With all the secrecy surrounding Jon Snow and the leaking of four Season 5 episodes last year, HBO has decided that it will not send any advance screeners to press for Game of Thrones Season 6. Speaking to EW, network president Michael Lombardo said that show creators David Benioff and Dan Weiss requested them to not send out screeners this year.
“We’re not sending out press copies this year, anywhere in the world. There will be no copies for review. It’s painful for Dan and David [when leaks happen]. When you have press copies, inevitably friends ask, ‘Can I see your copy?’ There are things that happen. We talked about the upsides and downsides. Some of the press are fans who might be disappointed, but they’ll understand.”
Sounds like a pretty smart move. It was a very disappointing phase for fans as well when the first four episodes of Season 5 leaked online. Lot of countries/ISPs have banned access to file sharing sites/BitTorrent whereas some countries have strict copyright laws, which prevented many fans from watching the leaked episodes. Some fans also made the moral choice of not watching them.
However, there were some who just couldn’t keep the leaked content to themselves and via social media, spoiled major plot points for others like the death of Ser Barristan and the return of Jaqen H’ghar. Let’s hope this is not the case this year, as the show will completely outpace the books and with all the hype regarding Jon Snow’s possible resurrection, it will be a major bummer for everyone if a leak happens.