German gamblers may have revealed secrets of ‘Game of Thrones’ season 7

Game of Thrones

:: The hugely popular HBO program Game of Thrones — the biggest show of 2016 ­— returns on July 16, but even before the season 7 premiere on Sunday, fans are already having to avoid spoilers.

Bookmakers have been running a market on which character from the show — based on George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire novels — will “sit the Iron Throne” at the end of the upcoming season. The Iron Throne is the seat of the ruler of the show’s “Seven Kingdoms”, and the struggle to claim that throne is at the heart of Game of Thrones’ political machinations.

A series of wagers placed from German accounts on one particular character — Cersei Lannister, who, as the seventh season begins, is the Queen Regent of the Seven Kingdoms — saw online bookmaker Betway close its “Iron Throne” market.

“When punters latch onto one of these TV markets and the money starts flooding in then you have to take action,” Betway’s Alan Alger said in a statement. “It appears somebody, possibly in Germany, is in the know and we’ve had to suspend betting on Cersei Lannister.”

Game of Thrones has a reputation for confounding expectations, though, so fans will have to wait and see whether Betway’s caution is shrewd, or just the first of many failures to predict what will happen next.

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