Nathalie Emmanuel on the Tightening Security Measures of Game of Thrones

Photo: Helen Sloan/HBO

Photo: Helen Sloan/HBO

Uncovering secrets from the set of Game of Thrones is more difficult every year, as the show cracks down on everyone, including the cast. Nathalie Emmanuel talks to Fabulous, in their new April issue about the security surrounding Game of Thrones scripts this year, giving us a peak at the lengths the showrunners will go to, to protect GoT’s famous shocking twists and turns.

Emmanuel says, as quoted by Express, “They’ve definitely tightened up who has scripts and how we’re given them. You have to look at it digitally.” She explains, “They won’t send it to us unless our emails have a two-step verification [security process]. You might get given rehearsal notes on set, but you have to sign for and return them before you leave.”

If you forget to give them back before you leave, you won’t get far: “If you don’t, people will chase you until you give them back!”  Emmanuel says to Fabulous.

Of course, even with the vigilance of HBO and GoT, leaks happen. Last week, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau appeared to verify (abeit vaguely) that some of the major spoilers out there have been correct. But you can’t fault HBO for trying their best!

Nathalie discusses her life with her ever-growing fame and more, so visit the source for the complete interview!

50 responses

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    1. And yet somebody posted the outline of the entire season even before filming had really begun, which suggests a leak at a fairly high position. Whatever HBO is doing, it’s not working very well.

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    2. Well I have the sneaking suspicion some of these measures were added AFTER entire seasons started leaking.

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    3. ghost of winterfell: And yet somebody posted the outline of the entire season even before filming had really begun, which suggests a leak at a fairly high position.

      It does not mean that someone high up leaked them: it means that the outline (if it is genuine) was taken from someone highup. There is no such thing as impenetrable security: two-step verifications make it N times more difficult for hackers, thieves, etc. than to one-step verifications, not infinity times more difficult! Governments have much better computer security than do any entertainment studios: and as recent history has shown, they still get hacked.

      I would joke that the big question is: “is Vladimir Putin a fan of the show?” but: 1) it’s still too soon; and, 2) GoT must seem like a kids’ show to him.

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    4. How would making the scripts digital-only prevent leaks? All someone has to do is read them, write down the main plot points, and distribute…

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    5. If it’s digital-only, someone is much less likely to accidentally leave a script at a location or drop it at a Starbucks or in a subway car. Things that have actually happened either on GoT or on movies. And they can probably trace leaks easier, digitally, if the person wasn’t careful.

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    6. Mr Derp: How would making the scripts digital-only prevent leaks?

      To follow on Sue’s point, “unleakable” is like “unsinkable”: i.e., impossible. The goal of security is to reduce how easy it is for something bad to happen. The adage that “this was preventable” is a sophistry: there is no guaranteed line of defense for anything, and some lines of defense against one form of theft/attack/whatever increase vulnerabilities to other forms of theft/attack/whatever. A big part of the equation is the determination of the adversary.

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    7. Yea, digitizing the scripts would help to trace who leaked the script more than being any kind of preventative measure I suppose.

      Perhaps they should write/type the scripts in Dothraki or some kind of unknown language that only those who should read the scripts would understand…of course, that would necessitate the actors learning a new language just to be able to do their job, which isn’t exactly convenient, to say the least…

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    8. So basically I would see leakers who just outline the script more believable than ones who say they have the script which is kinda impossible now. If I remember correctly the original leaker said something like he was told the outline over the phone which would make sense why it sounded like a outline while others who followed him said they had the script, some altered what he said claiming they had the script, some people even made up a script in writing and posted it lol.
      This though unfortunately more likely proves that if they had this system in place for S7 then it was more likely a cast or crew member who leaked it or at least told someone really untrustworthy.

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    9. I feel like they should give the actors, production teams etc the scripts for only their scenes. I know other directors already do this, but given Maisie’s tweet months back about how she’d read all of season 7, I don’t think this is something they’re already doing.

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    10. Dolorous Bread: but given Maisie’s tweet months back about how she’d read all of season 7, I don’t think this is something they’re already doing.

      Often times when actors say this, what they actually have done is read all of the season (or film) that is relevant to him/her. Fans often have accused actors of lying when the actor in question has stated that something that happened in a series/film surprised him or her when he/she had earlier had made statements similar to Williams, only to have it revealed the actors in that film/series never see the whole script in the first place.

      After all, there is not too much point in giving actors portions of scripts that do not include that actor. For any project with a fanbase (and thus people intent on stealing the scripts), that fanbase becomes a good reason to NOT give any of the actors scripts to scenes not including them.

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    11. Wimsey,

      With TV though, often they give the script for the episode. Sophie Turner did say she doesn’t read scenes she’s not in because she doesn’t want to spoil herself, so to me this implies they aren’t doling out scripts on a need-to-know basis.

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    12. I’d imagine it must be frustrating to get things leaked on something you’ve worked hard on. Plot discussion can usually be rubbed off as a pinch of salt, but set leaks and episode leaks, man that must be upsetting.

      I pray the final end game is kept under wraps.

