With great popularity comes the need for great secrecy.
Over the years, "Game of Thrones" has dealt with pirating, leaks, and hacks, so it's no wonder HBO pulled out all the stops for its eighth and final season. During New York Comic Con on Saturday, Oct. 6, star Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) described how much effort went into guarding Season 8's secrets. As she put it, according to Vulture, "the secrecy is crazy."
A number of strategies came into play. First of all, the cast and crew used code names. Turner said that actors' real names were replaced with fake ones on the scripts and call sheets. Additionally, there was a special drone that she referred to as a "drone killer." Its job was to down any drones that were flying over set and potentially gathering intel.
"I don't know how it does it," Turner said. "It creates like this field around and the drones just drop."
Perhaps even more extreme was a strategy that got some of the show's stars involved in trickery. Turner indicated that they used the public's heavy scrutiny in their favor by shooting fake scenes when photographers were likely to see them.
"We got into costume in Croatia because we know the paparazzi lurk around there, so we would spend like half a day doing nothing," she said.
It sounds like a lot of effort, but it's still less than what HBO Programming President Casey Bloys previously claimed they'd be doing. In September 2017, he said that they planned to shoot multiple endings to prevent the real ending from getting out early. However, in February, Turner's co-star Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) cast doubt on that idea.
Fake endings or not, HBO is clearly taking secrecy seriously.
"Game of Thrones" Season 8 premieres in 2019.