'Game of Thrones' Critics Will Not Get Advance Screenings of Season 8 Episodes

Game of Thrones returns for its eighth season on April 14, but critics will have to wait to find out the fate of Westeros just like everyone else, as Entertainment Weekly reports that critics will not get advance screenings of the HBO show for its final season.

Earlier in the series, HBO would send out screener DVDs for review, but critics have now been without screeners for the past two seasons after the first four episodes of Season 5 were leaked from an advance DVD, though not by a critic. In addition, the show's popularity has only continued to increase and fans have become even more eager for any information about upcoming episodes.

For Season 8, it's possible that some members of the media will be able to see the premiere in advance if HBO holds a red carpet premiere screening, as it has for seasons past. Even if that is the case, coverage of the premiere is almost guaranteed to be embargoed before it officially arrives on HBO in April.

Season 8 of GOT will be comprised of six episodes, and the first two installments will run 54 and 58 minutes long, respectively, while many of the later episodes are rumored to be longer than one hour.

While fans and critics alike are on the edge of their seats waiting for the final episodes to roll out, the series' stars have been discussing the show's ending as vaguely as possible, as they can't give too much away before the finale airs.

Emilia Clarke, who plays Daenerys, only offered BAZAAR.com one sentence on her character's final season arc, saying "She starts feeling pretty cocksure and confident, and then stuff happens," though she was more open about the phsical toll it took to shoot the show.

"Game of Thrones is probably the hardest shooting I'll do, because it is so physical and you're in a corset!" Clarke said. "You've got the physical places of where you are, the weather is so extreme, and the hours are really long and there's so much tension in each character towards the end. There's so much tension in the room, and you're concentrating so hard. It's strenuous."

Kit Harington, who stars as Jon Snow, recently said on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert that reading the final script threw him for a loop.

"I was very shocked and surprised at certain events unfolding," he said. "And then I blubbed my eyes out. I cried. I cried, yeah."

"I got to the table and they used me as a litmus test," he added. "[Creators David Benioff and D. B. Weiss] were looking at me to see how the events unfolded, and they got some pretty good reactions."


Season 8 of Game of Thrones premieres April 14 on HBO.

Photo Credit: HBO