that blurring it out, pretty much ruins the whole video. It might be distracting, but hey, the screeners are meant to be to facilitate writing reviews in advanced. These lucky screeners could always watch it again without the distraction on actual air time together with us mere mortals

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    25. Edït: Exacty what Hoyti said.. Still annoyed as heck by this.

      Come people, how hard is it for somebody to put a camera in front of a laptop and record it the old, old fasioned way? Streaming is not the solution.

      If somebody has ill-intent, (and I believe that the person who has done this leak has shown she has ill-intent towards the show) then the episodes sent as screeners WILL get leaked. Stick a camera in front of the screen, crop the watermarker out of the way, put on a file-sharing website and your done. #How2fHBO

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    26. Ashara D,

      That is not better for us as the viewing public.

      Not necessarily true insofar as increased likelihood of prosecution, i.e., getting caught, does work to prevent most crimes.

        Quote  Reply

    27. “reducing the risk of leaks and piracy.” – but that’s wrong in so many levels
      whatever can be streamed, can EASILY be saved as mp4/whatever format in your hard disk.
      By doing that, HBO is doing nothing but facilitating piracy, cutting 1 (easy) process, which is converting DVD to mp4 and to torrenting clouds.

        Quote  Reply

    28. Looks like the same thought process went into this situation as with the “Sight” effort during pre-season. I still think they are experimenting though.

      Barring a controlled centralized previewing gala, I don’t see any previewing scenario that won’t be creatively compromised by the Faith Militant (or is it the Brotherhood without Banners?).

      I know it goes against the traditional HBO subscription model but they should just delay the season by a month and release the entire season at once via HBO On Demand and HBO Now. Let the consumer decide how and when they want to view it. If they spread out the “mass-release” of their shows (TD, Girls, Veep, Leftovers, etc) over the entire year, people will still subscribe and buy the Blurays. Need to rethink this for the modern binging consumer.

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    29. umuckurlife,

      There’s a theory that Lindaaaa would do something like this, which is actually plausible considering her hatred for Game of Thrones. I mean she vociferously dislikes the show and any deviation from the books and yet they still send her and Elio screeners and invite them to the premieres.

      “Protected by privilege and high birth…” and GRRM

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    30. Terry Jumblies,

      Gazillion,

      Awesome comments.

      I’m with You willbe queen – no DVDs, no Internet streaming. Set up a private theater screening for critics. No smartphones, tablets, or recorders allowed. And two episodes is more than enough.

        Quote  Reply

    31. Hoyti Von Totiy,
      All right, you need to stop with your ignorance.
      1- Europe has ALWAYS had groups of many races including black people dating all the way back to B.C. times, black Roman emperors and

      2- In a show that is a fantasy fill with magic, dead people risen from the dead, dragons and more, your concerned about black people being on the show?

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    32. I cursory read about digital watermarking. It appears there is such a thing as invisible digital watermarking which put unique identifiers on content that only the content provider can decode or know that it is in there. So it might be possible that they might employ some kind of invisible digital watermarking that is not quite easy to hide by just blurring the serial number

        Quote  Reply

    33. Adam,

      Interesting. Still, it’s apparently only speculation. If it is the case, coming from such a high profile person in the ASOIAF community, I’ll be shocked and disappointed.

        Quote  Reply

    34. JP Dayne: “reducing the risk of leaks and piracy.” – but that’s wrong in so many levels
      whatever can be streamed, can EASILY be saved as mp4/whatever format in your hard disk.

      Not true. You have to have great software to do this. Your basic Video Downloader-type extension for snagging mp4s isn’t going to work on a secure HBO site.

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    35. Hodor’s Bastard: Need to rethink this for the modern binging consumer.

      Please no, I LOVE “event programming” and have no interest in bingewatching shows.

      With binging you have zero water cooler moments – all of the social interest in the show disappears. It’s impossible to talk with friends about the show because you’re always on different episodes and spoiling each other.

      And If you’ve both watched the whole season already, usually there’s not much to talk about, or at least not nearly as much (typically discussion is just about the ending of the show). When you’re all waiting for each episode it’s sooo much better for discussion.

      I think/hope shows will continue to release content slowly over time, whether it’s online or on good old fasioned TV.

