HBO not releasing any Game of Thrones screeners for review this year

poster1HBO has surprised Game of Thrones fans and critics alike with their latest decision.

The network has decided to not provide advance episodes for members of the media to screen. Usually critics will receive several episodes (four being typical) before the season’s beginning in order to allow the media to prepare reviews. Not this year, though.

“We’re not sending out press copies this year, anywhere in the world,” HBO programming president Michael Lombardo tells Entertainment Weekly in a new interview. “There will be no copies for review.”

Some kind of change to the process was expected after last year’s screener episodes leaked onto piracy websites before the season premiere. HBO has since switched to an online streaming website for review purposes, but apparently tougher measures are being implemented when it comes to Game of Thrones. 

“It’s painful for Dan and David [when leaks happen],” Lombardo says to EW. “When you have press copies, inevitably friends ask, ‘Can I see your copy?’ There are things that happen. We talked about the upsides and downsides. Some of the press are fans who might be disappointed, but they’ll understand.”

It is very rare for the press not to be provided screeners, especially when it comes to a show that isn’t a bomb dodging critics’ opinions. But given the chronic issue with leaking, it’s understandable that HBO is putting all episodes on lockdown. Critics will just have to work around the issue, and personally, I’m glad to see the network taking action to prevent leaks that make it difficult for all fans to enjoy the show without being spoiled of entire episodes weeks before they air. I do enjoy the pre-premiere reviews we usually get, but unfortunately, the screener-leakers have brought us to this point.

We’ll all be seeing Game of Thrones season 6 for the first time when it premieres on April 24th. Unless you have tickets to one of those red carpet premieres, from where leaks also usually come. Hmm. Well, it’s still better than a four-episode leak!

234 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. OMG!! I actually got my first Hodor!! Exciting times!!

      Plus … kudos on not releasing any episodes! Last year’s leaks were a real bummer and took all the wind out of the first 4 episodes!

        Quote  Reply

    2. Wow! That is big news.

      Sherlock did this with The Abominable Bride (TAB), but I guess Sherlock isn’t as big time as GoT. I must say that the quality of the reviews of that episode suffered significantly as a result. I had always wondered how reviewers were so brilliant minutes after an episode aired, but now I realize that they watch multiple times and take time to process and analyze. But they didn’t have that time for TAB, and it showed. The reviews that night were no more enlightened than I was, which was hardly at all. Of course, TAB was a difficult if not impossible episode to really get on first viewing, but still. I imagine that all fast reviews of shows even a little complex would suffer.

      But I get their point, and I’m glad that our big spoilers are closely guarded and protected this season. Still, what about the premiere? Will there be a patdown? Will there still be plot leaks? Will the resurrection really be delayed just because of the premiere?

      Thanks, Ravyn and Sue, for the news.

        Quote  Reply

    3. Didn’t Netflix used to do this ? I don’t know if they do it anymore but i remember a lot of butthurt critics bitching about it because god forbid they have to wait like the rest of us mortals to watch it when it premieres .

        Quote  Reply

    4. This makes me happy, there are too many things happening this year that could easily be spoiled by a review *Jon’s Snow fate comes to mind*.

        Quote  Reply

    5. Good decision. Emilia talked about big things happening right from the start. It’s better this way. Really hope that resurrection is in episode 2, 3 or 4. Just some hint that there is a way around for him and hope for future episodes. Simply not in the premiere as some people would spoil it for the rest of us. Hope HBO is smart in this.

        Quote  Reply

    6. Lyanna_targaryen:
      My rational, grown-up brain believes this makes sense.

      My entitled, petulant fanatic brain is dissappointed.

      I can wait. *kicks dirt*

      Took the word right out of my mouth… er, keyboard. If I’m being reasonable, I think it’s a great decision; but there is nothing but disappointment for the fanboy in me, who is unrelentingly looking for any scrap of news about season six 😛

        Quote  Reply

    7. In some ways this is disappointing news, because it’s always interesting to hear what critics thought of the episodes.

      However, I do agree that this was the correct decision and was inevitable after the leaks last year. Discussion suffered a bit here last year for the first four episodes as some people had watched the leaks, and there were the usual morons who were trying to spoil things for people. Good decision. Hopefully there aren’t any leaks at all this year, but after the teaser leaked I wouldn’t bet against it happening to some degree..

        Quote  Reply

    8. I was expecting something like this. The show doesn’t really need that sort of advance hype from critics at this point, so there’s minimal benefit.

        Quote  Reply

    9. to me this is pretty much 100% confirmation that someone is back (not that I was doubting) and it is happening very early in the season…

        Quote  Reply

    10. Mihnea,

      Thanks I thought it was funny. Based on what we know now we can expect the first trailer April 24th and it will be about an hour long.

        Quote  Reply

    11. Kargaryen,

      Unfortunately this won’t stop the leaks in the future episodes,remember screencaps from episode 9 were released before it aired and that’s how we knew in advance about Shireen’s fate and also in earlier seasons there were leaks about later episodes .

        Quote  Reply

    12. Tyrion the Myrions,

      The odd clip or image isn’t nearly the same thing as the whole episode leaking in very good quality; it’s the latter that HBO is concerned with. They’re going to host a show premiere weeks in advance for the first episode, from whence there will inevitably come some reports about episode content, but a few sentences won’t make people not feel the need to actually watch the episode.

        Quote  Reply

    13. I think it’s a good call by HBO to do this. Last season kinda lost it’s buzz at the start because half the fandom watched the episodes in advance or read spoilers whereas the others avoided them so there was a bit of a divide.

      It’s a shame that this small minority of jackasses released spoilers/the episodes online just to make themselves feel somewhat important.

      Plus I am so bad with spoilers and wanting to read them – by the end of last season I was setting my alarm to watch it at 2am on Monday morning with the US so nothing would be ruined (try going to sleep after the excitement of Hardhome!)

      The show is no longer reliant on critics’ reviews or even trailers to generate hype. The hype is there already! I personally like to read reviews of the episodes after I have watched them anyway.

        Quote  Reply

    14. Tyrion the Myrions:
      Didn’t Netflix used to do this ? I don’t know if they do it anymore but i remember a lot of butthurt critics bitching about it because god forbid they have to wait like the rest of us mortals to watch it when it premieres .

      Oh, for God’s sake, it’s their job! Though I believe in this case this was a good decision for HBO because of last year’s leaks, the fact is that screeners make the critics’ job easier and, more importantly, usually better in the long run, because they aren’t forced to rush through the content and quickly write their review. You deride the critics as butthurt, but if there’s something I cannot stand is people getting butthurt over professional reviewers of films, shows and videogames getting advanced copies. It’s not just a gift; they aren’t being bought off; it’s not an elitist privilege designed to make the critics feel important. No: it’s a tool so that the critics can do their job properly. Of course, usually what comes after the argument I just made is the “get a real job” response, and then my head just explodes.

        Quote  Reply

    15. Even without the leaks last year, I don’t think they would be releasing the screener copies this year. They have centered this upcoming season so much around the cliffhangers and fates of major characters and the idea that “They have no idea what’s going to happen” that they can’t take any risks spoiling what happens in the first episodes. The questions surrounding this upcoming season have invaded every aspect of pop culture, from the late night shows to Time magazine talking about it.

      Even if no one leaked any footage, someone would still talk and that word of mouth would trickle down throughout the internet.

      Can you imagine what the ratings will be like in episode 1 given that even the media doesn’t know what’s going to happen (even we don’t know ‘how’ it’s going to go down)? Very few viewers are going to risk DVR’ing it to watch it later knowing that they are going to be spoiled by everyone else on Facebook, Twitter, and at work the next day.

        Quote  Reply

    16. SnowBowl,

      The first episode will screen weeks ahead of its TV airing, at wherever the premiere event is. But HBO’s not really concerned about a paragraph-long summation getting out.

        Quote  Reply

    17. Well, this basically means that

      Jon’s resurrection happens within the first 4 episodes. They certainly wouldn’t want THAT spoiled weeks in advance.

        Quote  Reply

    18. So this is obviously because

      Jon Snow is resurrected

      in one of the first 4 episodes and they want to show it on their terms not bootleg online copies

        Quote  Reply

    19. I’m glad they’re keeping things under wraps this year. I’m starting to feel like avoiding spoilers the closer we get to April. I already know way too much but I can’t resist reading things here!! XD

        Quote  Reply

    20. This is probably the right call. Regardless of who ultimately leaked the episodes last year, dealing with the fallout was a nightmare that I imagine that no one at HBO is keen to revisit. I can understand why many TV critics will take issue with this decision (for those who write weekly recaps, it’s a lot easier for them to do so when they have screeners and can write them in advance). But as for advance reviews … we don’t really need them. If a certain someone is revived in the first few episodes, the critics would all be dancing around that reveal in increasingly clumsy ways. “As for Jon Snow … I can’t tell you anything about that! But his presence lingers over the first four episodes and affects multiple characters in an interesting way.” Uh-huh. Do tell.

