Meaghan Kirby
June 17, 2017 10:31 am
HBO

We are just 29 days away from the biggest event of the year — the Game of Thrones season seven premiere — and HBO is not taking any spoiler risks. While critics customarily receive advance copies of the first episode or first few episodes from the new season of a show, HBO has halted that tradition — but only when it comes to Game of Thrones.

For the first time last year, the fantasy series made headlines after screeners were not made available for critics and it seems HBO is following that rule again with the upcoming season.

The no-screeners rule was put in place after the first four episodes of season four were leaked to streaming platform BitTorrent, using DVD screeners that had been sent to the press. Since then, HBO and the GoT cast and crew have  gone out of their way to be as secretive as possible about the show.

We’re sure critics are feeling like ~this~ right now:

Honestly though, we can’t say we blame them. While showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are notoriously secretive and will often keep their actors in the dark, the series has definitely had it’s fair share of leaks. Last fall, a Redditor even claimed to have every detail from the upcoming season of GoT. There are even fans so dedicated to the show, they’re constantly scouring Belfast (GoT’s main shooting location) for signs of long-lost characters.

Much like season six, the upcoming season will be entirely new territory for GoT fans, as the season is, once again, ahead of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. Now that even book readers are in the dark, it’s extra important to keep plot twists under wraps.

But critics aren’t *entirely* out of luck — Game of Thrones generally holds a huge premiere event, complete with a red carpet, ahead of the HBO premiere, where critics can see an advanced copy of the season premiere. For anyone who is lucky enough to come across GoT season seven early — beware of leakers or Benioff and Weiss will probably send The (zombified) Mountain after you.

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