Based on the best-selling but incomplete novel series 'A Song of Ice and Fire' by author George R R Martin, HBO fantasy series 'Game of Thrones' has entertained audiences for six full seasons now, with a seventh right around the corner. As the most-watched show in the TV network's history, you'd think they'd want to hang on to it for as long as possible. When season 8 eventually comes round however, it'll be the last in the series and consist of just six episodes, as opposed to the usual 10 or the next season's seven.

Could the White Walkers take over in season 7?Could the White Walkers take over in season 7?

This weekend it's been revealed that the network will be following suit when it comes to the critics with what they did last year. They won't be releasing any episodes, check discs or the likes to journalists ahead of the seventh season's premiere, in a bid to tackle the leaking of episodes which happened with season 5 and prior. As television's most expensive show to make, leaks are a huge deal. They take away from overall viewership and make a big impact.

Though no official event premiere for the series' first episode has yet been announced, it's still likely one will go ahead. In the past they've taken place in cities such as London, so we'll at least be able to check out reviews for the season's first episode ahead of its July debut.

Emilia Clarke returns as Daenerys TargaryenEmilia Clarke returns as Daenerys Targaryen

Last year, the move was an unprecedented one. Critics almost always get episodes of major shows in advance so that promotion for that show can be given in the way of previews and reviews. It's hard to argue that 'Game of Thrones' now needs that sort of promotion however; it's going to be one of the most popular shows on the small screen whether or not critics give each season their approval before broadcast.

Coupling that with the series' showrunners Dan Weiss and David Benioff hoping to keep their storylines as secret as possible - especially now they're ahead of the book series - and any chance of 'Game of Thrones' episodes being released early in the future is looking slim.

More: 'Game Of Thrones' Team Working On Ideas For Spin-Off Series

'Game of Thrones' season 7 premieres in the US on HBO on July 16, and comes to Sky Atlantic in the UK on July 17.