      Another upside: we’ll be able to debunk the usual flood of IMDB/Reddit posts by people claiming to have seen the first four episodes with less effort than usual. They’ll inevitably crop up a few weeks before the premiere anyway (hell, they started months ago), but now we should be to dismiss them out of hand. I look forward to seeing the creative explanations that people come up with to “explain” how they’ve seen the episodes. “I did subtitles for HBO’s outlet in Malaysia! My cousin cuts trailers for HBO Adria! My wife is friends with an HBO executive and I was invited to a private screening at their house! AMA!

      The exception to this is the premiere, of course. I have no doubt that security will be insane, but at least a few details will inevitably leak before April 24. It should just be Episode 1, though.

        Quote  Reply

    21. Luka Nieto,

      I call them butthurt because i know a few assholes who actually lowered the rating of some series’s episodes just based on that decision,House of Cards comes to my mind,how could some of these people call themselves paid professionals is beyond me . I know that not all of them are like that but those few ones left a bitter taste in my mouth and if this happens again with GOT don’t think i won’t call them out just because it’s their “job”

        Quote  Reply

    22. Frankly it has to be said this is a good idea

      Kinda goes hand-in-hand with not releasing a proper trailer which would also in its own way be spoilery

      People were able to glean a bit of info out of the behind the scenes trailer like sigils on horses so

      Northern battle of six armies has has Umber and Karstark as two of them, add Stark and Bolton then that is 4 out of 6

      If I had to guess I would say there Mormonts behind the Starks at least which then raises who the 6th is and who they are behind (does Wildlings count as an army?)

      As we are entering spoiler territory for the ASOIF books can kinda see how they are giving GRRM as much time as possible

        Quote  Reply

    23. Good! They were spreading those way too far and wide, and unfortunately there will always be unscrupulous people. 4 episodes weren’t necessary to begin with.

        Quote  Reply

    24. I think the problem for me with critics getting screeners and writing reviews that I can read before I see the episode is that it colors my perception when I actually watch.

      Yes I could wait to read until after I watch, but I love spoilers. Love them. No way would I not read an available spoiler. It’ll do me and plenty of other people some good just to have to wait.

      And why are they rushing to get their review out fast? Why not take an extra 5 hours, rewatch and write something good? The quality of writing has really taken a hit because of the rush to publish first.

        Quote  Reply

    25. Hmm. Well, it’s still better than a four-episode leak!

      Speak for yourself, Sue.

      (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

        Quote  Reply

    26. Good decision. Now they need to find a way to prevent the leaks later in the season too, which will probably be a lot tougher.

        Quote  Reply

    27. Sean C.,

      Didn’t realize that they were going to have an early premiere.

      Although I’ve maintained the belief that the resurrection isn’t going to happen in E1 anyhow. In fact, I won’t be surprised if they headfake the fans by showing what we and the NW think is his body burning. Only to find the real body in E2-E4 stashed away somewhere in a cold dark place. I know they can’t stretch it out for too long since the body can’t start decomposing and he ends up looking like a monster, but I guess that goes back to no one knowing how it’s going to go down and why they won’t give a definitive answer in the early premiere of S1.

        Quote  Reply

    28. Fine by me. I don’t like critic reviews anyway. And without leaked episodes I won’t be tempted to watch ’em like I was last year.

        Quote  Reply

    29. The resolution of Jon Snow’s fate is the main reason for not releasing the episodes to reviewers. HBO and everyone has said Jon is dead. This has created all the hype they need for this season. It seems that the reviewers have only themselves to blame.

        Quote  Reply

    30. HotPinkLipstick: And why are they rushing to get their review out fast? Why not take an extra 5 hours, rewatch and write something good? The quality of writing has really taken a hit because of the rush to publish first.

      As far as I am concerned, you answered your own question: it’s all about the rush to publish first. Sadly, the numbers back it up; the first few reviews online always get more hits. The only exceptions are those written by well-known personalities; since their fans look for their words specifically, they can afford to wait. I myself follow quite a few videogame critics and often read and watch their reviews even when the game in question doesn’t necessarilily interest me. Sometimes I’m just there for the prose and the critic’s personality! Sadly, most critics haven’t cultivated such a dedicated following…. So they must rush to publish first. It is as it is. And because of that the screener is an incredibly useful tool that, among other things, seeks to improve the quality of the reviews.

        Quote  Reply

    31. phantomstrife,

      I would say that happens in the premiere! Think about it, they are not necessarily obligated to show the first 4 episodes for review. They could send only the first one. So why not?
      I’m telling you guys It’s happening on the premiere, mark my words

        Quote  Reply

    32. HotPinkLipstick,

      The problem ith critics today is that any nobody with a blog can call himself critic,having no credentials,experience or anything of that matter . The days of Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel is long gone,now it’s the days of grunting millenials who want to shove their agendas through the public from their reviews,quality doesn’t even matter,whatever caters to the reviewers way of thinking matters .

        Quote  Reply

    33. Personally, I’m very glad for this. Prior to last season, wankers, such as myself, didn’t have to worry about spoilers. I don’t ever want to be spoiled (not purposefully anyhow); I love surprises, even when I hate them (Sansa and Ramsay, Shireen, Stannis). So I actually had to spend like 6 weeks or something away from this site because spoilers were everywhere! For someone who comes here multiple times per day, even in the offseason, that sucked!

        Quote  Reply

    34. Honestly, HBO should get with the times and release the whole season online at the same time a la Netflix. That being said, I can’t blame them for this. I knew based on the teaser that they put out that D&D were being extra spoiler-phobic this year (and, no, we’re probably not getting a trailer), and this just confirmed it. Unfortunately, a few assholes ruined it for the rest of us.

        Quote  Reply

    35. I wonder how this will change Hibbard’s EW GoT preview article this year? I think that a few trusted folk will still get an exclusive preview around the red carpet premiere so they can sell magazines. In any case, I agree with others above regarding the “Jon” factor.

      Good decision though…we’ll see how secure their process is in the coming weeks!

        Quote  Reply

    36. I’m really, really glad they made this decision. The beginning of last season kind of sucked, because some had watched the leaks and wanted to discuss them, and while many were respectful about not spoiling others, inevitably there were the assholes who didn’t care if they spoiled others. There was a whole group of people stuck in limbo for the first couple of weeks…Sullied who hadn’t watched the leaks. There was nowhere really “safe.” The Unsullied threads were for Unsullied, and the Sullied threads were full of spoilers. I know I launched into a few e-tirades (and I’m not really the e-tirade type, but I lost my shit a couple of times getting spoiled on the episodes). I was really happy with the solution the staff here ultimately came up with by the end, but it was a bit of a rough road getting there.

      I’d guess the powers that be were already heading in this direction, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the leak of the teaser was the final nail in the coffin.

        Quote  Reply

    37. Tyrion the Myrions,

      You already sarcastically wrote about their job by unnecessarily qualifying it as a “job”… Even though that’s exactly what it is, if that’s how they make a living. I was just waiting for you to complain about these millenials who just won’t get off your darn lawn. Are we playing an old man bingo here?

      As for critics inserting their insidious “agendas” into their reviews… Art is inherently political, even when it doesn’t mean to; especially so then, because that’s when the artist and the audience (you, in this case) assume that the statu quo with which they agree is the default, the apolitical stance. Everything else is just millennials being a nuisance! A pro-slavery novel would’ve been similarly “apolitical” a few hundred years ago, in some parts of the world. Ignoring politics, agendas and beliefs is absolutely futile, as a review without subjective opinions is hollow, nothing but a product sheet, a list of the very few objective facts that can be given about an artwork.

        Quote  Reply

    38. ahahaha this is almost funnier than Meera & co leaving the cave. I rarely read reviews after an episode anyway. The McLeaks were the best moment of 2015. I’m expecting Jon’s funeral in E1 and

      his resurrection as Jon SNOW in E2 at the latest.

        Quote  Reply

    39. Good. I bet those 2 that wrote WoIaF are gonna be tight that they won’t get their screener copies. Oh well. This makes me happy, keep everything under wraps. I’ll say what I’ve been saying which is idgaf if they don’t release a trailer

        Quote  Reply

    40. HotPinkLipstick:
      And why are they rushing to get their review out fast? Why not take an extra 5 hours, rewatch and write something good? The quality of writing has really taken a hit because of the rush to publish first.

      First reviews are the most read. They get pushed to the top and tend to stay there because of search algorithms.

      In the 20th century, everyone expected to read the news the next morning, which meant getting to the presses by 2 or 3 AM. But in the 21st century, everyone expects to get the news that night. Day-old is old news. Five hours would help, but the best reviews take at least overnight – possibly days – to ponder, process, and perfect.

      HBO is not wrong. They are sacrificing the quality of the reviews for the quality of the viewing experience.

        Quote  Reply

    41. I guarantee you the critics will bash the season with each new episode. You’ll see things like jumping the shark, disaster, garbage, etc. Not that it makes it true, but this is the way these people operate. Very petty, and also a tremendously inflated self worth. Some of these people I promise you will take this as a personal insult. They think they are important to the entertainment field and that people wait on bated breath to read their reviews because we’re all too dumb to make up our own minds on whether or not something is entertaining without first consulting their “expert” opinion.

