Game of Thrones is a series that’s often been plagued by leaks, both from the network and people close to the production process. Without George R.R. Martin’s books to act as source material, it’s left fans with little to go off of in terms of deciphering the upcoming season. Reddit user awayforthelads recently claimed to possess knowledge that spans the entirety of Season 7, laying out virtually every major plot point yet to come. It first surfaced in the r/FreeFolk sub-Reddit, and has caused an avalanche of speculation as to the veracity of the claims.
The user has since deleted their account, but you can see an episode-by-episode breakdown of their claims here if you’re interested in potentially spoiling Season 7 for yourself. The most important question here is simple: Is this real, or simply the wild claims of an anonymous fan? Let’s look at the facts.
1. HBO has yet to comment, and that’s actually pretty telling
If you’ll remember, Game of Thrones’ fifth season featured a similarly massive leak when the first four episodes snuck out online. This later led to a strict “no screener” policy for HBO, who themselves made a very vocal and public scene about tracking down the ones responsible.
The network has been suspiciously quiet in the wake of the alleged Season 7 leak though. The most Den of Geek was able to get out of them was a flat declaration that they would not “comment on storyline or plot.” If awayforthelads’ claims were patently false with no basis in reality, you’d think HBO would have a vested interest in immediately decrying the “leak.” Instead, awayforthelads quietly deleted his Reddit account, while HBO clammed up entirely.
2. Weirdly specific details in the leaks are beginning to actually come true
If you don’t want to hear anything concerning potential spoilers for Season 7, we recommend ducking out now. Everyone good? Awesome. When awayforthelads’ post first showed up on Reddit, it was easy to dismiss it as sheer speculation. But recent rumors straight from the set of Game of Thrones have given us reason to pause. Watchers on the Wall reports on a scene filmed in Seville, Spain that shows Jon Snow bringing a wight into Kings Landing, with Cersei, Tyrion, Daenerys, Sandor Clegane, and the Mountain present as well.
That aligns frighteningly well with awayforthelads’ original claims, predicting an identical scene a full three weeks before Watchers on the Wall’s own report went live. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut, but such a specific claim actually proving to be true doesn’t seem at all coincidental.
3. So who is this guy anyway?
Anytime sensitive information leaks out, the question always turns toward whether or not the person who leaked the information is actually qualified to have that information in the first place. The thing is, we have no idea who awayforthelads is, or how he (or she) even came into somehow knowing how Season 7 plays out. If he ends up being right, this would reside in the upper tier of “biggest TV leaks of all time.” If he’s wrong, it’s merely someone trying to stir the pot for attention, even if the subsequent deletion of his Reddit account throws a wrench in that possibility. Either way, there aren’t many facts to support the idea that one person managed to swipe an entire season’s story from a famously tight-lipped network like HBO.
4. A source close to the show opens up about the leak
While awayforthelads’ credentials are unclear, already we’ve had one Reddit user whose “source is one of the major actors/actresses in the show” shed some light on the situation. In a lengthy post in r/FreeFolk, he claims that awayforthelads “was either guessing how those storylines would end or he was intentionally making up alternate ending[s].” “I saw that his story was wrong based on what I know and I replied to one of his long comments saying that half of what he wrote was wrong,” he notes, going on to point out that “instead of replying to me he deleted his comments which I was referring to and it proves that he was making things up because he simply avoided confronting me.” The sum total is a whole lot of he said / she said, but it’s still a valuable piece of the puzzle nonetheless.
5. If the leak ends up being true, it would be unprecedented in modern television
There’s a reason we don’t see full plot outlines of major TV shows arriving months before they air. Networks have protocols for keeping story details under wraps, legal language that allows them to sue the pants off of anyone who violates those protocols, and redundancies stacked on redundancies to support all that.
After Game of Thrones’ fifth season leaked, HBO doubled down on secrecy, making it so Jon Snow’s Season 6 fate was a true surprise until the moment the episode went live. For Season 7’s entire story to leak out into the world, it would represent an unprecedented security breach for both HBO, and the modern television industry as we know it. So while it’s certainly not impossible for awayforthelads’ claims to be true, it’s also wildly improbable. Regardless, we won’t know for sure until the new season kicks off next summer.
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