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    13. We know the outline of S7 and a few big things from S6 leaked but I really hope S8 will be as tightly under wraps as the Hodor moment or the entire Winds of Winter episode, it just made it so much better.

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    14. Wimsey,

      I’ve always thought they should have about twenty versions of the scripts, with slight variations. Like Tyrion did with three different versions of the plan to marry off Myrcella, each told in confidence to Baelish, Pycelle and Varys respectively, he was able to determine that Pycelle was the one leaking info to Cersei.

      Also, it’d be better to have an inaccurate script stolen than the actual one. At time of filming, the actors could be provided with minor revisions to their scenes, if necessary.

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    15. Ten Bears,

      I was hoping that’s what they did with Jon’s Targ name, since I’ve read a couple different reports (e.g. Jaeharys vs Aemon vs Aegon).

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    16. Sue the Fury:
      If it’s digital-only, someone is much less likely to accidentally leave a script at a location or drop it at a Starbucks or in a subway car. Things that have actually happened either on GoT or on movies. And they can probably trace leaks easier, digitally, if the person wasn’t careful.

      Things that happen IRL!!! About ten years ago, when I was still a newspaper and radio reporter, a major bust happened in the county seat when a drug trafficker left a journal (essentially an accounting logbook) detailing hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of drug transactions in (wait for it)… the local Denny’s.

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    17. I may be shallow, but I’m always struck by how truly beautiful Nathalie is. It’s almost unreal.

      Sadly there is no stopping leaks if someone is determined to get them. Didn’t a hacker just release half the season of Orange is the New Black? (never watched it but a lot of people seem to like it)

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    18. Dee Stark:
      Leaks suck!

      Does this happen with like, Star Wars or big name movies like that?

      Dee, Star Wars fan are NOTORIOUS for knowing the whole movie before it is out, dont know about other big franchises

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    19. It always pisses me off how sometimes people blame HBO more than the scumbag who actually revealed it,this is no Edward Snowden or Julian Assange,he’s not doing the world any favors,he’s just a common thief and should be treated as such instead of like a god,like in certain subreddits that don’t deserve mentions .

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    20. Dee Stark,

      Yeah. It happened with The Force Awakens and Rogue One.


      As far as other fandoms are concerned we found out what was going to happen in Captain America: Civil War, Batman vs. Superman and I think Suicide Squad before they were out. And fans already know all the events in the upcoming Wonder Woman movie.

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    21. Ten Bears,

      I actually would not be surprised if they do that. Like, they give an actor X a script that has their part as it is, but everyone else’s parts are altered. And same for all the other people working on it. This way it would be also easy to determine through whom the leaks got out.

      Also I still think that it is possible that D&D are behind the leaks. It just feels like the timing was a bit too convenient and all. They could’ve just come up with something that would match the outdoor filming and made up all the context etc. so that it would seem like what was happening was different than what was actually happening. Leaks that seem credible are also a good way to stop people from speculating beyond what was in the leaks. That is something what I actually really hate about leaks, because if you try to get people to speculate about something beyond the leaks people are just waving you off with “not according to leaks” etc. It is really annoying.

      Anyways, I just don’t ever take leaks as gospel until I see the season. No matter how likely true they seem, there is always a chance that they are not, and we can never know for sure until we see the actual episodes.

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    22. Masspsychosis,

      You make some excellent points. If the show writers are so paranoid, how can an entire outline be available to so many inside people? Even a few inside people..Aren’t the writers thinking, “there are 100’s of people who have inside information now. We need to pull a Tyrion Lannister from season 2.” For the number of fans who are desperate for leaks, are we saying the writers left a gaping hole in their super paranoid plan? Either they were careless and the stolen outline is completely true,or die hard leak believers are being duped.

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    23. Wimsey,

      Lol. I think he was a fan of House Bolton, until Roose got shanked so easily, of course. That is the moment Putin vowed never to watch again!

      As for leaks. This is the unstoppable force of “fandom” and there is no “unmovable object” on the internet great enough to stop it. (and I shudder to think of what life would be like on the net, were there one).

      I am NOT defending leaks. I just think the producers can only do their best, and the rest is up to us. Tread with caution (or bath in the leaked scripts, if that’s your thing- not judging, just ain’t MY thing). This is why I won’t really hang out much on the net in my favorite fandom (besides musik), until after the season starts.

      KRDL. The Kurdle. We spoil the musik for everyone….

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    24. Testes… testes. One… two…. three? Seems my comment is awaiting moderation?

      Edit: Well, that worked. I guess I just had to say the magic word… as for my real comment, will it show up sometime?

      Nice to “see you” Sue 🙂

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    25. Is there any solid evidence that knowing what’s going to happen in X reduces audience numbers?

      How many people on here have read the alleged outline for series 7 and how many if you have decided not to bother watching the show because you think you already know what’s going to happen?

      If you don’t want to find out, you can avoid spoilers, but if you do, what really is the harm done? In some case, it enhances anticipation and excitement.

      So I question why people fear leaks so much. Of course, try to minimise them but don’t fret if a leak happens. It’s certainly not the end of the world.