      You mark my words, the usual and normal reviewers will dislike season 6 more than they like it and it will be because of this. Unfairly so.

        Quote  Reply

    42. RBloodworth,

      The only one dropping whole seasons at once is NF, so it’s really not the current time rather an exception of the rule. I’m split on it; one part of me loves the instant gratification and the other likes an ep every week and being able to digest/discuss it

        Quote  Reply

    43. Excellent, this is definitely a good decision. Keeping everything under-wraps will make sure that nobody is spoiled, which is especially good this season considering that this is meant to be one of the biggest seasons yet (I know that’s said every year, but it really does seem like it’s true).

        Quote  Reply

    44. Deesensfan:
      Ginevra,

      Maybe no phones allowed in the premiere? LOL

      I know, right? And won’t they be extra vigilant in ensuring compliance? It almost makes me want to go to the premiere just to get frisked, especially if Hot Cop was doing the frisking. And then there would be the bonus of watching the premiere weeks early.

        Quote  Reply

    45. phantomstrife,

      That is a great point! I wasn’t thinking in that context at all. That only reinforces my statement. It’s happening!!!

      edit: This is related to what you had writen but then edited

        Quote  Reply

    46. Good, i spoil myself way to easily when it comes to leaked spoilers. Hard to resist the urge to read them lol.

        Quote  Reply

    47. This makes me happy! As a non-book reader – non – spoiler leaks person, I feel good as no spoilers will be released.
      And good for D&D for putting their foot down doing this. They spend 365 days a year working on this show, and should be respected.

      To be honest, last year I was so caught up in NHL end of season hockey where my team was making a massive attempt to make the playoffs, I didn’t even know there was leaks until AFTER the season premiered, and I made my first visit to this website!

      I was around when the episode 9 spoilers came out, and though I did NOT read them, it was disastrous!
      So glad this wont happen again!

        Quote  Reply

    48. If they dropped the entire season of GoT at once, I’d have to take two days off to watch and rewatch. And then I’d watch again over the next few weeks.

      Unless the review has spoilers and I can read it prior to the episode, I’m not interested in seeing it quickly. The next morning is fine for me. Even afternoon. Whenever I have time that week.

      I get that it’s people’s jobs and I respect the need to make money, sure. But it’s just not a product I respect or really care about purchasing. I’d care about that product more if it were higher quality. So sorry, cut-rate reviewer. I’m not going to read your review or click on the ads surrounding it if it sucks. I’m not going to recommend it. I’m not going to encourage others to read it. Why should I?

      If critics bash the episodes in a fit of pique, I think that will be apparent and shame on them. Again, their jobs are to write reviews, not vent their spleens.

      And call me crazy, but I enjoy talking about the episode with my friends and colleagues on Monday. It’s fun.

        Quote  Reply

    49. steve,

      I will mark your words; I will take that (free) bet. Please be around here when the first few episodes air. If the community doesn’t think they’re shit and these “petty” critics don’t either, I would love you to reconsider your position… Because I can certainly spot some pettiness here, but not on the part of the reviewers.

        Quote  Reply

    50. I don’t give a flying fig about reviews – except from the people here – so I am good with this. I am sticking with my long held belief that the Jon stuff will happen in ep 2.

      I don’t think this means that there’s no trailer coming though. They still want to maintain the hype for their show.

        Quote  Reply

    51. Ginevra: I know, right?And won’t they be extra vigilant in ensuring compliance?It almost makes me want to go to the premiere just to get frisked, especially if Hot Cop was doing the frisking.And then there would be the bonus of watching the premiere weeks early.

      Oh…can I join you? I haven’t been frisked by a Hot Cop in …awhile. HBO should hire an army of Hot Cops for frisking purposes.

        Quote  Reply

    52. HotPinkLipstick,

      But you read Sue’s and Oz’s reviews, right? I read Sue’s, and I love Oz’s but I had to stop reading his because of the urge to comment, unfortunately.

      I’m not sure when they’ll decide to post this season, but I imagine it will be within a handful of hours. For previous seasons, they posted within an hour of the fade to black, right?

        Quote  Reply

    53. HotPinkLipstick,

      Agreed- my favorite ten weeks of the year. If HBO released all at once, I wouldn’t be able to be completely immersed in the season (along with other crazy fans) which is half of the fun!

        Quote  Reply

    54. Regarding the premiere and security, you just know some asswipe will see this as a challenge and will go to great lengths to try and record the episode during the premiere. Using a phone would be way too obvious, but I’ve no doubt someone will try and sneak in some sort of recording device…teeny camera in hair-do, or whatever. I hope, should someone try anything like that, they’re caught and thrown out on their sorry asses, as the audience chants…

      Shame…
      Shame…
      Shame…

        Quote  Reply

    55. Luka Nieto,

      I wasn’t talking about the community at all. You bringing them up is irrelevant to my point and a bizarre way on your part to attempt to deflect what my actual point was. And explain to me why you think I’m being petty because I have an unfavorable opinion of reviewers? That’s a new one. Are you a reviewer that you feel the need to stick up for these people? What is there for me or anyone else who doesn’t care what they have to say to be petty about?

        Quote  Reply

    56. Joffrey's Cunt,

      yeah, the intro credits will be a giveaway. On the plus side, the spoiler will be right before the episode begins (if the plot twist happens after ep 1) and not some time earlier, and not everyone pays close attention to the opening. I for one am on and off with the intro, sometimes I watch it, sometimes I don’t.

        Quote  Reply

    57. I really hope they resurrect Jon in the first episode… if not, it will most likely be Dany, standing in the middle of thousands of Dothraki for an entire episode… Ugh

        Quote  Reply

    58. HotPinkLipstick: Oh…can I join you? I haven’t been frisked by a Hot Cop in …awhile. HBO should hire an army of Hot Cops for frisking purposes.

      Absolutely! We will have so much fun. We could party in person: bring on the wines. We’ll be sotted and besotted by the time the frisking comes. And then we should co-write our own review while still intoxicated.

      My cousin Janine used to be the sheriff’s deputy assigned to the girls’ school, so I would see her in the carpool daily. She’s since been reassigned, and I told her that I did miss her but that I was so happy to see her replaced by Hot Cop, whom I’m sure all of the carpooling mamas vigorously appreciate. I know I do. “My battery died, but it was all good because Hot Cop came to the rescue.”

        Quote  Reply

    59. Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      My feelings exactly. I bounced for that first month because it was so out of hand. This is a good call by HBO, for everybody involved. And I could give a shit about reviews anyway, so I’m not mourning the industry’s loss.

        Quote  Reply

    60. Lyanna_targaryen:
      My rational, grown-up brain believes this makes sense.

      My entitled, petulant fanatic brain is dissappointed.

      I can wait. *kicks dirt*

      Have faith in your grown up rational brain, trust me. I regrettably ruined it for myself last year, glad i won’t even be given the opportunity this year.

        Quote  Reply

    61. Joffrey’s Cunt,

      Plenty of people will see episode 1 in advance. Two weeks before it even airs on HBO and it really increases the chances.

      Besides resurrection might a big deal for them to show (Mel has no idea what right now) so necessary build up to it over the course of first episode might be good. Don’t forget that his fate is not the only mystery around that needs to be resolved.

        Quote  Reply

    62. Good news. Hopefully all major leaks are prevented as well. Every year we’ve had people throwing out episode spoilers in the pre-episode discussion thread on premiere Sunday afternoon. As a book reader I’ve never needed to hide spoilers so I don’t. One doesn’t expect illegally acquired episode spoilers to be mixed in with that discussion, and they shouldn’t have been. The jackasses just couldn’t wait a few hours until after the episode to talk about it… have to act like they’re some kind of special agent sleuth or something.

        Quote  Reply

    63. Joffrey’s Cunt:
      phantomstrife,

      I would say that happens in the premiere! Think about it, they are not necessarily obligated to show the first 4 episodes for review. They could send only the first one. So why not?
      I’m telling you guys It’s happening on the premiere, mark my words

      I totally agree. I just hope that no one who attends the premiere spills the beans.

        Quote  Reply

    64. Geralt of Rivia: Don’t forget that his fate is not the only mystery around that needs to be resolved.

      Yeah…I hope Sansa survives her plunge into the Bolton’s snow-covered stash of sharp torture devices! I’m on pins and needles! Pins and needles!

        Quote  Reply

    65. I do feel bad for the critics who may have to rush out a review but I was spoiled by people on twitter and facebook last year about Barristan death. I was so pissed. Maybe HBO call allow them to view episodes early online?

        Quote  Reply

    66. I don’t understand why people hate spoilers so much. I usually look for spoilers of the films before go to the movies. I also love to read reviews before watch the episodes of all the series that I follow.

        Quote  Reply

    67. Considering what happened last year, it is no big surprise. Abuse of privilege gets what it deserved. The idiocy of a few brought it about for all.

      Gleganebowl confirmed – Get hype? I’ll eat a Hot Dog if that happens! (Not part of my diet, folks.)

        Quote  Reply

    68. Cersei’s Brain:
      HotPinkLipstick,

      Agreed- my favorite ten weeks of the year.If HBO released all at once, I wouldn’t be able to be completely immersed in the season (along with other crazy fans) which is half of the fun!

      actually it works the other way around… to be immersed perfectly in the season you need to binge watch…….

