Game of Thrones might be the only show everyone still watches. It's definitely the only show that could get away with an entire video that announces the month it premieres. Through its first seven seasons, Game of Thrones has thrilled. It combined political intrigue with thrilling set pieces and created a totally unique phenomenon. It also introduced indelible characters.
Now that the show's final season is within sight, it's a good time to take a look at what we already know about the eighth season, and from the information already released, there's a whole lot to be excited about already. It looks like there's going to be at least one more climactic battle for the fate of the realm. On top of that, we have a new romance between the show's two leads. Game of Thrones could let us down with its final season, as some shows before it have, but we're doubting it.
April has traditionally been the month when Game of Thrones debuts. Now, the show has confirmed its April debut with a video. The video doesn't contain any new footage, but it does give a succinct summation of what the prior seasons have given us.
This final season is likely to be a victory lap for the show after seven seasons of success. Now that the end is in sight, they're going to remind us of everything we've always loved about the series. Providing everything from big battles to intimate love stories, Game of Thrones has earned this final celebration more than most shows.
The first six seasons of Thrones had 10 episodes each. It's a fairly standard number for a prestige drama. Last year, the number was reduced to seven. That meant that every episode contained a little bit more plot, and was a little longer.
For its final season, Thrones will only be premiering six new episodes. These episodes have plenty of story to tell, presumably, and could still end hundreds of different ways. There's sure to be some big battles and some massive plot twists, but otherwise, much of the season is still very much a mystery. Hopefully, the show's creators can tie up all loose ends into those six episodes.
Because the show will only be premiering six episodes, each episode is set to be over an hour long. Some may be closer to 90 minutes. That means that, while we'll have fewer weeks to watch Thrones, it'll be a bigger commitment each week.
They're going to stuff as much story into those six episodes as they possibly can, meaning it's going to be a wild six weeks, people! Most fans of the show want it to last forever, but all good things have to come to an end. Thankfully, each episode will give us plenty of time to immerse ourselves in the world of Westeros one last time.
We have George R.R. Martin to thank for the massive success of Game of Thrones since he is the man behind the books that inspired the series. He's only five books into his planned seven-book series, though, and in the last few years, the show has gone further in the story than his books have.
The sixth book installment, The Winds of Winter, has been hotly anticipated for years. Thanks to an interview George recently gave, we now know he's had trouble writing it. The pressure placed on him by the enormous success of the show has left him with an understandable writer's block and a new book won't hit shelves until long after the show is done for good.
Game of Thrones has always had a regular stable of directors that it draws from. For the final season, it's chosen to divide the work somewhat unevenly. The first two episodes and the fourth episode will be directed by David Nutter. In the past, he directed the red wedding episode and the season five finale.
For the third episode, Miguel Sapochnik will take over. His previous Thrones credits include "Hardhome" and "The Battle of the Bastards," two massive battle episodes. Miguel will also direct the fifth episode. The finale will be directed by D.B. Weiss and David Benioff, the co-creators of the show. That seems fair enough.
140 pages might sound long, but that outline was probably expanded quite a bit once writing and filming began. One of the things Game of Thrones was originally known for was its complex plotting and smart dialogue. While that fell by the wayside last year, the writing team behind the show is likely to work quite hard on the final season to regain its reputation.
Every detail should be just right. Every plot development should feel logical. Thrones has plenty of characters, and it has to service them all in one way or another. Doing that is going to be an immense challenge, even with a massive outline as a starter.
We've already gotten plenty of iconic music from Game of Thrones, and if we're lucky, we'll get some more. Bringing back composer Ramin Djawadi for the final season is a good start. Djawadi is responsible for many of the show's best pieces of music.
He has a keen sense for how the world of Thrones should feel, and he brings that feeling to life in his music. He's one of the best composers in the world, and certainly among the best on TV. The fact that the show managed to snag him for one last go-around is a good sign of things to come.
The White Walkers have been the villainous force hanging over the entirety of this show. They're the big bad coming to kill all humans. Now that the show is coming to an end, the humans are finally going to have to put up a fight.
It's not totally clear how they plan to win. In the world of Westeros, mankind has ignored the problem posed by the White Walkers for far too long. They have dragons, but not as many as they used to. Jon and Dany are going to have to arm up, but they might sustain pretty heavy losses in the process. In fact, there's a good chance all our faves will bite the dust knowing the way GOT likes gore.
