Game of Thrones is looking to keep the secrets of its penultimate episode in tact ahead of their airing.
In an effort to combat both spoilers leaking online and episode being pirated prior to their airing, HBO has elected not to send any episodes of the upcoming seventh season of Game of Thrones with TV critics according to EW.
Most networks provide episodes of new seasons in advance to allow for interviews and coverage to publish as a supplement to the new episodes. HBO, however, has not sent episodes of the popular series since Season 5. However, after the first four episodes of Season 5 of Game of Thrones were shared with various outlets, the batch was leaked online ahead of the Season 5 premiere. This all happened despite HBO's attempt to keep the screeners secure by mailing a four-disc set of DVD's for review and coverage purposes.
The Season 5 leak paired with the fact that Game of Thrones is already the most pirated show on television are the motivating factors for keeping the episodes to themselves.
Any critics aiming to review or discuss the first episode of Game of Thrones Season 7 might find luck if they are able to attend the formalized premiere event. However, the network will keep anything other than that exclusive broadcast on the premium network and their HBO Go apps.
Game of Thrones is set to premiere its seventh and penultimate season on July 16. Compared to the previous 10-season, Game of Thrones's final two seasons will be short, with the season seven consisting of seven episodes and season eight consisting of just six episodes.
Game of Thrones' Season 7 ensemble will include returning stars Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke and Kit Harington as well as newcomers Jim Broadbent and Tom Hopper.
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