        Quote  Reply

    69. This is probably best given the hoopla with Jon and the fact that there is a TOJ/parentage answer involved. It would be way too risky and would, quite honestly ruin everything. It isn’t jus5 about leaked episodes as internet and news sites would share all the content as well. Articles and reveals would be everwhere.

        Quote  Reply

    70. I think they need to get Jon back in the game pretty early, so I’m going with Episode 2. I think Episode 1 would be too early since it would very likely get out that Jon is back after the screening.

        Quote  Reply

    71. Selina,

      Same here, though I don’t see much of a point ruining half the experience if I’m going to see it anyways. Now I’m hunting for every spoiler I can find, but I wouldn’t read a review of the episode if I’m about to watch it anyways. But it’s happened more than often that a spoiler actually made me watch a film I wasn’t too interested in (Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” comes to mind).

        Quote  Reply

    72. Dragonmcmx,

      Though I can see how people are different in that some like to be spoilt and know things, that’s a personal interest type of thing, I don’t think its “hard to understand” ( as Selina said) why some like surprises and choose to remain in the dark .
      Its not unusual. LOL

        Quote  Reply

    73. After this announcement, I would be shocked if they release a real trailer.

      I’m actually OK without one. Never thought I’d say that, but the suspense I’m feeling in anticipation for the new season is probably more thrilling than seeing a trailer would be. But hey… that’s just me! 😉

        Quote  Reply

    74. Ahahahahahahhahaha Kit Snow confirmed within the first 4 episodes. Thanks HBO.

      JP Dayne:
      What’s funny is that all those people judging also Downloaded the leaked screeners lmao

      I know right?

        Quote  Reply

    75. This is such a good idea!

      An established show like GoT doesn’t need the critics anymore.

      And going into a huge season where no-one knows what will happen, this is a good thing!

        Quote  Reply

    76. Does this decision suggest HBO has particular confidence in the quality of this season that they can afford to do this? Or not or does it have no connection to how good the programme is?

        Quote  Reply

    77. I’m not surprised at all, I think it’s a good decision. Totally see where HBO are coming from – it must suck to work so long and so hard producing something (and spend a ton of money doing it), and then have 40% of it leaked early like last year.

        Quote  Reply

    78. I don’t get why anyone would be surprised by this move.

      1) They had to change in order to tackle torrents. Last year was a disaster.

      2) The show has now surpassed the books so spoilers will be running rampant on the web.

      This makes complete sense to me. The show is immune to critic reviews anyway, it’s got a huge fan base just like TWD.

        Quote  Reply

    79. Danielle Stark:
      After this announcement, I would be shocked if they release a real trailer.

      I’m actually OK without one. Never thought I’d say that, but the suspense I’m feeling in anticipation for the new season is probably more thrilling than seeing a trailer would be. But hey… that’s just me!

      Same. Forget about a trailer.

        Quote  Reply

    80. This is because of the Jon Snow cliffhanger. After the GoT leak last year they switched to online screeners and none of the True Detective screeners leaked.

        Quote  Reply

    81. Hodors Bastard,

      Lmao. Obviously not a golfer.

      And just because I feel like responding to a troll today….

      half man: LOL no. Your judgment is pretty shitty.

      half man: actually it works the other way around… to be immersed perfectly in the season you need to binge watch…….

      What a couple of statements regarding subjective matters. Care to elaborate? Do you have information no one else has? Or is it just your immense cognitive capacity that nobody else possesses? You seem to have all the answers, half a man. Do tell.

        Quote  Reply

    82. Jon Snow's Curling Iron,

      Actually, there were a lot of people who chose not to watch the leaked episodes. That’s one of the reasons many of us are so happy about this. We don’t want to get spoiled by those who just couldn’t help themselves, and more importantly, of those who just couldn’t help themselves, those who just couldn’t keep their mouths shut. Even after it was clarified anything from the leaks must be put under spoiler code, and everyone who hadn’t watched them was warned not to uncover spoilers, there were some who still insisted on discussing it openly, without bothering to use the spoiler codes.

        Quote  Reply

    83. Luka Nieto: Oh, for God’s sake, it’s their job! Though I believe in this case this was a good decision for HBO because of last year’s leaks, the fact is that screeners make the critics’ job easier and, more importantly, usually better in the long run, because they aren’t forced to rush through the content and quickly write their review. You deride the critics as butthurt, but if there’s something I cannot stand is people getting butthurt over professional reviewers of films, shows and videogames getting advanced copies. It’s not just a gift; they aren’t being bought off; it’s not an elitist privilege designed to make the critics feel important. No: it’s a tool so that the critics can do their job properly. Of course, usually what comes after the argument I just made is the “get a real job” response, and then my head just explodes.

      Totally valid response on their part. How is criticising someone else’s work a real job, in any way? How does it contribute to society or planet Earth? It doesn’t. It’s just a self-indulgent activity, the glorification of one’s opinion. I’m glad these “critics” won’t be getting any screeners this year, as I don’t see what makes their opinion any more valid or worth hearing than absolutely anybody else’s. They’re just deluded in this idea that they’re somehow “experts” in their chosen field of artistic scrutiny. Seeing a lot of movies and TV shows doesn’t make you an “expert” in anything – just means you spend way too much time in front of a screen.

        Quote  Reply

    84. Cosine,

      Your views on critics reminds me of this:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4lUcjUv37A

      The thing is, critics can be of value. Whether one is talking books, visual art, theatre, film, dance, what have you, there are times a critic can bring attention to work that may otherwise escape notice. Sometimes it’s positive attention, and can really help bolster whatever project. Of course, the opposite is also the case. At this point, GoT is certainly successful enough, whether critics love it or hate it isn’t going to have a lot of impact.

        Quote  Reply

    85. God of tits and wine:
      RBloodworth,

      The only one dropping whole seasons at once is NF, so it’s really not the current time rather an exception of the rule. I’m split on it; one part of me loves the instant gratification and the other likes an ep every week and being able to digest/discuss it

      I’m with you. I love a good binge watch and I’m an impatient person. But I feel that GoT is best digested in weekly increments. There’s so much to take in and then to discuss, I don’t think I’d enjoy it as much if HBO dropped all the episodes at once.

        Quote  Reply

    86. When is the red carpet premiere this year? I only got info about last year’s events from the site search.

        Quote  Reply

    87. Nymeria Warrior Queen

      Agree with you about the value of critics. While GoT is too big now for critics to have much impact on its popularity, prestige matters as well. The showrunners will want the series to end as one of the best ever. So if critics start moaning about quality tailing off, that matters.

        Quote  Reply

    88. This is due to a mixture of things: last year’s leaks, Jon Snow’s fate and the fact that for the first time ever, the show is going into uncharted territory (surpassing the books) and thus revealing new information on every character.

        Quote  Reply

    89. Ginevra:
      Wow!That is big news.

      I had always wondered how reviewers were so brilliant minutes after an episode aired, but now I realize that they watch multiple times and take time to process and analyze.

      But that is exactly what they do with the later episodes of a season, don’t they? IDK.

      Anyway, as others have pointed already, I believe this is to fix last year’s leaking problem, which was a real bummer, specially because it took away from the pleasure of discussing the episodes as they went by. If

      Jon’s resurrection

      happens early on, at least they are trying to protect the surprise element for most people.

      The other thing is that I really enjoyed season 5, but many critics didn’t and started whinning and complaining about many things. Sometimes the critiques were deserved, but many other times they were irrelevant in my opinion. Just another case of “I imagined it different” o “I expected such and such”.

        Quote  Reply

    90. Ginevra: I know, right?And won’t they be extra vigilant in ensuring compliance?It almost makes me want to go to the premiere just to get frisked, especially if Hot Cop was doing the frisking.And then there would be the bonus of watching the premiere weeks early.

      Im in too… lol popcorn and fruit chews in hand!

        Quote  Reply

    91. Halfman:
      half man,

      Would you mind picking another username? I think I had this one first. Correct me if I’m wrong, no problem.

      I have that problem on the “other” site and I wonder if moderators could screen this process or once someone has chosen a username then it’s not available for others to use.. its frustrating esp when you try so hard to find a unique name that hasn’t been used yet. I feel your pain!

        Quote  Reply

    92. As somebody who watched all 4 leaked episodes early…. and then regretted it….

      I like this. It also pretty much guarantees that something big is happening in the first few episodes.

      Typically when a show or movie does this…. it means they are hiding something bad. GoT is in a different spot where it probably has more to do with spoilers and last years fiasco.

        Quote  Reply

    93. Amaziiiiiiiiiing news. I HATE to know that someone has the privilige to see something before others and yet talk about it. I think is so phatetic someone had to watch first to make a critic. F**k off. Made the critic when the thing is out for everybody. Critics kills peoples hopes . The guy is hyped to see something and POW, a lot of bad critics. The thing really can be bad but the hyped people want to discover for themselfs. Not be hyped for a long time for discover if is bad or good by other people.

