HBO has gone to great lengths to keep Game of Thrones plot details a secret for the final season. Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark, spoke to Vulture about the numerous ways in which the producers went about keeping things locked down, and one part of this involved some kind of device or system that knocked drones trying get a peek out of the sky.
“The secrecy is crazy,” Turner said.
Regarding the “drone-killer” specifically, Turner said she doesn’t know how it worked, but it was apparently effective. “I don’t know how it does it. It creates like this field around and the drones just drop,” she explained.
Another method that HBO used to keep Game of Thrones secrets from leaking was using a fake name for the show so people passing by shoots might not know what they were looking at. “We have a whole different name for it when we’re shooting it. I think this season it was like the Tree of Life or something,” Turner said.
She added that actors’ names are changed in scripts and call sheets, while HBO also spends time and money on shooting completely fake scenes. Previously, it was reported that some scripts were written in code to help keep the story details secret.
Casey Bloys, the head of HBO original programming, said in a previous interview that HBO shot multiple endings for the final Game of Thrones season so that even the cast members don’t know how it wraps up. That being said, Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark, says she knows how the season ends.
While there are only six episodes in the final Game of Thrones season, each one might be as long as a movie. And it sounds like there will be some epic sequences, as one of the battles required 55 consecutive nights of shooting.
The Game of Thrones series has aired new seasons on a yearly basis since the show premiered in 2011. However, with Season 7 wrapping up in 2017 and Season 8 not coming until 2019, the wait for new episodes has been longer than ever. Why the wait? Showrunner David Benioff said at the Emmys this year that Season 8 represents the “biggest thing we’ve ever done,” and this takes time.
“I think it’s quite extraordinary what the crew and these actors have created. And I think when people see it they’re going to understand why it took so long.”
The final Game of Thrones season is set to premiere sometime in 2019. Author George R.R. Martin recently said he believes the show could have run for 11, 12, or even 13 seasons, though he understands that Benioff and D.B. Weiss want to go do new things.