HBO Won’t Send Press Advance Episodes of Game of Thrones Season 6


Hear that faint ticking sound? It’s the clock slowly ticking away to the Game of Thrones Season 6 premiere on Sunday, April 24. HBO is starting to release a few tasty morsels to the public. For instance, on Monday, we got the behind-the-scenes video that showed the crew filming Season 6. We’ve had some tiny teasers involving Bran, complete with a voiceover from Max von Sydow’s Three-Eyed Raven, and we were gifted with a tour of the Hall of Many Faces that ended up being a nostalgic look back at some of the characters who’ve passed through this mortal veil…and some nifty Season 6 posters, too.

And of course, we can’t forge the deluge of images from the new season, probably the best tease we’ve received yet.

Usually around this time of year, we at WiCnet start to expect our advance copy of the first four or so episodes of the newest season of Game of Thrones. Like any responsible media persons, we would privately view these episodes, and then write our advance reviews, and then wait to post them on the nights they air. We also write our spoiler-free thoughts on the season-to-be before it begins. It won’t be happening this year, though, here or anywhere else. HBO programming president Michael Lombardo revealed as much to Entertainment Weekly:

"We’re not sending out press copies this year, anywhere in the world. There will be no copies for review."

Last year, the network sent the first four episodes of Season 5 to the press for review, and they leaked onto the internet immediately before the Season 5 premiere aired. This move seems to be HBO’s attempt to prevent something like that from happening again. Said Lombardo:

"It’s painful for Dan and David [when leaks happen]. 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."

EW posits that this could be a first for a series as big as Game of Thrones. On a personal note, I completely understand the move, and firmly stand behind Benioff and Weiss’ decision. This is just a smart move by HBO to ensure the integrity of the show is kept intact until everyone can watch it at the same time…the way it’s intended.