      Like Mance said ” the freedom to make my own mistakes is all i ever wanted”

      Critcs kills this fredoom to watch by yourself and see by yourself that your hype was a mistake or whort it.

        Quote  Reply

    94. Aguero:
      Amaziiiiiiiiiing news. I HATE to know that someone has the privilige to see something before others and yet talk about it. I think is so phateticsomeone had to watch first to make a critic. F**k off. Made the critic when the thing is out for everybody. Critics kills peoples hopes . The guy is hyped to see something and POW, a lot of bad critics. The thing really can be bad but the hyped people want to discover for themselfs. Not be hyped for a long time for discover if is bad or good by other people.

      Like mance said ” the freedom to make my own mistakes is all i ever wanted”

      Critcs kills this fredoom to watch by yourself and see by yourself that your hype was a mistake ow whort it.

      Well said!! clap!clap!clap!

        Quote  Reply

    95. Ice Spider: I have that problem on the “other” site and I wonder if moderators could screen this process or once someone has chosen a username then it’s not available for others to use.. its frustrating esp when you try so hard to find a unique name that hasn’t been used yet. I feel your pain!

      Thanks Hun. It sort of feels like someone else is speaking in your name. Not comfortable with that. I may have to rethink. As I’m not a man, it might not be a bad thing 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    96. GREAT!!!!!

      While i do believe being a critic is a real job, i don’t find it important. I think most of us are grown up people, who can think for themselves and don’t need someone telling us what is good and what is not.

        Quote  Reply

    97. Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      I usually read a few reviews. (During season 2, I read eeeeverything that came my way!).

      But now I read some of the unsullied reviews (Oz’s of course) and a few of them sullied. In essence I look for those reviews that I feel invest time in trying to decode the key topics of the episodes -especially when they look for a sociological, cultural or political perspective-, or those discussing elements from a long-term perspective. What it may all mean in the end.

      I hate the reviews from people who think they know better, who go on and on about technical aspects and nip ticking, who try to be too funny (but usually aren’t!), or who complain about things that did not happen the way they expected. Those who want to orchestrate the chorus of opinions about an episode, I don’t care about and don’t read them.

      IDK I feel that in later seasons some critics are trying to become famous by dissing the show.

      If I see new reviewers, I read them or see their reviews a couple of times, and if I don’t like them or don’t care, I just sweep them under the rug. I’ve become a bit of a curmudgeon or a cinic… I am too invested with the show and the books, so I try to protect my viewing / reading experience the most. That’s why I look for spoilers (if I want to) but hate when they are thrown in may face without any warning…

        Quote  Reply

    98. Not ruling out the possibility for spoilers throughout the season.

      KEEP THE DREAM ALIVE FAM!!!!!

        Quote  Reply

    99. Halfman: Thanks Hun. It sort of feels like someone else is speaking in your name. Not comfortable with that. I may have to rethink. As I’m not a man, it might not be a bad thing

      Yeah but I bet you are all woman, coming from another woman. It seems you like Tyrion? Guessing….you could be Tyrions Biotch. Too much?

      ———————

      On the article. I too agree this is a very good idea. I did not watch the 4 spoiled episodes from last year BUT…. (and some one of you may recall) Just before the last episode someone from the other site posted a link to Jon Snow in the snow, the famous picture now. But at the time, no one had seen it. I stupidly clicked the link…what came after was not very lady-like and it wasn’t pretty. I don’t want to ever be spoiled like that again and I have read the books, so I knew what his fate was there or do we? Cliffhanger. So to see this photo was just gut wrenching for me. I dropped more than a few “F” bombs that day. I did come back the next day and apologize and thanks to Sue for jumping right on it and deleting the link.

        Quote  Reply

    100. Lyanna_targaryen:
      My rational, grown-up brain believes this makes sense.
      My entitled, petulant fanatic brain is dissappointed.
      I can wait. *kicks dirt*

      I couldn’t have said it better…

        Quote  Reply

    101. Luka Nieto,

      Perhaps, then, one of their number (or more) shouldn’t have allowed their screener copy to be uploaded to torrent sites. Sucks for those that played by the rules, but I don’t see a real need for sympathy here.

        Quote  Reply

    102. Lyanna_targaryen:
      My rational, grown-up brain believes this makes sense.
      My entitled, petulant fanatic brain is dissappointed.
      I can wait. *kicks dirt*

      I don’t get it. Are you one of those that got to see screeners last year? “Normal” people don’t ever get to watch screeners, or were you glad that half the season leaked last year? :S This decision doesn’t make you have to wait any longer, so there’s no reason to be disappointed at all.

      There’s only room to rejoice because now there won’t be a large contingent of A-holes that are talking about events from the fourth episode when the first episode had just aired, and then start whining the next four weeks because they have nothing new, while when I want to talk about the third episode three weeks in, there’s nobody there since “we discussed this three weeks ago.. -.-” or “Yeah, slow to the party?”

        Quote  Reply

    103. Great news. I hope they especially don’t give away any screeners or other show episodes to the Westeros.org people. One of whom deliberately spoiled Stannis’ death in the finale because she was pissed that the show was spoiling the books. Given their utter disdain for the show and it’s cast and crew, I hope the show distances itself from that site. Otherwise we are going to get spoiled regularly if they hand out screeners and such for these guys.

        Quote  Reply

    104. Tyrion the Myrions,

      Hmm. it’s odd. Whenever someone uses the world “butthurt”. I picture THEM and being the angry, stereotypical internet need. It’s pretty much an impossible word to use without being a hypocrite.

        Quote  Reply

    105. i started reading the headline and i thought it was gonna say not releasing any trailers this year and my heart stopped for a second. No screeners makes sense after last year though, and makes sense if the speculation is true that they’re running behind schedule

        Quote  Reply

    106. We already have a few seconds of footage, so that ship has sailed. It’s just not particularly satisfying footage. Ramsay on a horse, Jaime on a horse, Cersei being maternal, Dany standing around with some Horse Lords.

      I read reviews of shows and movies if I’m on the fence about seeing them. But reading reviews of a show I’ve already watched? Not so much. Sometimes. But it’s not a need. Sometimes I’ll read to see if I missed something.

        Quote  Reply

    107. It’s possible the speculated spoiler still occurs in episode one, but at the very end. They then can just cut the premiere short by five minutes and not actually show the ending scene at the premiere to prevent leaks (if it is the last scene). Wouldn’t be elegant but would do the trick.

        Quote  Reply

    108. So I am infatuated with American Crime Story: the People vs OJ… I was 8 or 9 when it happened and I didn’t know any of the specifics… But my point is this question; is there more circumstantial evidence that OJ did it or that Jon is only half dead?

        Quote  Reply

    109. Rygritte:
      SerNoName,

      I thought they stopped watching the show mid-season last year.

      I think they still hate-watch. They got the last few episodes for adding on sub titles. And then they got angry about David and Dan mentioning that GRRM told them about Stannis burning Shireen. Since show writers spoiled that fact for book readers, they decided to spoil Stannis’ death in the finale for show watchers. On Twitter. I suspect that those leaked screen caps came from them as well. It was a very immature and childish hissy fit. Such folks don’t deserve advance copies of anything. If they do get GOT stuff, you can be sure there will be leaks, especially now that season 6 is ahead of the books.

      And besides they absolutely hate the show and treat the show runners with nasty vitriol. Their forum and most of it’s users are no better. Just a platform to bash the writers. But I never understood the concept of hate watching something and then obnoxiously ‘rant and rave’ about it for 1000 pages, all day every day. Don’t know why HBO still maintains a relationship with them.

        Quote  Reply

    110. Ginevra,

      To be fair, that was an awful episode of Sherlock. Hope the next season is infinitely better than that was. A worry as Season 3 was very hit and miss.

      All I Can say on the GoT subject is good. There were so many leaks last year that I can see why the studio have done it and I have no sympathy for the reviewers at all ( actually quite pleased that certain people who used to get advanced viewings won’t be getting them anymore). Act like children get treated like them.

        Quote  Reply

    111. Cosine: Totally valid response on their part. How is criticising someone else’s work a real job, in any way? How does it contribute to society or planet Earth? It doesn’t. It’s just a self-indulgent activity, the glorification of one’s opinion. I’m glad these “critics” won’t be getting any screeners this year, as I don’t see what makes their opinion any more valid or worth hearing than absolutely anybody else’s. They’re just deluded in this idea that they’re somehow “experts” in their chosen field of artistic scrutiny. Seeing a lot of movies and TV shows doesn’t make you an “expert” in anything – just means you spend way too much time in front of a screen.

      I thought you were going to be so cool and logical because of your name. It would seem you’re the cosine that’s hanging out in the second and third quadrants: obtuse with a negative value. #punintended

      Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
      –Winston Motherfucking Churchill

        Quote  Reply

    112. Ginevra: It would seem you’re the cosine that’s hanging out in the second and third quadrants: an obtuse with a negative value. #punintended

      That’s more like a tangent to the inverse function… 😉

        Quote  Reply

    113. GhostCR: But that is exactly what they do with the later episodes of a season, don’t they? IDK.

      I’m not 100% certain, but I think that most of the favored critics used to receive all episodes before they aired, although not all episodes at once. Last year, everyone got the first four episodes before the season started, but they would have continued to get other advanced episodes – just not until GoT was closer to finished with them. At least that’s my understanding.

