HBO says they are filming multiple versions of Game of Thrones' series finale in an effort to combat spoilers. Game of Thrones is undoubtedly one of the biggest shows on television (and possibly ever to release), and since the series has already passed the books they are based on, keeping a lid on spoilers from leaking is of utmost priority to the producers - and rightfully so. After all, with only one season left before the network closes up shop on their flagship series, they want to make sure they get to tell the story without worry of the ending leaking online beforehand.
One way to combat spoilers from popping up online has been to film several fake scenes in order to confuse the paparazzi and anyone else peeping in on their production. Kit Harington once said that he had filmed upwards of 15 hours of additional scenes that weren't used in the final cut just so that they could throw off people online, should those scenes ever end up online. It turns out, that method worked for HBO before, so now they are taking things a step further for the impending series finale.
In order to throw the scent off from the general public, namely paparazzi, as well as possibly some of the cast and crew, the series' producers have commissioned multiple versions of the series finale. They are shooting four different versions of the final episode so that they can safeguard against leaks. Here's what HBO president Casey Bloys had to say on the matter to student and faculty at Moravian College in Bethlehem, PA last week, according to The Morning Call:
“I know in Game of Thrones, the ending, they’re going to shoot multiple versions so that nobody really knows what happens. You have to do that on a long show. Because when you’re shooting something, people know. So they’re going to shoot multiple versions so that there’s no real definitive answer until the end.”
Filming multiple versions of the show's ending will certainly help the producers and the premium network in guarding against spoilers from leaking. However, that won't stop the episodes from leaking online early and ruining the series finale for those who choose to wait and watch the finale when it airs on Sundays. This past season of Game of Thrones was plagued with numerous leaks. First, foreign hackers were able to acquire one of the episodes and leak it online early, but HBO managed to pull the episode rather quickly. Then, there was the incident in which HBO themselves accidentally leaked the season's penultimate episode early. If they want to completely safeguard against spoilers, they will need to work on protecting their episodes as well.
At the moment, it's unclear when the final season of Game of Thrones will air. We do know that the producers have completed the scripts for the entire season already, which means they may go into production sooner rather than later. Still, since many of the episodes will be feature-length, and since it will be the final season that takes place, presumably, during winter, they may have to delay production until everything is ready to go. That means Game of Thrones season 8 may not arrive until 2019, but hopefully, it hits screens earlier than that.
Source: The Morning Call