HBO Refuses to Give Advance Episodes of 'Game of Thrones' to Critics

Friday, 16 June 2017 - 7:25PM
Game of Thrones
Friday, 16 June 2017 - 7:25PM
HBO Refuses to Give Advance Episodes of 'Game of Thrones' to Critics
HBO
Generally, whenever a studio or network chooses not to share their movie or TV show with critics ahead of time, it's a warning sign that communicates a lack of faith in the story being told. But this rule doesn't apply in all circumstances, as one would hope is the case with Game of Thrones.

HBO has elected not to share any of season seven with critics ahead of its official air date, for fear of some big spoilers finding their way onto the internet, again. You can kind of see HBO's point - episodes from season five of Game of Thrones were leaked early, spoiling the fun for a lot of people and denting HBO's profits to some degree.

But in fairness, spoilers are always available to those who seek them earnestly. Lipreading can achieve wonders for finding out secrets ahead of time, and those eager fans who want to get an early scoop on Game of Thrones can even check out leaked set photos to see what's going on in the show's plot. Heck, even season seven the trailer itself gives away a lot of crucial information about what's coming:



Spoiler culture is difficult across all media. Some fans hate spoilers with a fiery passion and go out of their way to avoid them, while other drink them in, excited to learn more about their favorite shows. The hard part is finding a balance between the two, as spoiler fans like to shout their insights from the heavens in a way that ruins things for the spoilerphobic among us.

So perhaps HBO is right to do this. Maybe advanced screenings for critics, early releases of TV episodes, and even behind-the-scenes footage should be avoided, in order to allow audiences to enjoy stories without being colored by an understanding of what comes next. The only problem, is that then nobody will know what media is worth watching until they're actually watching it - which leads us right back into the trap of sitting through bad stories because we haven't had a chance to be forewarned about a flop.

Oh well. It's not like anyone was going to listen to the critics about Game of Thrones anyway. We've all already decided to keep watching, if only because TV addictions are notoriously difficult to break.

Game of Thrones returns July 16, 2017 on HBO.
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