      Sue, could you comment on whether you guys used to get 100% of the episodes in advance or not?

      Ice Spider,
      You could use all of your spider skills to weave an ice web for the friskers! “Ice, ice, baby. Ba-da-dum-de-da-dum-de-da-dum-dum.”

        Quote  Reply

    114. Halfman,

      You could add an avatar to differentiate yourself. Or you could be Halfwoman Fullfan. After I’d settled on Ginevra, I wish I had taken a more GoT-related name: Alleras the Sphinxmaester. That may have been too long, anyway.

        Quote  Reply

    115. I’m a little late to the party here. I am kinda glad that HBO is doing this. Last year I waited to talk to people that had seen the leaked episodes and it was pretty difficult. I also think that maybe they have very strong reasons for not taking a chance on the first episodes getting out there early. What that happens to be, I have no (well, maybe a little) idea.

        Quote  Reply

    116. TheNamesPlissken:
      It’s possible the speculated spoiler still occurs in episode one, but at the very end. They then can just cut the premiere short by five minutes and not actually show the ending scene at the premiere to prevent leaks (if it is the last scene). Wouldn’t be elegant but would do the trick.

      That’s brilliant! Let’s hope for that. It’s probably a pipedream, but I really want the resurrection to come at the end of the premiere.

        Quote  Reply

    117. TheTouchofFrost:
      Ginevra,

      To be fair, that was an awful episode of Sherlock. Hope the next season is infinitely better than that was. A worry as Season 3 was very hit and miss.

      I absolutely loved it, but only after the second viewing. I watched it a total of four times. I can certainly see how anyone who watched the episode only once would hate it or at the very least be confused by it. The episode makes little sense on the first viewing. And I’m not sure that I can argue that an episode is truly brilliant when it makes little sense to anyone on the first viewing because the overwhelming majority of viewers would never have the patience to keep watching. So I do think that Moffat and Gatiss went too far in their levels of subtlety and complexity in this episode. They should have more overtly tied the two timelines together from the very beginning. But the second and third and fourth times I watched, I was in heaven!

      It’s not the fall that kills you, Sherlock; it’s never the faaaaaalllll! It’s the landing.

        Quote  Reply

    118. Ginevra: That’s brilliant!Let’s hope for that.It’s probably a pipedream, but I really want the resurrection to come at the end of the premiere.

      Not really because then it will be completely and blatantly obvious he gets rezzed in the final scene.

        Quote  Reply

    119. Ginevra,

      Yeah, me too. I want the resurrection to happen at the end of the premiere, but my guess is it will happen in Ep 2.

        Quote  Reply

    120. Ugh. Just typed a lovely post that was lost in the ether…

      Anyway, great news–no spoilers! Very happy that the slugs at that other site will get NOTHING! Tee-hee-hee!

      Sad that responsible journalists like Sue and co. won’t get the jump on the hacks. Anyone from HBO who happens to be lurking (like BCog–are you here, ser?) can’t you make an exception for your biggest supporters here at WotW? I swear that Sue and co. are trustworthy! 🙂

      Reviews: No point in reading reviews of something for which I am already well qualified to form my own opinion. I read stuff here because it is a part of the community that I love and Oz is quite entertaining!

      Hey, Gals! Can I join you for the Hot Cop pat downs as well? Sounds fun!

        Quote  Reply

    121. Location Managers Award Nominees
      Outstanding Locations in a Period Television Series
      Aquarius (Michael Haro and Stacey Brashear)
      Fargo (Matt Palmer and Rob Hilton)
      Game of Thrones, Season 5 (Robert Boake and Tate Araez)
      Gotham (Keith Adams and Pat Sones)
      Sleepy Hollow, Season 3 (Nancy Haecker and Ryan Taylor)

      Outstanding Locations in a Contemporary Television Series

      Better Call Saul (Christian Diaz de Bedoya)
      Bosch (Robert Paulsen and Paul Schreiber)
      Mr. Robot (Demian Resnick)
      Sense 8 (Marco Giacalone and Bill Bowling)
      True Detective, Season 2 (Michael Chickey and Caleb Duffy)
      Congratulations on another Nomination for thrones.

        Quote  Reply

    122. Great news that HBO are not releasing screeners for the press or for the critics to review. Those leaks last year of the first 4 episodes (which BTW I never saw) was despicable and must have pissed off HBO, D&D, etal big time!

      I quite happy to wait with the rest of the world and see it when its aired on April 24, but in the meantime a trailer would be nice 😉

        Quote  Reply

    123. Jack Bauer 24: Not really because then it will be completely and blatantly obvious he gets rezzed in the final scene.

      Maybe. What if the final scene was the burning of Snow’s body? We have burning, burning, burning along with crying and ominous music that fades out to nothing as we get a fade to black. What we miss in the pre-premiere but get in the TV-premiere is only four more seconds: a final, single note of music where only one of Jon’s eyes opens, à la Lost, as the funeral pyre flames around him:

      Okay, so not such a blatant rip, but it could be brief, powerful, and poignant.

      Ashara D, the more the merrier! With a large gang, we can really mess with those boys.

        Quote  Reply

    124. So, Maisie has been cast in a film with Elle Fanning and a superhero one as well…I wonder if she’ll be able to have the time to film for GoT….hint hint.

      (I’m implying that Arya’s getting the boot, at least for a season a la Bran.)

        Quote  Reply

    125. Ashara D:
      Ugh. Just typed a lovely post that was lost in the ether…

      That happens to me all the time these last few days. I cannot decide if it is my computer, my browser, or just me. But the back button has saved me every single time. The responses stay in my cache. Yay! I do try to always do CTRL-A and CTRL-C to highlight and copy before I click “Post Comment,” but I don’t always remember.

        Quote  Reply

    126. I’m really pleased to hear this. I hated the piracy of the first four episodes last season, and not only on account of the spoilers. I’m a bit of a hard-liner about intellectual property rights. But people who grew up on Napster can’t seem to get their heads around the the concept that, just because it’s possible to get access to something on the Internet for “free,” that doesn’t mean that the artists who made it don’t deserve to get paid for their work. I don’t worry so much about HBO or the producers or the top cast members not making enough money; but there are thousands of people who work very hard to contribute their little bits to the making of GoT, and rely on getting that work to feed their families.

      As for reviewers: I’m one myself – though only for movies and plays, not TV. And because I write for a smallish market (four weekly newspapers, two-county distribution, readership under 100,000), I’m not among the elite critics who get advance screeners, except for special things like film festivals. I have to wait like everybody else for the film to come to the local cinemas.

      So by the time people read my reviews, the movie has already been out for nearly a week. And you know what? People read them anyway. According to the employees whose job it is to track hits on our website, they’re consistently among the most popular articles posted. And I get lots of positive feedback on my reviews from people I run into on the street. Many people just enjoy reading opinion pieces about the arts, whether they’ve already seen whatever-it-is or not, whether they agree with the reviewer or not. Good critical writing can nudge people to think about an artwork from angles that they might not have considered before, or in a larger cultural/social/political context. That is why publishers employ people to write arts criticism. It’s not merely an ego exercise saying ‘What I think is more correct than what you think.’ It draws eyes to the publication, helps them sell copies, subscriptions and (most importantly) ads.

      All that being said (and I’m admittedly biased here, since I don’t belong to the exclusive fraternity of big-name critics who get everything ahead of time), I rather like the idea of critics having to wait along with everybody else. While reading early reviews helps me decide what movie I’m going to see this week, I also enjoy reading what other critics said about something I’ve already seen – to see how much we’re on the same page, if they got something out of it that I didn’t, caught a cultural reference that I missed etc.

      As for people who really want to read a review of a TV episode before they decide whether they want to watch it or not…well, nobody’s forcing them to watch it the very first time it airs. They can wait for the review, then watch a rebroadcast later in the week. The avid fandom, of course, isn’t going to wait for some pundit’s blessing to decide to watch GoT on Sunday nights anyway.

        Quote  Reply

    127. Ginevra: Maybe.What if the final scene was the burning of Snow’s body?We have burning, burning, burning along with crying and ominous music that fades out to nothing as we get a fade to black.What we miss in the pre-premiere but get in the TV-premiere is only four more seconds:a final, single note of music where only one of Jon’s eyes opens, à la Lost, as the funeral pyre flames around him

      I like this!

      I too think that the ending of episode 1 is going to be a “fakeout” ending with the Night’s Watch burning Jon’s body. Melissandre will have tried to give Jon the Kiss of Life and she will have seemingly failed, only instead of your Jon’s Eye idea what I speculated was for a hard cut to black on the image of the flames and the Watch reciting the “and now his Watch is over” bit and then, over the black screen, we hear Jon’s sharp intake of breath; cue credits.