Jaime Lannister has spent a long time on the wrong side of this story. His love for Cersei has blinded him to the darkness he's been aiding and abetting. Now that he understands the threat of the White Walkers, though, Jaime is willing to put aside his loyalty.
The prospect of Jaime finally fighting for the right side is almost too good to believe. He's long been one of Thrones' most interesting characters, and now he's finally out from under Cersei's thumb. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau can now put his considerable talents toward fighting for the right side, and that's a thrilling thought.
Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen are the closest things this show has to protagonists. We've been following them since the beginning. Until season seven, the two had never met on screen. By the end of the season, however, they were much more than mere acquaintances... slightly awk, though, considering they're related.
Jon sleeping with his aunt is far from the most scandalous thing that's ever happened on Game of Thrones, but it is a wrinkle. Their romance will also make Tyrion's relationship with them both separately more complex considering his feelings for Dany.
We learned on season six that Jon was the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. At the end of season seven, we learned that Rhaegar and Lyanna were married before they died. That means that Jon, as Rhaegar's only living son, would inherit the Throne instead of Dany.
Whether that information ends up being relevant or not remains to be seen. It is interesting to know that a boy who was raised as a bastard could end up ruling the realm. It may impact how he treats his subjects, and lead him to be a more just, even-handed king.
The Iron Throne has been the sole focus of many of the characters on GOT since it began. With the threat of the White Walkers bearing down, it may become increasingly irrelevant considering they could all get wiped out. In Daenerys's vision at the end of season two, she saw the throne room completely destroyed.
If the fight against the White Walkers comes to King's Landing, the Throne itself could be destroyed. Of course, what that really signifies is that the humans in this story have always been focused on the wrong thing. Who sits on the throne doesn't matter if there's no one left to rule over.
For the most part, the sides in this final battle have been established. It's mankind against the dead. There's one last wild card left in this equation, though, and her name is Cersei Lannister. Cersei is angry, vengeful, and without her children, she's become cruel as well.
She could conceivably do just about anything to maintain her power. Cersei is smart enough to play her enemies against one another to her own advantage. She can't outrun the dead, although she may try. For her, the last war still isn't over, even as she's been convinced there are greater threats to come.
The army of the living is quite small. That's obvious to anyone who have seen how vast the White Walker army is. It's also a reflection of the number of people that have been killed on this show. For every character that's still around, there are at least two who were killed off.
Game of Thrones has been a show built on death from its very first episode. Now, many of those dead bodies have come back. What is dead may never die, but it can come back and kill you. In the eighth season of Game of Thrones, the dead are back.
A new clip from season eight was released on January 6th, 2019 as a surprise during the Golden Globes broadcast, and it came with a fairly major spoiler. The scene shows Dany and John, still wearing the same clothes they departed in during season seven's final episode, safely in Winterfell. Despite warnings from Jorah Mormont that a journey North would come with dangers, the new couple will make it to their destination without a scratch. At least we know the series' two protagonists (or, at least the closest thing Game of Thrones has to true protagonists) make it to season eight.
Another spoiler from the Golden Globes surprise footage is also Daenerys and Jon-related. In the clip, Sansa finally meets the Queen of Dragons, and begrudgingly gives her control over Winterfell. Clearly, Sansa is not thrilled that Jon has bent the knee to Dany, and it's unclear whether her feelings are influenced by Dany and Jon's relationship. If Arya joins this little Stark reunion, there's no way of knowing where the women's emotions will lead them. Once it's discovered that Jon is the true heir to the Iron Throne, all bets are off, even if Dany is technically family.
HBO released the first official images from Game of Thrones' eighth season on February 7th, 2019, and Cersei is clearly still in King's Landing, despite her brother and the rest of Thrones' main crew heading North to Winterfell. Cersei is one of the only characters featured in a wide shot, with no baby-bump to be seen. Although her pregnancy has essentially been confirmed by Joanna Robinson in Vanity Fair, there's no telling whether fan theories surrounding a possible miscarriage could be proved true in the series' final season. If Cersei is having her baby, the show may have to cover many months in only six episodes.
