Game of Thrones had its big fancy season premiere party this weekend. And as there is with any big fancy premiere party, there was a red carpet outside before things got underway. And as there is with any red carpet before a big fancy premiere party, there were questions lobbed at the cast from a throng of microphone-wielding reporters. And as part of said question lobbing, we learned something very interesting: President Obama might be the only non-HBO employee in the world who has seen screeners of Game of Thrones‘ sixth season.
Quick backstory: In an attempt to prevent a leak like they had last season, HBO announced earlier this year that it would not be releasing screeners of the new season to critics. Which, fine. The critics will survive. But then at the premiere, a reporter for Facebook asked show creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss about the “Oh my God” moment that let them know they had hit the big time, which led to this exchange:
WEISS: I think, for both of us, finding out the President wanted advanced copies of the episodes was an ‘aha’ moment. That was a very strange moment.
REPORTER: Was the answer yes?
WEISS: Yes. He’s the leader of the free world.
BENIOFF: When the commander-in-chief says ‘I want to see advanced episodes,’ what are you gonna do?”
Left unsaid here is exactly when this took place. We’ve seen stories in the past about the President getting screeners of previous seasons, so there’s a possibility that Benioff and Weiss were referring to that moment. But, and this is a big but, it is so much more fun to picture the president in his last year in office just deciding to disregard the “no screener” policy and strong-arm HBO into turning them over. It is also a lot of fun to picture him on that phone in the image up there using spoilers as a negotiating tactic…
OBAMA: I need you to put my Supreme Court nominee up for a vote.
MITCH MCCONNELL: No.
OBAMA: You know what happens if you don’t, Mitch.
MCCONNELL: Mr. President, please. Be reasonable.
OBAMA: Am I getting my vote?
MCCONNELL: It’s just not something I’m prepared to d-
OBAMA: JON SNOW WARGS INTO GHOST IN EPISODE ONE.
… so let’s just all go ahead and believe he has them.
(Via Business Insider)