‘Game Of Thrones’ Screeners Are Being Kept Out Of The Hands Of Critics, But For A Very Valid Reason

Game of Thrones isn’t a show to watch. It’s a show to obsess over. How else do you explain folks tripping over themselves to endure that very silly melting ice block reveal? With a limited supply of episodes remaining, every little detail that can dribble out will be examined, unpacked and dissected with vigor. HBO’s approach to season seven is going to great lengths to protect secrets, spoilers and everything else from leaking out and it involves keeping critics in the dark. Or at least in as much of the dark as the rest of us.

Entertainment Weekly reports that screeners of episodes will not be sent to critics in advance. Unlike when a movie passes on screening for critics, there’s traditionally a pretty straightforward reason for it: The finished product stinks. (Or it’s “for the fans” which is generally the same thing anyway.) Game of Thrones is skipping screeners to prevent episodes from leaking out. The fantasy series is legendary for its oft-pirated status, so it makes sense that extra precautions are put into place with the finish line in sight. The screener stoppage was already in play for season 6.

The break from tradition doesn’t necessarily mean critics are without an option for checking out at least one episode of the show early. A Game of Thrones season 7 premiere (or multiple premieres) is a potential red carpet option if HBO elects to go that route. The extra bonus-y upside out there is that there’s loads of shipping videos and erotic fiction to check out in the meantime if you’re super duper hard-up for season 7 possibilities. The new season debuts on July 16.

(Via Entertainment Weekly)