TV critics will not have the opportunity to view the screeners for ‘Game of Thrones‘ Season 8, before the final season actually airs, as reported by Entertainment Weekly. This is not really surprising news to any of the critics since it keeps to HBO‘s policy for the past two seasons where they stopped sending out screeners beforehand, making critics wait till the widely popular show actually airs. However, fans hoping to know the tiniest details about the much anticipated final season are likely to be disappointed by this news.
The practice of HBO sending out screeners to critics before the show went on air was discontinued after Season 5 when the first four episodes of the show were leaked online. Although the leaker did not turn out to be a critic, HBO had learned its lesson of mailing out their episodes far and wide to several critics across the land, and they discontinued this practice in an attempt to prevent spoilers from getting out.
Fans must know how much people are eager to know the spoilers of this show. This thirst was most evident during Season 7 when a hacker managed to infiltrate the HBO site, looking for spoilers, specifically episodes and the script itself. The hacker was later identified to be an Iranian national and was charged by authorities in the US. However, this incident forced HBO’s hand and they went into high alert. Currently, as of Season 8, their security is top notch and includes high tech measures aimed at preventing spoilers from getting out. One of these is a device on the sets that can kill drones that fly in the area attempting to take spoiler filled images while the shooting goes on. Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark on ‘Game of Thrones’, spoke about this last year, saying, “If a drone flies above sets, there’s a thing that can kill the drones which is really cool. It creates a field around it and the drones just drop. It’s very X-Men.”
Despite the decision to not send out screeners, HBO will in all likelihood announce and host a red carpet premiere screening. This event will be attended by the members of the media who will have the opportunity to see the premiere beforehand. However, this will not help fans in any way, since those who see it in advance will have their reviews embargoed until HBO officially releases episode 1 of Season 8, which you must know by now, is on April 14, 2019. When the final season does air, it promises to be a pop culture phenomenon as we finally get to know who will sit on the Iron Throne and who will survive the invasion of the White Walker army. For now, we had reported that HBO revealed the official runtimes for episodes 1 and 2 of Season 8, with the first episode being 54 minutes long and the second having a runtime of 58 minutes.