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    36. Completely off-topic but with the UK election coming up on Thursday here in Britain, this was rather amusing!

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    37. Queenofthrones: I think/hope shows will continue to release content slowly over time, whether it’s online or on good old fashioned TV.

      I can definitely respect the “social” aspect of the traditional season schedule. But I must wonder, given the movement toward “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black” consumer-driven-scheduling philosophies, whether that is the majority perspective anymore? It would definitely obfuscate the current ratings and viewership methodologies and metrics.

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    38. Sue the Fury: Not true. You have to have great software to do this. Your basic Video Downloader-type extension for snagging mp4s isn’t going to work on a secure HBO site.

      Again a free program from 2004 and 3 clicks of a button and everything on my monitor may it be a window or a full screen gets recorded.

      This HBO move makes no sense.

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    39. Maybe the shouldnt send screeners. What did they do back in the day, send around vhs tapes?
      The critics dont really give the show anything; the show dont need to give anything to them.

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    40. Tatters:
      Maybe the shouldnt send screeners. What did they do back in the day, send around vhs tapes?
      The critics dont really give the show anything; the show dont need to give anything to them.

      VHS tapes or Betamax !
      LOL … this is a good idea!

        Quote  Reply

    41. I don’t even know why they bother sending out screeners in the first place. Just because these self-proclaimed critics claim to be the cultural gatekeepers? I can’t believe they encourage and succumb to such ludicrous elitism. Nothing genuine actually entitles these people to early preview copies (same goes for Obama, just because we’ve invented the name “president” for his position doesn’t mean he’s actually better than anybody else in any way whatsoever). I guess HBO just want good reviews in the press. Pathetic. And these people actually get paid to nitpick television shows. I can’t think of anything more ridiculous. They should just release the show for everybody at exactly the same time. We’re all humans, we’re all equal.
      That means no early previews for Obama as well. Just because he’s the president? Yet more kowtowing to the rich and famous…

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    42. HBO should only send out the premiere for subsequent seasons. That still gives the critics something to write about, and if it’s leaked, it’s only one episode.

      Doesn’t matter if there are watermarks or signed NDAs, some joker is always willing to spoil it.

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    43. TheTouchOfFrost,

      I really love this idea, but I’m wondering how a shadow puppet set would portray an actual shadow baby? Would it be just a blank space, or would it be the only character NOT a shadow? So many questions….

        Quote  Reply

    44. Barristan Selmy,

      A lot of people read reviews and recaps to to get things they might have missed and have somethings explained
      And as someone who does read them, i don’t appreciate if they are badly-written and posted late that i already forgotten the episode.

        Quote  Reply

    45. Sue the Fury,

      Using VLC you can easily save any stream. Will u do it?

      Barristan Selmy:
      I don’t even know why they bother sending out screeners in the first place. Just because these self-proclaimed critics claim to be the cultural gatekeepers? I can’t believe they encourage and succumb to such ludicrous elitism. Nothing genuine actually entitles these people to early preview copies (same goes for Obama, just because we’ve invented the name “president” for his position doesn’t mean he’s actually better than anybody else in any way whatsoever). I guess HBO just want good reviews in the press. Pathetic. And these people actually get paid to nitpick television shows. I can’t think of anything more ridiculous. They should just release the show for everybody at exactly the same time. We’re all humans, we’re all equal.
      That means no early previews for Obama as well. Just because he’s the president? Yet more kowtowing to the rich and famous…

      Word!

        Quote  Reply

    46. Balerion The Cat: This, 4 episodes was too much, sending the first 2 episodes would have been enough since they were pretty good episodes.

      I agree. Showing the cringe-worthy E4 to the critics could not have helped. I was embarrassed to watch it with my unsullied wife for the first time last night. The awful scene in Dorne was even worse the second time around.

      My wife’s reaction to the death of one of the greatest heroes in Westeros was “Guess they are clearing him out for Jorah, huh?”.

        Quote  Reply

    47. Chad Brick,

      Don’t get attached to secondary characters then,
      because any who don’t have a significant role going forward will be cleared out for time and budget reasons…

        Quote  Reply

    48. Count me among those considering this solution to have basically no effect.
      Screen recording or select screen window recording ain’t difficult. Even I could do that if I wanted. Now imagine what a seasoned internet pirate can do.