CBR seems pretty sure that earlier teasers showed Winterfell as the first location of the Night King's army attacks, and these promotional photos only solidified that theory. The site points out that every character known to have a Valyrian steel weapon is at Winterfell: Brienne, Arya, Jon, Sam, and, finally, Jaime. As we learned in "Hardhome," both Dragonglass *and* Valyrian steel have the ability to completely destroy a White Walker, the Night King's haunting warriors. With an epic final battle sure to come, the forces of chaotic good has assembled together in what might be the perfect place to end this battle once and for all.
Visual effects supervisor Joe Bauer confirmed one very important character who will return for season eight: Jon's trusty direwolf, Ghost. Joe told the Huffington Post in September 2018 that the fluffy boy will have "a fair amount of screen time in season eight." Ghost was barely mentioned in season seven, and he hasn't been seen since Jon left Castle Black after returning from the dead. The only hint fans have had of man's best friend after Jon left for Winterfell was a deleted scene of Jon petting Ghost and telling him to look after Sansa. It'll be exciting to see Ghost return for the battle against the Night King.
The Freys have a particularly infamous place in Game of Thrones lore as the betrayers of House Tully who caused the Red Wedding to get revenge on the Starks for breaking their marriage pact. Their elder, Walder Frey, was murdered by Arya Stark, but viewers haven't seen the last of House Frey. Watchers On The Wall noticed that Irish actress Danielle Galligan has been cast as a character named Sarra. The only Sarra in the GoT universe is in the original book series, one of Walder's many, many grandchildren. It looks like this unpopular house will be coming back for the last hurrah.
Kit Harington gave a radio interview in January 2019 to Tom Green and Daisy Maskell of KISS Breakfast where he gave vague details about the series' ending. While he didn't seem sure of whether it was a happy or sad ending, he did reveal that the ambiguous ending will be "groundbreaking" and that his wife, former Thrones star Rose Leslie, didn't talk to him for three days after he spoiled part of the ending for her (even though she'd asked).
"I can’t really answer whether I’m happy or not. I don’t think it’s about happy or sad really. I’m satisfied with what they did, but I don’t know whether I’ll be really satisfied until I see it,” Kit expanded. "I think it’s gonna be groundbreaking.”
Game of Thrones may be over at the end of this season, but there's already a spinoff in development. The first details about that show suggest that it will be set long before Thrones begins. Naomi Watts is set to star on the show, which will focus on a wealthy socialite.
If the show takes place before or during the Long Night in the days before the Wall was built, we could learn a lot about the history of Westeros. The show is certain to satiate the needs of many hungry Thrones fans, even if it doesn't live up to its predecessor. (Few spinoffs do, right?)
The Golden Globes' surprise footage release showed fans that Sansa would meet Dany (and not approve of her relationship with Jon), but the final trailer that was released on March 6th, with only a little over a month before the season premiere, showed Sansa seeing Khaleesi's dragons. This might be the first time Sansa is seeing the dragons, judging by the awe and wonder spread across her face, but it's definitely viewers' first time seeing Sansa seeing the dragons, which is an "Oh My God" moment in and of itself.
Fans have wonder whether Jon is the Prince That Was Promised who Rhaegar prophesized during Daenerys Targaryen's visions in "A Clash Of Kings," where we also heard "the dragon has three heads." Fans interpreted this as Dany's three dragons each having a rider. Even though the Night King killed Viserion, resurrected him, then took him as his own, that doesn't really prevent this prophecy from coming true. That just leaves Rhaegal without a rider, and at 1:22 in the final trailer GoT trailer, Dany and Jon are seen approaching Drogon and Rhaegal. Nothing else happens, but it's enough to make fans think that Jon is going to ride that dragon.
Tormund Giantsbane, Beric Dondarrion, and Eddison Tollett were on the Wall when the season seven finale shocker of the Ice Dragon taking the whole thing down happened, leaving their fates a cliffhanger question mark. Thankfully, the latest trailer shows all three men alive and walking through a tunnel. It's anyone's guess how much longer these — or any — characters will stay alive in the final episodes, but at least we know the season starts with these three characters safe after their fall.
Not only is this going to be the longest battle sequence ever committed to film, according to an Entertainment Weekly article, Kit Harington revealed to Stephen Colbert that the sequence took fifty-five nights to film. The Ringer thinks this epic battle, which Kit said "might be the biggest battle on TV or film," happens during episode three. It's directed by Miguel Sapochink, who only directed episodes three and five, and the odds of HBO releasing this much footage from the penultimate episode of the series is slim. If the battle is that early in the season, it doesn't spell victory for our heroes.