Entertainment TV Game of Thrones fights back against piracy, spoilers

Game of Thrones fights back against piracy, spoilers

emmys Game of thrones
Game of Thrones smashed the decades-old nominations record. Photo: HBO
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Game of Thrones will record multiple endings to its much-anticipated final season in a pre-emptive strike against spoilers.

The HBO smash hit’s seventh season was this year plagued by leaks, hacks and piracy concerns.

However, according to former Neighbours and Home & Away director Michael Sergi, the threat of spoilers has forced Game of Thrones’  hand, after season seven was illegally downloaded more than one billion times,  as numerous unaired episodes found their way onto the internet.

“They are not doing this because they want to, they are doing it because they have to,” Dr Sergi told The New Daily. “It’s been forced upon them … They know it is going to get leaked,” the Bond University director of film and television said.

“These production companies are losing revenue because of piracy, and Game of Thrones being downloaded almost a billion times is a classic example of that.

“We’ve always filmed multiple endings, it is something that is not new, but when we’ve done it in the past, it’s because it really hasn’t worked, it hasn’t been because of marketing or because of financial reasons or, in this case, piracy, because it costs a lot of money to shoot them, and if they are shooting three or four of them – that’s millions of dollars.

Game of Thrones multiple endings
Each episode in season seven reportedly had a budget of $10 million. Photo: HBO

“That’s just wasted money, those scenes are not going to appear on anything, they will just be put on the shelf and be part of the folklore or history of the television series.”

It comes after HBO programming president Casey Bloys was reported in television news site, The Morning Call revealing the show would take extensive security measures to ensure season eight doesn’t fall victim to the same fate as season seven.

“I know in Game of Thrones, the ending, they’re going to shoot multiple versions so that nobody really know what happens,” Bloys told The Morning Call.

“You have to do that on a long show. Because when you’re shooting something, people know.

“They’re going to shoot multiple versions so that there’s no real definitive answer until the end.”

But despite Bloy’s comments, HBO is potentially providing GoT fans fake spoilers to keep the real ending a secret, Dr Sergi said.

“The thing with the multiple endings is that they would know that the way that the story flows there is only one ending,” he said.

Game of Throne multiple endings
Could an alternative ending see the Night King claim the Iron Throne? Photo: HBO

“When you are crafting something like Game of Thrones, you are having to be authentic to the story that’s gone before, and the motivation and acting of the characters.

“Because at the end of the day, it’s being true to the story that actually matters otherwise the audience is going to be unsatisfied.”

The theory is not so far-fetched, after Kit Harington (Jon Snow) revealed to Jimmy Kimmel the show once spent 15 hours shooting three fake scenes to foil the drone-heavy spies circling production this season.

Game of Thrones hacks and spoilers

Secrecy has been the top priority for HBO and Game of Thrones producers, since the leak of the first-half of season five.

The plot points were spoiled for millions of fans after press copies of the first five episodes appeared on torrent websites in 2015.

And as hysteria surrounding the show grew, as did the push for spoilers.

In July this year, hackers compromised HBO’s network systems and demanded a ransom for the final two episodes, as well as stealing the company’s social media accounts.

The US network giant refused to pay the multi-million dollar demand, as the hackers dumped Game of Thrones actors’ personal details, scripts, shooting plans and unaired episodes online.

A premiere date for Game of Thrones season eight is yet to be announced, but is expected to be sometime in 2019.

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