      Not saying it’s worse than sending out DVDs, rather saying it’ll end up being the same. Now trimming the screeners to two episodes is a better idea. If there has to be screeners at all, that is.

        Quote  Reply

    49. HBO should just make sure next season is just a two episode screener.

      Cenk over on What the Flick Youtube show finally figured out R+L=J (while it was taping) it was classic, looking at his expression:) Welcome to the club, boyo.

        Quote  Reply

    50. tyjon,

      lol!

      I remember last season, he ALMOST got R+L=J… and then went off on a tangent and ended up at N+E = J (Ned + Ellia Martell, lol)

        Quote  Reply

    51. Watch As Released vs. Binge Watch is a really tough decision with GoT. I honestly believe that this show works much better when binge-watched. As Queenofthrones points out, though, if you consume it that way, then you miss out on all the on-line discussion.

      Oh dear. First world dilemmas.

        Quote  Reply

    52. The Bastard,
      omg so many complainers amiright?!? I for one get sooooo tired of men complaining that they’re expected to treat women with respect like they’re human something. Bitches just need to learn how to take a joke.

        Quote  Reply

    53. Why are they still sending screeners AT ALL?!?

      It’s so stupid. The show is HBO’s most popular show ever, no one cares what some pompous arrogant self-righteous critic has to say anyway. I guarantee you, NO critics pre-season reviews of the screeners convinced anyone to stop/start watching, one way or the other.

      All it did was hurt HBO, via the leak. I say screw the critics, and cancel all future screeners.

        Quote  Reply

    54. Adam,

      No chance. She has her opinions and that’s fine, she has a big forum to voice them and that’s also fine. It doesn’t make her a pirate or a criminal. I find it weird when people attribute things like this due to their own personal vendetta against somebody they know nothing about. I also think it’s quite harmful to spread utter heresay.

      I actually think your post should be deleted.

        Quote  Reply

    55. Why do HBO send out screeners for a show that is already established and very popular?

      1. Screeners –> happy critics –> positive reviews –> more hype for new season –> more subscribers for HBO.

      2. No screeners –> nothing for critics to write about –> much less hype for new season –> less subscribers for HBO.

        Quote  Reply

    56. ctid,

      A lot of people know she is a horrible and nasty human being looking at her comments over the years,that’s the last person you should white knight unless you are her in disguise,in which case fuck you Linda .

        Quote  Reply

    57. Even if it is a “secure HBO stream”, dude, if it buffers, it’s saveable. If it’s cache-d, it’s eveb more saveable. If it can be put into VLC, then… lmfao.
      I could go into more technical terms but I won’t bother.

        Quote  Reply

    58. The Bastard,

      Whedon himself bitched about some clip from the upcoming Jurassic World movie (he said the scene felt sexist, something out of a 70’s era movie). So, it’s only fair to receive his own medicine, don’t you think?

      BTW, I agree completely with the sensitivity and Stannis thing.

        Quote  Reply

    59. HelloThere:
      Chad Brick,

      Don’t get attached to secondary characters then,
      because any who don’t have a significant role going forward will be cleared out for time and budget reasons…

      Exactly. This is why I have always been fascinated by who gets the series regular promotion and who doesn’t. With few exceptions (c’est la vie Joe Dempsie), main cast status semi-guarantees a multi-season future. If I’m not mistaken, this season will be an absolute housecleaning of recurring guest stars: Ian McElhinney, Jacob Anderson, Finn Jones, Peter Vaughan, Ian Gelder, Dominic Carter, Julian Glover

        Quote  Reply

    60. Well, to add insult to injury another episode has been leaked online, and by all accounts it appears to be episode 9… I am trying to resist temptation and wait patiently for episode 6-8 to air, otherwise it will ruin the whole season for me. It is so hard…anyone in the same situation?

        Quote  Reply

    61. Patchface,

      First I’ve heard of it, and I don’t want to see ANY discussion of leaked episode content if it happens to be true. Don’t bring that stuff here.