        Quote  Reply

    128. If the last shot of E1 is Jon opening his eyes, I hope the song over the credits is Hello, Goodbye. You say “Goodbye” and I say “Hello, hello, hello”

        Quote  Reply

    129. Deesensfan:
      Dragonmcmx,

      Though I can see how people are different in that some like to be spoilt and know things, that’s a personal interest type of thing, I don’t think its “hard to understand” ( as Selina said) why some like surprises and choose to remain in the dark .
      Its not unusual. LOL

      I don’t know if there are any Lost fans here but I can’t imagine knowing ahead of time that John Locke was in a wheelchair off the island*. I think that was the most slack-jawed I’ve ever been while watching TV. It’s really fun to be surprised!

      Right now I am doing a rewatch of season 2, because it’s the season I liked the least and there’s actually a lot of good stuff here. I just watched the Tywin/Arya scene where she’s talking about Visenya and Rhaenys and he’s getting such a kick out of her. Now, it’s completely and totally unrealistic that he doesn’t ever figure out that she’s Arya Stark but I don’t even care because their scenes together are so wonderful.

      Just a reminder to everyone who is worried about Season 6 Dany… think back to how horrible Season 2 “Where are my dragons?!?” Dany was and be content in the knowledge that it will likely never be that bad again.

        Quote  Reply

    130. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      At this point, the only place leaks could be coming from is overseas market after they get their broadcast copies, or from the post production house that HBO contracts. As someone who works in post production and works with these houses, I can tell you that the top of the line places, which I’m sure is what HBO uses, has safety measures in place to prevent these kinds of leaks (they do even more secretive stuff than GoT, frankly). So that only leaves the networks overseas not to leak things in advance, and I don’t know if HBO can ever fully turn that tap off.

        Quote  Reply

    131. I think this was a good choice.

      Although I don’t like being spoiled, when it comes to GoT I can’t help but to click on things I know will spoil me because I get so excited and need to see/know things.

      Now with HBO not releasing anything early we can all remain spoil free.

        Quote  Reply

    132. Ginevra,

      It would be too close to Daeny’s miracle one time event and it should stay this way. Yes, their story parallel each other but in this case it should be a bit different. I’m thinking some a bit different resurrection to Beric or kiss of life.

        Quote  Reply

    133. Laura,

      Lost was my favorite, right until GOT caught my attention. I find myself feeling the same now as I did back then, every free moment I have to spare goes into researching connections in the show.

      I have always felt like Tywin knew all to well she was Arya, though did not care to keep her hostage as he didn’t feel she would be of any value in the near future. He seemed very human in their scenes, almost showing her compassion though letting her know he can be stern if he needs to. Can’t really explain it, but I could imagine him actually being somewhat upset after learning she escaped from Harrenhal.

        Quote  Reply

    134. Jack Bauer 24: Same. Forget about a trailer

      Wha….? I’m surprised to hear you say that. There is no way there will be no trailer, absolutely no way. And I don’t see the link at all between no screeners and no trailer. They are totally separate issues. A trailer can obviously be tightly controlled in terms of what they reveal or do not and it’s such a fundamental part of any marketing strategy. It is coming for sure. Late, yes. But it’s coming.

        Quote  Reply

    135. The idea that they won’t make a trailer because it would spoil things is absolutely laughable. They have almost 10 hours of footage at their disposal! With that available, I’m sure they can make up two minutes of non-spoilery yet exciting footage. You only need half a dozen shots of characters looking meaningfully beyond the camera lense, two or three epic lines from fan favorites, one or two impressive CG establishing shots, all of it interspersed with quick flashes of contextless fight sequences, and that’s about it.

        Quote  Reply

    136. Screeners didn’t make sense from the start… when you get to be this big, you could invite the critics to a press showing just like they do with movies… and show them 2 episodes in a theater. The problem is usually the first 2 episodes of a season of GOT are also the weakest… they need to catch everyone up to the characters… it’s chaos. But so what??? I’m sure there would be plenty of journalists up for it

        Quote  Reply

    137. Vlad: Screeners didn’t make sense from the start… when you get to be this big, you could invite the critics to a press showing just like they do with movies… and show them 2 episodes in a theater.

      That’s not a bad idea, actually! They can certainly afford it.

      Vlad: The problem is usually the first 2 episodes of a season of GOT are also the weakest… they need to catch everyone up to the characters… it’s chaos.

      This may just be publicity, but a few actors have repeatedly remarked that season six starts with a bang. It does make some sense —season five ended with half a dozen cliffhangers, so presumably next season shouldn’t spend a lot of time calmly catching up but instead resolving these cliffhangers.

        Quote  Reply

    138. Firannion: I’m really pleased to hear this. I hated the piracy of the first four episodes last season, and not only on account of the spoilers. I’m a bit of a hard-liner about intellectual property rights.

      There are a number of countries where it is literally impossible to legally watch GoT in a timely fashion, and many more where the only possible way is to purchase it as part of an absurdly expensive bundle. I remember some Australian fans saying it would cost a minimum of $600 to sign up for the minimum one-year contract, plus some installation fees.

      What is your opinion on that? And why, for the love of God, is HBO too stupid to take peoples’ willingly-given money? What is your opinion of someone who pirates the show initially, but later legally purchases DVDs? It is not as simple as you make it out to be.

      Last year in the US the most you would have had to pay to watch GoT with everyone else if you had an Apple device was $30. That’s fair. $600 and change is not.

        Quote  Reply

    139. Geralt of Rivia:
      Ginevra,

      It would be too close to Daeny’s miracle one time event and it should stay this way. Yes, their story parallel each other but in this case it should be a bit different. I’m thinking some a bit different resurrection to Beric or kiss of life.

      Quite possibly. My speculation was hypothetical in the sense that I have no idea what’s about to happen, but that was one scenario where they could easily cut out the biggest spoiler in the show (and books) to date at the end of the red-carpet premiere.

      My favorite theory is the Hickory Smoked Snow theory, where AAR is prophesied to be reborn amidst salt and smoke, and where the cold food stores in the ice cells have some curing salts and perhaps curing smokes, as well. Jon Snow’s body might be hidden away by Thorne in these cells where Mel and Davos find and resurrect him.

      At the same time, though, I think we need a funeral so that the Night’s Watch can say the words, “And now his watch is ended.” These words have been touted so often in the series that I believe they are one of Wimsey’s proverbial guns: it must go off; it must have significance. And Jon Snow isn’t technically free to pursue Ramsay and the taking back of Winterfell and his eventual rise to the throne until his watch ends.

      Will this means that he abandons his AAR destiny to defeat the WW and end TLN? Of course not. In fact, this release will help him fulfill this destiny. As a great conqueror and leader, who could possibly be better to rally the North and perhaps much of the rest of Westeros to his cause in acquiring dragonglass and dragonsteel and defending the Wall? When the Northerners inevitably say, “Why should we believe fairytales of the walking dead?” then Jon can respond, “Put your finger here; see my [dozen stab wounds]. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe. Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

      (I don’t think he’s going to actually quote Jesus, but there is great opportunity for nods in that direction.)

        Quote  Reply

    140. Yep, I expect Ian McShane agreed to sign for a relatively short role because he got to deliver a nice “Show version” of that speech.

        Quote  Reply

    141. Selina:
      I don’t understand why people hate spoilers so much. I usually look for spoilers of the films before go to the movies. I also love to read reviews before watch the episodes of all the series that I follow.

      And I cannot understand how people don’t hate spoilers 🙂 Difficult to explain why, but I really hate ’em. The best I can do to try to explain is that I hate daily routines where everything is perfectly controlled, and instead I love adventure and throwing myself in the unknown.
      Sometimes I read a page of a book before I buy it to see if the writing style suits me, and upon reaching that page whilst actually reading the book, it always bothers me that I know even that much (read “little”). I know many people to skip forward whilst reading because they can’t wait for the finale, but again, the thought alone of doing such a thing horrifies me. With tv shows and movies, it’s pretty much the same – I hate the previews in the cinema for instance as they often gives away waaay too much to my liking. I also never read reviews prior to watching a new series or movie. I do sometimes look at the overall ratings on IMDB or Metacritic, though, as those give some idea about what quality to expect without giving anything away story-wise.

      Anyway, I’m happy that there won’t be a four-episode leak like last year!

        Quote  Reply

    142. This is a smart move. It shows respect for the viewers and the creators. Even though I didn’t seek out the leaked episodes last year, it’s a real task avoiding all spoilers, and just not that fun knowing some people have binge watched ahead of schedule! I appreciate this step taken.

        Quote  Reply

    143. Chad Brick,

      I live in Australia Foxtel which is the only paid subscription that airs game of thrones costs $80 a month and with a 1 year contract that’s $960 … I wudnt use Foxtel for anything else apart from the 10 weeks of GOT I’ve got Netflix and Stan for my movies and tv shows … Why would I spend $960 to watch a show with the rest of the world … HBO Go/Now/NeverinAustralia doesn’t work here … Meanwhile I have all the box sets all the funko pops all the dark horse figures including the new 1s on preorder and the history and lore of westeros plus the house stationary sets and GOT Monopoly and the limited edition GOT crown that costs $500 here and I’ll buy everything GOT related I can find in the future too … I buy everything GOT related in short … And it’s worth it … But come on I’ll spend crazy amounts on something I feel is worth it … Yes the show is worth it but it’s annoying and doesn’t feel worth it when most of the world gets to watch the show for $90 (if it really is $30 a month for u lucky people)

        Quote  Reply

    144. Sansa's Knight: Yes the show is worth it but it’s annoying and doesn’t feel worth it when most of the world gets to watch the show for $90 (if it really is $30 a month for u lucky people)

      Actually it’s $14.99/mo for an HBO Now subscription and you can cancel at any time. Plus the first month is free so if you’re a new customer, seeing the full 11 week run will be ~$30.

