After seven seasons of spoilers, leaks and hacks, it appears HBO has finally given up the ghost on keeping the plot of Game of Thrones under lock and key. Instead, the network has come up with a plan so tricky you have to wonder whether Varys (Conleth Hill) cooked it up himself.
According to The Morning Call, the show will film multiple alternate endings for the series in an effort to combat leaks -- or at least that's what it claims it will do.
"I know in Game of Thrones, the ending, they're going to shoot multiple versions so that nobody really know what happens," HBO's programming chief Casey Bloys said. "You have to do that on a long show. Because 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."
The thinking there seems to be that no matter what the show does, spoilers are going to get out. So why not script, rehearse and film a ton of different endings so that even if they all leak, the audience will still head into the series finale with only an extremely educated guess about how the final fight for Westeros will go down?
The Walking Deadpulled the same move last year -- with some serious success -- when it filmed the Season 7 premiere. In order to avoid spoilers about who Negan (Jeffery Dean Morgan) had beaten to death with his beloved baseball bat in the Season 6 finale, the show filmed several of its character receiving the death blow to cast doubt on who the real victim was. In fact, an alternate scene where Maggie (Lauren Cohan) was Negan's kill actually ended up leaking online before the premiere, leading many fans down a slippery spoiler slope.
However, that was a much easier and inexpensive trick to pull off. Asfan site Watchers on the Wall points out, even Game of Thrones -- unless it finds itself in a similar plot as The Walking Dead -- doesn't have the budget to pull off convincing fake finale scenes, does it?
But you know HBO will do something to throw spoiler hunters off scent. A word to the wise during Game of Thrones Season 8 -- even if you see the ending with your own two eyes, you might still be wrong.