        Quote  Reply

    62. Sue the Fury,

      Dang it Sue, who took the jam outta your doughnut? You had several headlines on leaked episodes, I was just adding a harmless comment… It’s not like I advertised a site where people can find them…Jeez…

        Quote  Reply

    63. tyrion101356,

      Shes not dumb enough to risk westeros.org just to leak some screeners. Nor is she some black witch you guys paint her out to be. A little nasty towards the show, but thats just because she holds the books very dear to her.

        Quote  Reply

    64. Patchface,

      You’re joking, right? We haven’t been allowing people to talk about leaked episode content for weeks. There was some confusing shuffle where no one really knew what to do the premiere day when everything went nuts. So this isn’t new- this is the rule we’ve been operating with. People can acknowledge leaks exist, of course, people have discussed it but no, people can’t be posting the content of the leaked episodes here. We were all hoping we could go back to normal after the screener episodes had finished airing. Haven’t seen any proof yet of an actual full-episode leak beyond ep 4 so hopefully it’ll stop there.

        Quote  Reply

    65. Patchface,

      Nope,that’s not true,i just checked . Also you could tell it’s a lie by the episode number,we know that usually the late episodes are still in post production sometimes even the week prior airing,so yeah it’s bullshit .

        Quote  Reply

    66. Sue the Fury,

      Have I ever discussed CONTENT of any leaked episode? I have not posted for more than a month for various reasons… The episode is out there whether you believe it or not (I remember people did not believe me the first 4 episodes leaked right after the premiere either, but that does not change the simple fact that someone put them online).

      Anyway, I am not sure I deserve the tone you take with me. I merely acknowledged a fact-another episode leaked, have NEVER discussed content (of ep. 9 or first 4 episodes) so I’m not sure what you are complaining about?!!?? Seems to me you started all this discussion…

      Just out of curiosity, where exactly in my posts do you see I have made the slightest SUGGESTION about content?

        Quote  Reply

    67. tyrion101356,
      Maybe, but she won’t risk her entire site.

      Her hatred towards Lena Headey I think stems for how often she gets praised for making Cersei a better character, lol.

      And she does make Cersei a better character 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    68. Patchface,

      It’s not anywhere.what the hell are you talking about ? Maybe there is someone who put up a malware disguised as an episode on torrent sites,that wouldn’t be the first time that happened but so far i’ve seen no proof of another leak .

        Quote  Reply

    69. tyrion101356,

      Well, I have not watched the episode but I did fast forward a bit and it seems like the real deal… I remember similar skepticism when the first episodes leaked. The first 2 episodes leaked a few days before the other 4. Obviously, I do not endorse nor encourage people to watch it, but it’s there at the usual sites. The point is there will always be leaks no matter the changes by HBO, it’s just how technology works…

        Quote  Reply

    70. tyrion101356,

      To my point:

      Patchface
      March 19, 2015 at 5:02 am
      A quick fact: the premiere is now online. This post should not be construed as encouraging piracy in any way, it is only intended as a newsworthy fact. This is truly my last post until May!

      Colty
      March 19, 2015 at 5:22 am
      Patchface,
      No it isn’t

        Quote  Reply

    71. Sue the Fury,

      You were not simply restating the rules. You were admonishing me for no reason.

      As to your “point”, I do not think I was promoting them in any way, shape or form… I think I was always extra careful with this sort of thing, including in my pre-season reports. I do not think I ever discussed news while the season airs… Case in point, I actually have some casting-related news about the next season, but since it concerns a character still alive this season I have and will refrain from posting until the season ends.

        Quote  Reply

    72. Patchface,

      Wow, it’s almost like you’re trying to tell me what’s inside my brain.

      Yeah not gonna happen.

      I reiterated the leaks-content rule since you haven’t been around in a month.

      You don’t want to share some alleged info, I don’t really care. Have a good day.

        Quote  Reply

    73. Sue the Fury:
      Patchface,

      Wow, it’s almost like you’re trying to tell me what’s inside my brain.

      Yeah not gonna happen.

      I reiterated the leaks-content rule since you haven’t been around in a month.

      You don’t want to share some alleged info, I don’t really care. Have a good day.

      Don’t do that, it’s not gonna work with me. You jumped the gun and you know it! Instead of acknowledging your mistake, you are trying to spin this… it’s disingenuous (kind of like selling a site and subsequently bitching about the new owners) and a bit pathetic to be honest. With this sort of morals and attitude, good luck in your future endeavors!

        Quote  Reply

    74. Patchface,

      I agree,Sue often acts like her shit doesn’t stink. I am probably going to banned for this but it wouldn’t be the first time and certainly not the last .

        Quote  Reply

    75. HelloThere: I remember last season, he ALMOST got R+L=J… and then went off on a tangent and ended up at N+E = J (Ned + Ellia Martell, lol)

      A friend of ours suggested that Ned spirited Aegon away and named him “Jon Snow” from watching the show prior to this season! (We told him: that’s probably round-Earth wrong rather than flat-Earth wrong….)

      On that note, gee, they sure did drop a lot of stuff about Rhaegar in last weeks’ episode. Did anybody catch if they dropped stuff about any other dead characters? 😉

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    76. Chad Brick: I agree. Showing the cringe-worthy E4 to the critics could not have helped. I was embarrassed to watch it with my unsullied wife for the first time last night. The awful scene in Dorne was even worse the second time around.

      My wife’s reaction to the death of one of the greatest heroes in Westeros was “Guess they are clearing him out for Jorah, huh?”.

      Do you have to write the same thing on every article, even if the article has nothing to do with SS or “one of the greatest heroes in Westeros”?

      Please stop.

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    77. Hodor’s Bastard: I can definitely respect the “social” aspect of the traditional season schedule…. It would definitely obfuscate the current ratings and viewership methodologies and metrics.

      True: but those have long since been hindered by things like VHR’s. For every person who likes the “event,” there will be dozens more that like the convenience. The ability to sit down and watch multiple episodes on an off-day is what gets so many people into these shows, anyway. If you look at the demographics to which these shows are catering, then you are looking at the “busy” set.

      Small sample size, obviously, but a lot of people I know essentially “binge” series like Thrones in doses over the course of a season. Their schedules are too hectic to have time every Sunday night. That is, after all, a busy one for most professionals. Also, in a series like this where events from a couple of weeks ago often are relevant to this week’s episode, it helps to watch them all at once: people have far too much to do to waste precious neural connections on TV shows, after all.

      Really, at this point in history, there simply is not much reason to stick to the antiquated model of the past. (That’s a wonderful all-purpose statement!)

        Quote  Reply

    78. James: 1. Screeners –> happy critics –> positive reviews –> more hype for new season –> more subscribers for HBO.

      2. No screeners –> nothing for critics to write about –> much less hype for new season –> less subscribers for HBO.

      Change that last bit to “fewer new subscribers” and this is it in a nutshell. At this point, it is about free publicity and driving up subscriptions. Even if people don’t watch it Sunday night, then they are DVR’ing it to watch later in the week: and that requires a subscription.

        Quote  Reply

    79. Pigeon,

      Same. If episode 9 leaks I will lose faith in HBO to keep their own shit together. Once, it’s on whoever. Twice in a season and it’s on them. I don’t think that streaming screeners will help either.

      On the bright side MOAR JAQEN NOW

        Quote  Reply

    80. tyrion101356,

      The problem is that the site isn’t going to get access to scoops if this site lets people discuss leaks. This has harmed the comments section, with fewer comments, but what can you do.

      There does seem to be a much stricter policy than there was at the old WiC, but I’m sure there’s good reason behind it.

      What I have been increasingly annoyed is the sheer number of vitriolic comments from book purists & people who do not see GRRM as faultless. It is getting pretty depressing wandering into the comments sections, and it is now at the point where I am on the brink of ignoring them. The articles are generally balanced. A lot of comments are hateful. I wish fansites would not descend into this, but it almost always happens.

      I hope Patchface stays about too. You most certainly do not fit into the description of hate commenters.

        Quote  Reply

    81. Jeb:
      tyrion101356,

      What I have been increasingly annoyed is the sheer number of vitriolic comments from book purists & people who do not see GRRM as faultless.It is getting pretty depressing wandering into the comments sections,and it is now at the point where I am on the brink of ignoring them.The articles are generally balanced.A lot of comments are hateful. I wish fansites would not descend into this, but it almost always happens.