      TBH I support piracy specifically for people in your situation and even more so for those who are poor & in such situations.

        Quote  Reply

    145. Sansa's Knight:
      Chad Brick,

      I live in Australia Foxtel which is the only paid subscription that airs game of thrones costs $80 a month and with a 1 year contract that’s $960 …

      That’s an insane price if you only want to watch one show! :-0
      Where I live (Finland) I can subscribe to HBO Nordic for 9.95 euro per mth, first month free, and cancel my subsciption whenever I want (two weeks’ notice). So basically I can see the season for less than 20 euro. The only drawback is that this year we’ll get it 24 hrs after the US, so I’ll have to avoid the internet every Monday! 😀

        Quote  Reply

    146. Kudos to HBO. I think it was a very wise decision. That being said I’m sure little things will slip from the red carpet events, but until I see an episode I don’t want to read about it…that comes after the fact, if at all. Great decision!!!

        Quote  Reply

    147. Hodors Bastard,

      I think he just means “bringing him back to the show”. He doesn’t say he’s bringing back a character who was dead; but that he’s reintroducing a character who we thought was dead.

        Quote  Reply

    148. Queenofthrones: Actually it’s $14.99/mo for an HBO Now subscription and you can cancel at any time.Plus the first month is free so if you’re a new customer, seeing the full 11 week run will be ~$30.

      TBH I support piracy specifically for people in your situation and even more so for those who are poor & in such situations.

      In Japan it is literally impossible to watch GoT legally on time. The premium channel doesn’t show it until July, the second tier pay channels just started showing Season 5 recently.

        Quote  Reply

    149. Luka Nieto,

      He‘s probably never read the books and thought he was being vague. But you’re totally right, for bookreaders, it’s a huge spoiler

      (although the speculation about the gravedigger has been around for some time).
      I’m looking very much forward to this scene and Briennes reaction since she was the one who almost killed him.

        Quote  Reply

    150. Wylie,

      By the Old Gods and the New! You made my day! If he’s not trolling, Ian McShane is speaking about 2 of my dreams coming true: both his character and the beloved character whom I love to see coming back! Now I’m smiling like an idiot!

        Quote  Reply

    151. Tar Kidho,

      well said 🙂

      I also don’t read reviews before watching an episode of GOT or any show I am watching.. I mean.. what?? I am watching because I want to
      I DO look at the ratings of shows/movies before I start them just to know what to expect; I generally like to form my own opinion.

        Quote  Reply

    152. I’m fairly sure that Kit Harington will be in the first episode, if just so that they can do the funeral pyre scene. Beyond that …

      Based on filming spoilers, we know that Jon Snow will be involved in the Bastard Bowl, and that’s going to require a good deal of time to set up. So his resurrection has to happen fairly early.

      My prediction is this:

      Jon Snow’s funeral is in Ep. 1. At some point, the words “And now his watch is ended” WILL be uttered. It kind of have to happen, in order to release Jon Snow from his vows so that he can participate in the Bastard Bowl. My guess is that the Red Witch will attempt a “kiss of life” resurrection and fail in Ep. 1. Then we get “And now his watch is ended” to close Ep. 1. And some mystical mumbo-jumbo happens in Ep. 2 (most likely involving Bran and warging) and Jon Snow is resurrected that episode.

        Quote  Reply

    153. Jonathan Coldrain:

      I have always felt like Tywin knew all to well she was Arya, though did not care to keep her hostage as he didn’t feel she would be of any value in the near future. He seemed very human in their scenes, almost showing her compassion though letting her know he can be stern if he needs to. Can’t really explain it, but I could imagine him actually being somewhat upset after learning she escaped from Harrenhal.

      Tywin knew she was a Northerner of decent, if not highborn, birth (or at least from a house that gave her a bit of education). So he wouldn’t have cared if she escaped – he had more important things to worry about.

      He doesn’t know she is Arya Stark, or what she looked like. He did not go to Winterfell in S1 and meet all the members of the Stark family. He wasn’t in KL in S1 either. At that point Littlefinger was more likely to recognize Arya (as Littlefinger’s meeting with Tywin shows). Tywin may find it unbelievable that Arya or any highborn girl would be able to survive disguised like a commoner, or be willing to act like a commoner to survive.

      If Tywin did know, she certainly wouldn’t be running around as his cupbearer. Any Stark is too valuable not to be a closely watched hostage. And she would have been killed too during the Red Wedding to finish off the Stark clan.

      That said, those Tywin-Arya scenes were absolutely terrific. Tywin almost seemed human, almost. 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    154. Deesensfan:
      I also don’t read reviews before watching an episode of GOT or any show I am watching.. I mean.. what?? I am watching because I want to
      I DO look at the ratings of shows/movies before I start them just to know what to expect; I generally like to form my own opinion.

      In general, I don’t think that reviewers were ever allowed to post a review before the episode airs. Critics are likely allowed to post impressions, emotions, and comments on quality, but I think absolutely any plot details would have to be explicitly and individually pre-approved.

      I like to read reviews of my very favorite shows I obsess and theorize over to see if folks got the same impressions I did or hopefully new and different insights than I did. For shows like GoT, Sherlock, and Star Wars, I can find some great details that add to my understanding and appreciation of the show. But I usually look for reviews immediately after I watch the show or movie, so that’s not much time to put together something great without prescreening.

      I know that criticism is often synonymous with negativity, but that isn’t necessarily the case. Critiques can be positive and insightful. Insight is the reason I read because I know that I cannot possibly catch every detail in the complex shows I love.

        Quote  Reply

    155. Ginevra,

      That’s true. I do read Oz’s reviews, but I feel like they are more of recaps then reviews. There is some personal opinion in there.
      I do that sometimes when I feel like I want a perspective of someone else who’s watched the same episode, or if I didn’t quite understand something. I usually Google “recap” and not “review”

      But most of the time there are some personal opinions included in said recaps

        Quote  Reply

    156. Ginevra,

      I was thinking about this recently too and it’s not a bad idea, but it would be copy of Daeny’s event. What I can see is that both of them will be alive due to some miracle event but not really a funeral pyre with Jon. I mean Jon will still be technically in his mind bound to NW eventually, but from certain point can act more freely and not just sit at the Castle Black something Davos pointed ou to him. His destiny is to defeat WW or push them. We don’gt really know about battle that happened 8000 years ago and what people did to defeat them? Or some sort of agreement was reached? Who knows really. As for him rising to throne? Not sure about that, but we’ll see.

      Born amid salt and smoke. Interesting theory and it fits. Although, Daeny seems to be associated with this prophecy more than Jon. Some spoilers hints at that for show too. Certainly in the books she fullfiled it completely unlike Jon.

      We definitely need to see funeral, but what if they use glamour stuff from the books for much more important event? Instead of pointless Mance/Rattleshirt for this.

        Quote  Reply

    157. Newbietothegame: Down girl!! And take a number, the line starts all the way back there —-×

      Got my number too, and prepared to wait my turn!

      The mystery man in question actually bears some resemblance to an old flame of mine: not the Love of my Life, perhaps, but definitely the Lust. So I can be patient…I think…

        Quote  Reply

    158. Geralt of Rivia:
      Ginevra,

      We don’gt really know about battle that happened 8000 years ago and what people did to defeat them? Or some sort of agreement was reached? Who knows really.

      Bloodraven. The Children of the Forest. The trees.

      Men forget. Only the trees remember.

      Martin, George R. R. (2011-07-12). A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 5) (p. 492). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

      Glamour could work. Or the pyre could just be lit but not yet burning Jon himself before Jon arises.

        Quote  Reply

    159. JCDavis,

      That happened to me also, but it was on Tumblr and I was not even looking for a trying GoT related!!! Damn!! I reacted the same way you did…

        Quote  Reply

    160. Oh no now the reviewers will actually have to fuckin’ do their jobs and review the episode after it airs, take notes etc, instead of just watching them beforehand and “preparing” their reviews so they can upload them 1 second after the episode airs and get all the hits from people searching for reviews….

      Seriously your approach is mature and sane, but I’ve seen some online review sites MOANING and COMPLAINING about this. Fuck those unprofessional cock-merchants.

      The leaks screwed everyone last year. Never again is HBO’s call – and we stand behind it!

        Quote  Reply

    161. Good is all i’ll say. The reviewers get to be fans and watch it with the rest of us.. I for one don’t need convincing to watch the show any more, and I’m sure if anything the show has peaked now anyway, and those who normally watch the show will watch the show regardless or good (or otherwise) early buzz.. it’s a huge story. Why would people turn off now? that’s a lot of wasted time expended on a show to not be bothered about an ending.

        Quote  Reply

    Jump to the Top

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *