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Exclusive: How ‘Game of Thrones’ plans to avoid leaks of season 8’s ending

“Game of Thrones” producers will shoot multiple versions of the ending of season eight to try to avoid leaks.

That’s according to HBO’s president of programming, who said last week:

“I know in ‘Game of Thrones,’ the ending, they’re going to shoot multiple versions so that nobody really know what happens,” HBO’s Casey Bloys said.

“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.”

So even “Game of Thrones” stars will have to watch the show’s final episode to see who survives the bloody blockbuster series.

Photo: HBO

Other hit shows — including AMC’s “Breaking Bad” and HBO’s “The Sopranos” — have kept their endings secret by shooting different endings.

Going back to 1980, “Dallas” producers shot many endings for a season four climax episode, with almost every major character filmed firing the gun that would resolve the cliffhanger of “Who Shot J.R.?” That “Who Done It” broadcast remains among the most-watched TV episodes ever.

Bloys, a Bethlehem native who was speaking to students, faculty and the public at Bethlehem’s Moravian College, discussed the challenge of writing a great ending.

“Finales are tough,” he said. “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.”

About that “Sopranos” ending: Bloys said he still doesn’t know for sure what happened to Tony Soprano.

“The thing that was interesting about ‘The Sopranos’ was it did make you think,” he said. “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.”

The actor Kit Harington, who plays Jon Snow, likely won’t know how ‘Game of Thrones’ ends until he watches the final episode with the rest of fans. (Helen Sloan / HBO)

Production on the six “Game of Thrones” episodes in the final season will begin in October and could continue until as late as August 2018, according to The Hollywood Reporter. That could mean the season might not start until 2019. HBO has not announced a date.

“Our production people are trying to figure out a timeline for the shoot and how much time the special effects take,” Bloys told The Hollywood Reporter.

Production is complicated by the fact the medieval fantasy drama is filmed on different continents. Past locations have included Malta, Morocco, Spain, Croatia, Iceland, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

“Game of Thrones” is gaining audiences — the season seven finale on Aug. 27 was the show’s most-watched episode. Season seven averaged more than 30 million viewers through live and delayed viewing, Bloys said.

Source: Mike Hirsch (www.mcall.com/entertainment/mc-bio-mike-hirsch-staff.html)

 

Read on for screenrant.com’s opinion on the matter courtesy of Mansoor Mithaiwala:

Game of Thrones to Film Multiple Endings to Fight Spoilers

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: Mansoor Mithaiwala (http://screenrant.com/author/mmith/)

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