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Game of Thrones Season 8 Scripts Under Lock and Key — Even for the Starring Cast

The read-through for the eighth season of Game of Thrones recently began in Belfast — the cast will act out three episodes on day one, and the other half of the season on day two, after which there will be a week of rehearsals and then, finally, filming will begin. Despite this, the actors haven’t been able to prepare, due to this final season’s tightened security measures, according to Davos Seaworth himself, Liam Cunningham.

In an interview with IGN, Cunningham continued being just as talkative as he’s been lately, this time discussing the season eight scripts, which he already has … more or less:

“I got six of [the scripts], I got them all,” begins Cunningham. But it’s not that simple. For the last few seasons, scripts moved to digital-only in order to avoid misplaced physical copies, and now the production has gone even further in their efforts to avoid leaks: “I can’t open them, because of all the security,” he clarifies, “and I can’t walk them out.”

Yes, you read that right: as unbelievably impractical as it may appear, these measures are so tight now that the actors aren’t even allowed to open their digital scripts outside the Game of Thrones studio in Belfast anymore — at least not until filming begins, and perhaps not even then, though Cunningham did not make that clear. Either way, these scripts are being treated as delicate weapons, only to be treated with the utmost care. Or, as the Irish actor put it, to open the scripts is “like pulling the pin out of a grenade.”

Hopefully this year we’ll be able to enjoy the off-season with the usual kind of spoilers. That is, casting calls, filming photos, and the like — the kind of little spoilers which allow the community to try and piece together the story, instead of outright script leaks, which just hand us a contextless plot dump, actually spoiling the experience for many.

READ ON FOR: Game of Thrones prequel projects an “embarrassment of riches,” says HBO CEO

HBO CEO Richard Plepler with George R. R. Martin at the Game of Thrones Season 3 premiere

Richard Plepler traveled to Cannes today to receive the Variety Vanguard Award for “his contribution to the TV business” as HBO’s CEO at MIPCOM, an international trade show. During a keynote discussion with Variety, the HBO boss discussed Game of Thrones or, more specifically, the spin-off prequels in development, in rather glowing terms.

Reportedly, and understandably, Plepler was reluctant to share any juicy details about the eighth and final season of the TV show or the possible prequels, but he did reinforce there are five spin-off projects in development by a number of writers.

The CEO assured Variety that “it’s a fantastic group of writers and talent, most of whom have lived inside the Thrones eco-system so are very, very familiar with its intricacies.” This includes Game of Thrones writer and producer Bryan Cogman, who is involved in one of the projects in consideration, and the series author himself, George R. R. Martin.

Plepler has “seen some early ideas on paper” according to Variety. HBO “are looking some things,” in the words of the CEO. “I have read a couple of early bibles, and I’m excited about what I’ve seen.” For those who are not aware, a “bible” is a document detailing the characters and world of a TV show, used not only as reference to keep continuity but also as an accessible way to pitch the show’s concept to the network.

“I think we will find with this embarrassment of riches an exciting property for us to move forward with,” he said regarding the group of screenwriters involved.

We are excited too! However, before a spin-off is greenlit and goes into production, we still have a final season of Game of Thrones, for which the news keep on coming!