Being the leader of the free world isn’t a bad gig. You get a nice house, your own jet and, perhaps most importantly, early access to the year’s most-anticipated show.
Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have made it clear that they won’t be releasing screeners of Season 6, a decision TV Guide called “unprecedented.”
One man, though, knows how to play the game of thrones.
The showrunners have confirmed that the president will receive advance episodes of the show. “When the commander-in-chief says, ‘I want to see advanced episodes,’ what are you gonna do?” Benioff said.
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This might not seem like striking news, until you consider the work that HBO has put in during the past year to maintain what the Wrap called the year’s biggest cliffhanger. It matters so deeply to some that one impassioned fan has created an online petition on the White House’s official website, demanding that President Barack Obama release information from the screeners.
In the Season 5 finale of Game of Thrones, something happened that left fans’ mouths agape and their hearts pounding. Jon Snow, played by Kit Harington, was left lying in the snow, blood pouring from several stab wounds to his abdomen, blank eyes staring at ... nothing.
Some were not convinced of his demise. One Twitter user wrote, “I’m sure he will rise again.” Another wrote he knows they’re “gonna bring back Jon Snow from the dead.”The Washington Post’s TV critic Hank Stuever wrote that it’s a “safe bet Jon Snow will come back from the dead.”
Thus began a year of secrecy and spying.
Because no one knows what’s happening next in the series. For for the first time in the series, the TV show is running ahead of the books by George R.R. Martin, on which the show is based.
It all began with Harington’s failure to cut his hair. See, Harington often complained of the haircut he was forced to maintain for the show. In an interview with Metro, he said, “If you look a certain way or you have a certain look, it dominates what people think you are. So I’ll cut it off quite soon. As soon as I’m allowed.”
When Entertainment Tonight asked why he hadn’t yet, considering that he seemed to despise the haircut, he said, “I can chop it off right now.”
The plot thickened when Watchers of the Wall, an online fan community dedicated to all things Game of Thrones, posted a candid photo sent in by a fan. It showed Harington in the airport in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where Season 6 of the show was being filmed.
Then paparazzi captured photos of Harington on the Belfast set, in full costume, which the Daily Mail published.
Harington confronted those photos, somewhat. “Look, I’m not in the show anymore,” the beleaguered actor said, once again, this time to Time Out London. “I’m definitely not in the new series.”
When pressed, he said, “’I filmed some scenes of me being dead. It’s some of my best work.”
For its part, HBO has stuck to its guns, recently releasing a statement that said, “Jon Snow is dead.”
Fans will have to wait until the April 24 premiere of Season 6. Well, all fans but one.
Well played, Mr. President.
‘Game of Thrones,’ Season 6, will being airing at 9 p.m. April 24 on HBO.