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    26. Violator,

      Not with written leaks no, people may complain online but it doesn’t really stop them from watching it.
      However when 4 actual episodes of season 5 leaked online, that may have affected audience numbers as people were streaming them online so they didn’t need to wait for HBO to release them on their channel.
      The problem is with the leaks is they are all over social media and people kept talking about them in the comments on this site, so if people don’t want to read anything about them they need to avoid GOT on social media until the season airs, I just hope the final season doesn’t leak we won’t be able to escape people talking about the ending everywhere online.

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    27. Mel: so if people don’t want to read anything about them they need to avoid GOT on social media until the season airs, I just hope the final season doesn’t leak we won’t be able to escape people talking about the ending everywhere online

      This is not going to be a big deal for the vast majority of viewers. Yes, Game of Thrones probably has more viewers who follow updates on the show on the Internet (including social media). However, that still is a tiny fraction of the viewers.

      Violator: Is there any solid evidence that knowing what’s going to happen in X reduces audience numbers?

      Among shows and movies, there is a positive, not negative, relationship between viewing numbers and things like “spoilers” and leaks. That is simply because the more popular a franchise is, the more people there are who are aggressively trying to find out about or pirate the show/movie in advance. Thrones is yet another example: it has great ratings and very high piracy numbers.

      Within individual series, immediate viewing numbers correlate with things like competition (particularly with “one-time” events like major sports matches), holidays (people watch less TV) and even weather. Big series get their biggest ratings for the outset of the year (it’s back!!! vs. two weeks later when “I’ll VCR/DVR/On Demand/Hulu it when I have time…”) and for big “arc” episodes, which typically close out the year. Any aspect of “spoiled” is minor noise in those more major signals.

      This is related to an important aspect of “leaks” that some people seem to misunderstand. It seems that some people envision some sort of “Deep Throat” within the production team who sets aside scripts or DVDs in a paper bag on a bridge for the fans to find. It’s not like that at all: it basically is espionage by hardcore fans and/or theft by “pirates.” The more popular a franchise is, the more hardcore fans it has: so, as viewership goes up, spoilers go up: and that’s why the relationship is positive.

      To some extent, the best production teams can hope to do is mitigate the damage. Steve Moffat, the showrunner of Doctor Who, will deliberately plant misleading information in scripts, etc., knowing that people are going to try to steal them. For example, the code-name used in the scripts a couple of years ago led hardcore Doctor Who fans to think that an obscure character from the 1980’s was returning to the show. Once the scripts were stolen, some of the Whovians got all excited. (Why, I have no idea: the character was a dreadful one from the absolute nadir of the show!) Then Moffat ripped the rug out from under them when it turned out that the character was actually a very different old Doctor Who character!

      However, this also provides a good idea of what can and cannot be hidden. Moffat hid a particular detail: but the general details (i.e., the big plot hook in which that character was involved) was discovered. Now, the ability of Doctor Who fans to lose forests for the trees exceeds that of any fandom I have ever witnessed – I think that they miss forests for leaf litter sometimes – but the basic “punchline” of the season arch was stolen. All Moffat did was salvage some of the surprise.

      (For myself, I missed it all! I am a Doctor Who fan, but the hype and fun of the 50th anniversary, coupled with a major decline in the show’s quality in Capaldi’s first year left me paying very little attention save to look up when the show was going to start again, who the writers were that season, etc.; so, I missed all of the “fun”!)

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    28. Mr Derp,

      Ha, perfect, except that we have fans who actually know those languages (see all the translations that popped up about what Gilly’s book said…)

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    29. Wimsey,

      I heard on the news last night that some hacker group named “Dark Overlord” claimed responsibility for stealing and leaking ~ ten upcoming episodes of “Orange is the New Black.”

      I see the correlation: the more popular a show is, the more enticing it is for hackers to try to glom undeserved glory for themselves.

      When will people learn that anything sent via email; typed on a computer; stored in a hard drive or in the “iCloud”; or spoken, heard, texted or saved in a cell phone – is vulnerable to interception by Internet predators ?

      The worst part: Vlad and his bot armies are way ahead of everyone else in figuring out how to hack anything.

      I’ve gone back to 100 brightness, 32 lb paper and Bic Mark-it pens. Anything “digital” may as well be posted on the Internet.

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    30. Yeah Id been thinking the same thing. Since GOT is sort of medieval, lets try illuminated manu-scripts! Or at the very least just use a typewriter with carbon paper.

      Re leaks affecting ratings – knowing a leak doesn’t really matter to me unless its put into context as a real live scene. So no, it doesn’t affect my desire at all to watch the show just coz i know what happens – I need to see it. Now, leaking the actual filmed episode? Yeah, thats probably a different story. But Id still watch

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    31. Perhaps they should put the script in a big-ass ice block and make the actors wait until it melts before they can see it.

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    32. Mr Derp,

      heh, the hackers will digitally reconstruct the script long before the actors get the soggy remains! So, six fat 14 year olds on a couch in New Jersey will have them long before the people who need them do! 🙂

      ash: And then theres the Mission Impossible solution – ‘this tape will self destruct in 5 seconds..’

      Ah, little known but scary fact: DVDs have achieved enough sentience that they won’t let themselves burn. It’s the first step towards the robot takeover….. :-O

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