      After the next 6 episodes the books will be over, and book purists will lose their purpose.

        Quote  Reply

    82. Jeb: What I have been increasingly annoyed is the sheer number of vitriolic comments from book purists & people who do not see GRRM as faultless.

      That’s odd. I find the vitriolic comments coming from those who defend the books at all costs, who immediately spew “purist” (or worse, things like “idiot” and “sub-human”) at anyone who criticizes the books. I haven’t seen those criticizing the show insult anyone other than as snark responses to previously received insults.

      Btw, purist is both an insult and hyperbole. You aren’t helping anything when you used that word. It is meant to end debate and hurt, and has no place in a rational discussion.

        Quote  Reply

    83. Chad Brick,

      Agreed. It takes two to tango.

      I’m fed up of both sides of this pathetic show vs book crap. It’s almost been manufactured and people feel as thought they need to pick a team. You can criticise the show without being a ‘book purist’ . Saying that you think something in the book was done better doesn’t mean you don’t like the show! But ‘show purists’ if we must give them a name are just as bad and seem to carry a chip on their shoulder that people who’ve read the books may prefer the way the books did something to the show.
      I seriously think both sides need to put a sock in it. There shouldn’t be a conflict at all but some folks around here can’t compare and discuss without resorting to this bizarre tribalism. Get over yourselves and just enjoy both.

        Quote  Reply

    84. TheTouchOfFrost,

      I started writing a long reply here trying to reason with both sides, but I realised that to be honest I’m fed up with the amount of billshit spouted by some people on here.

      There are people on the wrong on both sides here, and that was the point I was trying to make. The comments since seem to be quite defensive, but only from the book purists.

      I’m fed up with it. I wish you would all just fuck off to Westeros.org or wherever the hell you want, because I don’t want to read the comments and end up feeling miserable.

      I’m sorry if this comment seems harsh, but I visit this site to gain enjoyment. I don’t come here for the amount of negativity that has sky rocketed over the past few weeks. I made a comment above saying how much I hated it, and the responses to it was the same as before.

      It’s too much, so I will regrettably stop reading the comments. I might check occasionally to see if things have improved, but I don’t want to get would up by twats on a fansite. I will go back to lurker mode, because the writers on this site have the decency to remain balanced and civil.

      Congratulations to the book purists for pushing me away, because it was your comments that sealed the nail in the coffin.

        Quote  Reply

    85. Jeb:
      TheTouchOfFrost,

      Congratulations to the book purists for pushing me away,because it was your comments that sealed the nail in the coffin.

      Don’t go, please.

      They are tiresome, but your posts are always good and thoughtful.

        Quote  Reply

    86. TheTouchOfFrost,

      Amen!

      To all the flame war people:

      Why is show vs. books even a thing to begin with?

      Meanwhile thousand of people are dying every day while we argue about which form of entertainment is the True Form and which one is “fan fiction.” It does not fucking matter.

      If you don’t care for the show, don’t watch it and save some money for not having to pay for HBO.

      If you don’t like the books, don’t read them. I’m sure GRRM won’t mind.

      Both media are for ENTERTAINMENT, which means they’re supposed to ENTERTAIN you. This is a fine fan site meant to do that too. If you don’t like any of it you don’t have to partake. What I don’t get is why this is an issue in the first place. If you think that the show is better, great! That’s your OPINION. If you think the books are better, also great. That’s also an OPINION. If other people have different opinions it doesn’t mean you need to bully them or jockey them, because your opinions are not fact.

      All the flame war people are getting agitated about the validity of their OPINIONS in the face of other OPINIONS about a FICTIONAL world made for the express purpose of ENTERTAINMENT. If you’re not having fun then I guess it all fails and you should just find something else.

      Again, why is this even an issue? Especially when people are dying of disease in Africa, being burned to death in Iraq, or starving in Haiti.

        Quote  Reply

    87. Jeb,

      I really don’t get why it has to be a toxic atmosphere. Can’t we all just have fun talking about things we enjoy, book and show? I mean why else does this website exist?

        Quote  Reply

    88. Jeb,

      Unfortunately the alternative is having a heavily moderated site where people aren’t allowed to express their opnions on things. Using terms like ‘book purist’ isn’t the answer. As in life, you just have to learn to ignore or tolerate those who have views you don’t agree with or present them in a way that you don’t like (unless it really is deeply offensive in that it has no other purpose than to offend). See something that you don’t like? Shrug your shoulders and move on. If you feel like it, have a discussion with the person.

      Adam,

      I don’t think it’s the subject matter that’s being discussed that’s the problem. It’s the way it’s being discussed. People treat it like a contest which isn’t that bad in essence if people argue the points and are open to others opinions and ideas even if they don’t agree with them but the problem occurs when people can’t remain relatively objective. There’s plenty of folks on here I have massively different opinions to and can have quite intense debates with but it rarely crosses that line into something more unpleasant.

      To be honest, I think the community here is one of the best on the net and the mods do a good job of cultivating that. You get the odd wanker but they don’t normally stay around long as people start ignoring them so they have to go elsewhere for their attention fix.

        Quote  Reply

    89. I’ve only been on this site for a couple of months, but I really have liked hearing from different people with different views. I don’t believe in ‘purists’, and am sick of the term since it really doesn’t mean anything. The GoT universe is big enough to encompass all of us who like/dislike any aspect of the books/shows/both/neither.

      You haven’t ‘won’ if someone agrees with you, or lost if people don’t. It’s all good. 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    90. TheTouchOfFrost,

      I think it is absolutely possible for people to disagree, even vehemently, without it devolving into nonsense. For example, you and I absolutely disagree on some things, and while it hasn’t always been sunshine and rainbows when we’ve discussed/debated our disagreements, which is perfectly fine, I don’t feel like either one of us has been needlessly dismissive, or whatever other word you want to use, with each other. That’s not to say I think I’m perfect, not even close. I’m human and I can get defensive, and absolutely have a bad habit of when I think someone is getting snarky with me, getting snarky in return, and I should be better about that, but still I think of our interactions as at least somewhat productive. We may never agree on certain things (show Brienne, Dorne, and The Iron Islands, for example), but I can say you’ve made me think through things I may not have thought through, otherwise, and I appreciate that.

      I’m not really sure what my point is beyond saying it is possible for people to disagree without it going south. One thing all of us have in common is love for this fictional world, whether from the books, the show, or a combination of both.

        Quote  Reply

    91. Pigeon: I don’t believe in ‘purists’, and am sick of the term since it really doesn’t mean anything.

      All fans are “purists” of one aspect of the tale or another. Some for the story, some for the plot, some for the narrative details, perhaps others for theme. After all, there has to be some part of this that we want to see transferred to the screen: otherwise, we would not be typing letters into these little boxes!

      However, adapting a tale from one medium to another necessarily cannot satisfy all the different groups: if you maintain the details of a book in a TV show or film, then the story and plot(s) will get completely lost. (The first two Harry Potter books are good examples of that.) If you maintain the plots exactly, then you will still need to change narrative details because some things that can propel a plot on page cannot do so on screen (and vice-versa); moreover, there is a real chance that the story will get lost, too. And if you want to keep the story, then you definitely have to alter narrative details and modify the plot (see Lord of the Rings or the third Harry Potter book for a great example of that.)

      B&W have gone squarely for the third option, just as Peter Jackson & Co. did with Lord of the Rings. That is the path to critical and popular acclaim. However, that means that fans of other aspects of the tale necessarily lose the part of the tale that they like.

        Quote  Reply

    92. Wimsey,

      I agree with that – I guess what I meant is that I feel like the term is so overused and meant as a negative in so many comments, that it has become use as a generic, ‘anyone who doesn’t agree’ kind of thing.

      It isn’t possible to transfer a book to screen with 100% accuracy, since a tv show or movie has to show a narrative in a visual way that is outside of a character’s thoughts. And what you can spend a chapter reading about has to be condensed in a way that doesn’t necessarily ‘miss’ anything, but makes it watchable in a relatively short period of time.

      I remember being a bit disappointed that the Tom Bombadil storyline didn’t appear in LOTR, but at the same time I realized that there is no way (even though Peter Jackson certainly didn’t skimp on length) that everything could be included.

      Of course I think there are parts of ASOI&F that the books did better (and really, when you have read them before seeing them, you have certain people and places already imagined). Or just different. But I also think that the show has bettered some plots as well – the Hound and Arya in S4, for example.

