Prior to inexplicably erasing it’s own pop culture footprint more thoroughly than Bigfoot sprinting through a forest with diarrhoea it’s hard to overstate how big a deal Game of Thrones was. A watercooler hit in an age when those barely exist, the fervour surrounding the show was such that actor Kit Harrington was able to get away with an actual crime just by telling someone spoilers from it.
First though, a brief overview of how Game of Thrones handled spoilers because the show quite literally changed how the entire television industry approached spoilers, with other shows like Stranger Things ultimately reaching out to ask producers how to stop fans, internet sleuths and the press figuring out plot threads ahead of time. By the time the final season of the show rolled around Game of Thrones would eventually come to pioneer another radical technique to stop fans trying to figure out spoilers, assassinating characters before their scheduled deaths with shitty writing.
Anyway, other things the show did prior to shitting the bed as hard and thoroughly as humanly possible was film fake scenes, usually involving actors whose fates weren’t yet decided. Luring the press to remote parts of the world like a fancy looking castle and then point empty cameras at actors for an entire day and make them do random shit that didn’t make any sense. A technique they would later employ for Season 8.
It’s worth noting that we initially wrote that line as a joke and were going to make a meta-commentary about how lazy and reductive that was and go into this whole spiel about that’s what Game of Thrones did and then opining out loud if that made it okay before hastily switing topics until we researched it and discovered that they actually did do this for Season 8, filming a fake showdown between Jon and Cersei on location in Croatia. Holy shit.
Hell, even in earlier seasons of the show the show somehow managed to avoid leaking any spoilers for a show based on a book that you know, anyone could just go out and buy purely by weaponising Charles Dance’s asshole puckering death glare. No, really. To explain, many of the actors in early seasons of the show would report being afraid to reveal more info than necessary about it almost entirely due to the fact they were fucking terrified of Charles Dance. Which, yeah, we get.
Another actor who was able to use his star power for his own ends was the aforementioned Kit Harrington who, somewhat understandably, found himself being hounded by the press, friends and fans about his ultimate fate following his presumed “death” at the end of one season. Weirdly, according to Harrington he was able to resist the urge to tell anyone what happened to his character save for his parents, his girlfriend and a police officer who pulled him over for speeding. A scenario the police officer decided to take advantage of, abusing his position of authority to extort something of value from a member of the public. Unbelievable we know but try to follow.
According to Harrington the police officer grilled him on his character’s fate, telling the actor rather bluntly that he could either tell him what happened in the following season or be arrested. Something Harrington reportedly, initially nervously laughed off because again, how unlikely is it that a pillar of public trust like a police officer would be a petty, power-tripping asshole willing to bend the law just to fuck with a person who didn’t unquestioningly obey their every command. When it became clear Harrington had, had the misfortune to encounter the one police officer like that he sheepishly told them that he was alive in the next season and quickly drove off.