Game of Thrones will shoot multiple endings to avoid story leaks
Whether it's your cup of tea or not, it's pretty clear by now that Game of Thrones is the most popular show on TV, right? The season seven finale was the most watched episode of the show, and the series averaged around 30 million viewers per episode. But it turns out that there were plenty who were watching in a more covert way. According to data from piracy tracking firm Muso, the recent season was illegally downloaded more than a billion times.
In July, it was reported that around 94 percent of Game of Thrones viewers watch it legally, either streaming it through HBO, Amazon and Hulu, or purchasing it on iTunes. But when the show is as big as this, those numbers end up racking up. It brings leaks too, as we have seen hackers release scripts and episodes leaked early for the most avid fans. Four people were arrested in India for uploading a pirated episode to a streaming service in Mumbai.
All this is for the penultimate season, so you can tell all hell is going to break loose when the eighth season is released in 2019. Any website that gets the scoop on how the whole thing turns out is set to make a lot of money, so the company are side-stepping the problem by filming multiple endings for the finale episode.
Casey Bloys, HBO's President of Programming, spoke at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, about the company and its approach. During the discussion, he revealed the plans the producers have to avoid leaks:
"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. When you're shooting, people know. So they're going to shoot multiple versions so that there's no real definitive answer until the end."
Even the stars won't know how it ends, apparently, as the producers are taking a similar approach that Breaking Bad did to avoid the real ending getting out onto the internet before the episode airs. This is even more important to do with the speed at which information travels in 2017. I know many of you will have shared my pain after being spoiled on a shocking twists just because you couldn't watch the episode live.
Bloys continued, speaking about the pressure they are under to live up to fan expectations:
"Finales are tough. If you think about Six Feet Under, well that was a pretty good finale. But if you think about Seinfeld, if you think about The Sopranos, if you think about Breaking Bad - everybody has an opinion about how a show should end.
The thing that was interesting about The Sopranos was it did make you think. In a way everybody got their own version of it. I think he was probably shot, but I don't think David [Chase] has really told anybody what really happened in his mind. But I think that's his point. It can be whatever you think it should be as a fan."
It's not known exactly when the final season will air, and Bloys explained that they are "trying to figure out a timeline for the shoot and how much time the special effects take". Some publications have reported that the production of the final six episodes will begin in October and carry on until summer 2018, meaning that we will have to wait until 2019 to see more.
Speaking of the show's end, did you ever consider the idea that Jaime could be the true hero of Game of Thrones?