      And any of those things are all just my impressions. If we all thought the same way, how boring would that be? 😉

        Quote  Reply

    93. …. *breaks the crazy internet-riot-tension…. so does anyone else suspect that Jalabhar Xho provided Robert with that tropical feather for Lyanna’s statute in the crypt?

        Quote  Reply

    94. I’d like to apologize to everyone for taking the bait and fanning a flame war. I don’t want to waste our time on negativity. We should all be able to come here and freely discuss what worked and what didn’t in each episode, what could have been different, the underlying reasons the directors chose to do what they did, relationships to the books both past and future, and speculation for the future of the shows. This is what the site is for.

      That being said, I would like to ask everyone to avoid the word “purist”. Even if you don’t mean it as an insult, many very clearly do. Thus, it is likely to be taken as one regardless of your intent.

        Quote  Reply

    95. Aryaneedlingme:
      Hoyti Von Totiy,
      All right, you need to stop with your ignorance.
      1- Europe has ALWAYS had groups of many races including black people dating all the way back to B.C. times, black Roman emperors and

      2- In a show that is a fantasy fill with magic, dead people risen from the dead, dragons and more, your concerned about black people being on the show?

      Black Roman emperors???? Looooool

        Quote  Reply

    96. DamonSalvatore:
      Nope,i do not accept to be put into the same category as trash. Book purists are scum and there is nothing that can change my or others opinion until they stop being such pathetic bitches .

      And yet you hide in the internet insulting people like a brave boy 😉

        Quote  Reply

    97. Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      I think the thing is that when we and and others discuss things it’s never taken personally. I guess some people think their opinions are an important extension of themselves so feel as though someone is attacking them when they disagree or question their opinions. This leads to them sometimes arguing the person and not the ideas. I think the exhange of ideas and criticism should be like sparring not a deathmatch!

      DamonSalvatore,

      With that attitude you think people actually care about your opinion?!

        Quote  Reply

    98. tyrion101356:
      Patchface,

      I agree,Sue often acts like her shit doesn’t stink. I am probably going to banned for this but it wouldn’t be the first time and certainly not the last .

      Hey man, I appreciate the support but I do hope you don’t get banned, especially on my account, that would not be right…

      Re Sue, let’s not get to characterizations… People have their own way of dealing with things, I am not here to judge, but I do get antsy when someone takes a holier-than-thou attitude and lectures me for no reason whatsoever (especially since I actually agree with that policy and never broke it) and then tries to spin the facts to justify the position…

        Quote  Reply

    99. Jeb,

      Thanks for the words. I am coming here every-so-often for the other fans like yourself, not for the moderators…

      It’s never a good thing to let the comments get to you no mater how vitriolic they are… Ignore the nasty stuff, whether from book purists or die-hard show fans… BTW, I consider myself a “book purist” (if there is such a thing) but I greatly appreciate the quality of the show. In my opinion, it is one of the best shows ever made second only to HBO Rome, and I say this taking into account all my objections trivial things like leather armor in Dorne, Hotah’s pretentious (read “silly”) looking glaive, etc.

        Quote  Reply

    100. pau: Black Roman emperors???? Looooool

      I would not be so quick to laugh at the idea. The first African emperor was Septimius Severus, born at Leptis Magna (present day Libya) and he reigned from 193-211 AD. He was followed by his sons Carracalla and Geta, and other descendants of the so-called Severan dynasty that lasted until 235 AD.

      Since Severus was born in Africa many have dubbed him the first black emperor of Rome, taking into account that several ancient sources specifically note the dark color of his skin (by all accounts, he appears to be of punic or phoenician descent on his paternal side at least). Whether or not this makes him “truly” black is a matter of opinion and beside the point. Please please please do not start a discussion on the racial demographics of North-Africa in Antiquity (i.e. whether Cleopatra or Hannibal were white or black or whatever)… In my opinion there is only one race, the human race, composed of individuals with different degrees of pigmentation, so how black was Severus is really a matter of nuance and degrees.

      The point is: I would not be so quick to dismiss the idea outright and certainly do not find the notion laughable…

        Quote  Reply

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