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'Game of Thrones' Is Shooting Decoy Endings to Avoid Spoilers

HBO's programming president announced extra precautions the network would take to keep the series finale under wraps.

by Beckett Mufson
Sep 14 2017, 5:13pm

Courtesy of HBO

After a year of dealing with hackers publishing scripts, distribution partners accidentally slipping full episodes, and spoiler-hungry fans surveilling sets like Cold War spies, HBO's programming president Casey Bloys has come up with a plan to take extra measures to protect the ending of HBO's most sought-after title, Game of Thrones.

"I know in Game of Thrones, the ending, they're going to shoot multiple versions so that nobody really knows what happens," Bloys said during a recent speech at Moravian College in Pennsylvania, the Morning Call reports. "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."

It's certainly not the first time the tactic has been used to fight spoilers for major shows. According to GQ, Mad Men showrunner Matthew Weiner fought series finale leaks by giving alternate scripts to all but core actors like Jon Hamm and John Slattery. AMC took it even further on The Walking Dead, shooting multiple versions of a scene from a now-infamous season premiere in order to obscure which member of the core group died.

The Game of Thrones crew is already pretty accustomed to employing ruses to throw off their fans. Aside from Kit Harrington outright lying to his fellow cast members about Jon Snow's death in season five, he revealed that he and Emilia Clarke had posed in compromising, fake situations while shooting season seven to fool paparazzi lurking nearby.

But for some Thrones super fans, one ending may never be truly satisfying, leading some to wonder what might happen should all of HBO's decoy endings eventually leak. One Twitter user cites multiverse theory to argue that all the endings could be "true," and another simply embraces the idea that everyone will be able to choose whichever ending they want. Ideally one of these versions would include Tommen's cat, Ser Pounce, leading Westeros to victory against the Night King with a firm, yet gentle paw.

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filmmaking
Game of Thrones
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Spoilers
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Kit Harrington