HBO’s Game of Thrones has always had to cope with bizarre threats to secrecy around its plot details — drones flying over set, rogue set photographers, its own actors accidentally posting scripts to Instagram. Then there’s the unavoidable obsessive fan interest, which turn things like the length of Kit Harington’s hair and a sighting of Rory McCann hanging out in a hotel lobby into spoilers.
Last year, showrunner David Benioff and HBO programming president Michael Lombardo told Entertainment Weekly that they were cracking down for season 6 by cutting back on the number of people who received scripts. Press weren’t given screeners for the first time, and it became standard practice to use code words on set.
But now that the show is moving past the story of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire for the first time with season 7, HBO is taking security even more seriously.
In a recent interview with Express, actress Nathalie Emmanuel, who plays Daenerys’ BFF Missandei, said the cast was required to set up two-factor authentication on their email accounts this year. They only received digital copies of the script through these accounts, and weren’t allowed to print them.
She also mentioned that any notes they received during rehearsal weren’t permitted to leave the set: “You might get given rehearsal notes on set, but you have to sign for and return them before you leave. If you don't, people will chase you until you give them back!"
The added caution makes sense. Though there was plenty of concern about spoilers before, and the show did often deviate from Martin’s books, the biggest arcs were things any impatient viewer could spoil for themselves with a cursory read of an A Song of Ice and Fire subreddit thread or Wiki page.
Though, it seems like no matter what measures they take, things somehow leak. In an interview with The Huffington Post this week, Nikolaj Coster-Waudau, who plays Jaime Lannister, implied that pretty much every major plot point of season 7 has been spoiled online somewhere: “It’s all out there by the way… if you can find it.” But the secrets are still mostly safe, he explained, because “there’s 10,000 other spoilers out there, they’re not real. It just gets lost in the shuffle.”
Game of Thrones’ seventh season premieres on July 16th, so I don’t know, maybe stay off the internet until then.