The latest news of the “Game of Thrones won’t give us any valuable information” variety is that HBO is, for the first time, not releasing any S6 episodes to the press before airing:
Some kind of change to the process was expected after last year’s screener episodes leaked onto piracy websites before the season premiere. HBO has since switched to an online streaming website for review purposes, but apparently tougher measures are being implemented when it comes to Game of Thrones.
“It’s painful for Dan and David [when leaks happen],” Lombardo says to EW. “When you have press copies, inevitably friends ask, ‘Can I see your copy?’ There are things that happen. We talked about the upsides and downsides. Some of the press are fans who might be disappointed, but they’ll understand.”
I’ve said before that the underwhelming, semi-professional-looking teaser materials they’ve been releasing to us this year are a considered choice, not just thoughtless laziness. Their stinginess with new content is a wise response to the metric tons of information that’s been leaked to fandom (mostly through Watchers, though Winter occasionally gets something first) during the filming season.
And with that in mind, the decision not to release screener episodes makes perfect sense. Not just because everyone’s waiting for Jon Snow’s resurrection, though that’s a factor. Many of us fans already know way too much, and it’s in HBO’s interest not to give us any more puzzle-pieces. Especially when there are some fans who will make a feast of any morsel they throw at us and do things like analyze patterns and search for conspicuous omissions from a random bunch of dead faces mounted on a dark wall. If I were a bigwig at HBO, and I knew of fans like me, I wouldn’t trust them with any new content, either.