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Game of Thrones used drone killers to prevent leaks during filming



October 26th, 6:59pm October 26th, 7:01pm Abhijeet Singh

What hovers around comes back to the ground. We don’t exactly live in a civil world, and what better show than Game of Thrones to point that out. So, since the characters don’t abide by any particular moral standard, the audience feel free to wander too. The show has battled against leaks since its inception in 2011, and it’s been getting bloodier with each season. From episodes leaking way before the actual premiere date to scripts being leaked online, Game of Thrones has faced many an intrusion.

Now that the show is to wrap the story up in 2019 with its eighth season, the stakes are too high for the characters as well as the producers. Thus naturally, the Game of Thrones team went extra miles to protect its creative product. And the answer lied in technology, a tool that has been instrumental in bringing A Song of Ice and Fire to life. From creating a 700 feet high Wall to never-seen-before dragons, from direwolves to the appealing opening sequence, technology has come to aid the realm in every possible situation.

Sophie Turner revealed the efforts behind keeping the show safe till its return in an interview with Vulture at New York Comic Con. ”The secrecy is crazy,” she exclaimed. Giving the show a fake name while shooting, changing actors’ names on the script and call sheets are ground-level precautions. But she added that there is an additional drone killer this season that shoots down any unwanted little birds that fly over the set.

“There’s a drone killer. If drones fly above the set, this thing can kill the drones, which is really cool.” When she was asked how, she said, “I don’t know how it does it. It creates like this field around and the drones just drop.” She agreed that it was very X-Men. She plays Jean Grey in the recent movies of the franchise.

The drones are becoming commonplace, due to sophistication in technology and price reduction. Game of Thrones has suffered from the drone problem in earlier seasons too. And apparently, they employed real eagles to take out the unnecessary drones. This year, however, with the great war looming above, they needed the autonomy technology provides.

The show has its own history of drone-usage. In the past seasons, drones were used for filming in tough weather conditions of Iceland.

The use of drone killers has been prevalent among the military, and the local law enforcement agencies of the United States for almost a year now. Earlier this year, the Oceanside Police Department‘s Lt. Aaron Doyle had talked about its use, “The purpose is primarily for emergency situations. It won’t be used when someone complains about a neighbor flying a drone. It’s pretty much for a life-or-death situation, to save lives.” Well, it’s definitely saving the intel on many life-death situations in Westeros.

A drone killer looks like a gun and is a handheld device that uses software-defined radio technology to detect and affect the drones. IXI Technology has been one of the firms designing and providing these. Having a range of about 800 meters and a 30-degree field of the beam, it proves quite effective to break the command and control between the drone and its operator.

From shooting multiple endings to fake scenes, having self-destructive digital scripts (that vanish once the scene is shot) to using drone killers, for the showrunners, the security measures are as big a deal as the show itself.

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As simple as they might be, what are your methods for keeping things under wraps? Tell us in the comments below.

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Founder at Wiki of Thrones and a full-time Game of Thrones fan who does other work when he has finished reading and writing about Game of Thrones and also dreams about playing a role in the show.