Note: contains spoilers for the final ever episode of Game of Thrones.
But show creators David Benioff and DB Weiss were so desperate not to give away how the series ends that they invited every cast member who was still reasonably believed to be alive to the set while the final episodes of season eight were being filmed.
They then went even further to keep Game of Thrones’ secrets from amateur sleuths, worrying that it would be possible to check on the whereabouts of the cast’s stunt doubles and stand-ins as a way of deciding who really made it to the end.
So they also invited those people to the set during the final week of filming.
"HBO had built up a tradition of flying out the cast, doubles and stunt doubles who weren’t in the scenes," actor Toby Osmond tells Digital Spy. "That was in order to throw off speculation about who would actually be in the scene.
"Emilia Clarke’s stunt double was flown out and they put her into costume with her wig on and everything, and she was walking around the set. Even Kit Harington came out and [he] wasn’t in the final scene."
Osmond says he understood the need for such stringent secrecy all too well, as his own casting as a Prince of Dorne and the head of House Martell came under unexpected scrutiny. He was photographed at the wrap parties for both the Seville and Belfast shoots for Game of Thrones, following rumours he had been cast as the younger brother of Red Viper Oberyn Martell.
"I went for a meeting with Jeff Bridges’ publicist in LA and thankfully she Googled me before the meeting. She said, 'I see you’ve had a bit of Game of Thrones press.' I said, 'What? Is there another Toby Osmond? Do you mean Tobias Menzies?'
"But there’d been speculation in the press because I’d been to the Seville wrap party and been invited to the Belfast final, final wrap party. And the night before I’d gone out to a party in Belfast with a load of the cast doubles and stunt people.
"The newspapers hadn’t named me but they put snaps up on social media. And then going into the Belfast wrap party, I was snapped with Kerry Ingram, the actress who played Stannis Baratheon’s daughter Shireen. It’s crazy when major UK papers are naming you in headlines!"
Even seemingly innocent actions such as character research carry their own problems on a show as big as Game of Thrones. "I thought, 'Am I really following in the footsteps of Pedro Pascal?'," Osmond revealed. "My role is obviously so much smaller but I wasn’t going to let that stop me, so I did my research and fully prepared for the role.
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"Just for my ease, on YouTube I favourite-ed a collection of the Red Viper’s scenes. Some fan being an effective PI picked up on that, the clever little dick!"
Less subtle was the updated Spotlight CV posted by Osmond’s agent, which left little to the imagination and had to be pulled. It confirmed that he had completed filming "a great royal role" in "the next (and final) series" of "an epic network fantasy saga" that will be airing in "spring 2019".
"It didn’t leave much to the imagination!" he admitted with a laugh.
Game of Thrones season 8 airs on HBO in the US and Sky Atlantic and NOW TVin the UK. Tune in toDigital Spy's Game of Thrones livestreams on Monday evenings, straight after each episode, on Instagram and Facebook.
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