HBO has revealed how it intends to avoid spoilers ruining the ending of hit fantasy drama Game of Thrones when the final season airs in 2019. Network president of programming Casey Bloys explained that the show's producers will employ a classic TV tactic.
"I know in 'Game of Thrones,' the ending, they're going to shoot multiple versions so that nobody really know what happens," Bloys said during a talk at Moravian College in Pennsylvania (via The Morning Call). "You have to do that on a long show.
"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."
So only the finale episode's director and a select few helping with the editing process or high up enough at HBO will know the true ending. Even the stars of the show may not truly know how the epic story concludes until that final episode airs.
Once the episode has aired though, that won't stop the fans and media outlets ruining it anyway, because of course they will.
Numerous TV shows over the years have shot multiple endings to keep the true one a secret, including Dallas when it resolved the famous "Who Shot JR?" mystery. Breaking Bad and The Sopranos also did the same.
In 2001, the BBC also shot multiple endings for an episode of EastEnders revealing who shot Phil Mitchell. It could have been Ian Beale, Mark Fowler, Steve Owen or Ian Beale, but ended up being Lisa Shaw.
Game of Thrones' latest season suffered multiple times from leaks, which played a role in the most recent run of episodes being pirated over one billion times, as was revealed recently by tracker MUSO.
Were the series finale to leak, it would be catastrophic for the company and ruin the enjoyment of many fans.
Production on season eight is set to begin in October. The season will consist of six episodes, each believed to be feature-length (roughly 90 minutes). Production could continue all the way through to August 2018.
HBO hasn't announced a release date for the final season, but 2019 seems a safe bet considering next year HBO has two major big budget series in works: True Detective's third season and the second season of Westworld.
"Finales are tough," Bloys continued. "If you think about Six Feet Under, well that was a pretty good finale. But if you think about Seinfeld, if you think about The Sopranos, if you think about Breaking Bad. Everybody has an opinion about how a show should end."