Entertainment Weekly has revealed that HBO will not be delivering advanced screeners of the upcoming seventh season of Game of Thrones to critics.
The move to withhold screeners from the press is an attempt to prevent spoilers from the highly anticipated new season of the hit fantasy series from leaking onto the web. In 2015, the first four episodes of season five managed to hit the web after screeners were sent out for review purposes which lead to the network keeping screeners from being released for the following sixth season.
Given that Game of Thrones is one of the most highly secretive television productions in history and the leaks in the past, the news that the premium cable channel will once again withhold screeners from the press comes as no great surprise.
As EW points out, critics may still have an opportunity to catch the first episode of season seven before it airs at the red carpet premiere. The event has yet to be announced but is usually held before every season in a major city and critics will likely be able to review the first episode then.
Game of Thrones Season 7 premieres July 16, 2017. You can watch the trailer here.
‘Game Of Thrones’ Season 7 Promotional Images
Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 7
Pictured: Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark — Photo: Helen Sloan/HBO