HBO’s Game of Thrones is going out with a bang
It’s been over a year since the seventh season of HBO’s Game of Thrones concluded, leaving fans in a lurch after a rousing cliffhanger ending. Now, the show is finally set to return, with multiple narrative threads still hanging in the balance.
Unfortunately, HBO hasn’t said much about what to expect in the show’s final season. In fact, the secrecy around the show has never been higher so as not to spoil what will surely be one of television’s biggest events in history.
We do know a few production details about Game of Thrones Season 8, like the fact that it will only consist of six episodes. And, like the previous season, the upcoming episodes will feature content that goes beyond George R.R. Martin’s books.
If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, there’s a lot to look forward to. If you’re a Game of Thrones newbie, then you’re in for a real treat. I almost envy folks who are just now taking an interest in the show, because they haven’t had to wait an agonizing amount of time for the show to return.
Here’s everything we know about Game of Thrones Season 8.
The latest Game of Thrones news
March 15 – Game of Thrones Season 8 episode runtimes and airdates revealed
We only have a few more weeks to go before Games of Thrones Season 8 debuts. To prepare fans for the show’s return, HBO has revealed the airdates and runtimes for the upcoming episodes, which begin airing on April 14.
As previously confirmed, there will only be six episodes in the final season, though these episodes are going to be long. In fact, many of these episodes are nearly the length of Hollywood movies.
Below is the full list of airdates and runtimes. The final episode is set to air on May 19.
Season 8, episode 1
Airdate: Sunday, April 14 at 9 p.m. (ET/PT)
Season 8, episode 2
Airdate: Sunday, April 21 at 9 p.m. (ET/PT)
Season 8, episode 3
Airdate: Sunday, April 28 at 9 p.m. (ET/PT)
Season 8, episode 4
Airdate: Sunday, May 5 at 9 p.m. (ET/PT)
Season 8, episode 5
Airdate: Sunday, May 12 at 9 p.m. (ET/PT)
Season 8, episode 6
Airdate: Sunday, May 19 at 9 p.m. (ET/PT)
March 5 – The official season 8 trailer is here, and it’s everything we hoped for
The long awaited trailer for the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones is here and it is a pulse pounding run for your life.
The Night King and his army of the dead are making their way to Winterfell to begin their conquest of Westeros. Daenerys Targaryen, Jon Snow and the rest of the heroes are ready to take on the new threat, but it’s not without an ominous tone being set. We already know this won’t be the happiest of endings, and if the trailer is any indication, it might even be a bleak affair.
We get some amazing shots of the dragons flying through the snowy land of the north. We’re not sure if this is in the Winterfell expanse or beyond the wall. We also see some of the key characters come together as Jon Snow returns to Winterfell and Jaime Lannister is ready to fight for the living. Something tells us we won’t be disappointed.
March 4 – Check out 20 new portrait shots of each character in season 8
The latest issue of Entertainment Weekly is solely focused on the upcoming final season of Game of Thrones. There’s plenty of juicy details about the upcoming season and the most intriguing part of it is the 20 new character portrait shots the issues contain. From Jon Snow cozying up with Daenerys Targaryen to the return of Melisandre, each provides a new look at the major players in season 8.
Additionally the new issues comes with in various new covers that each highlight a specific character. Most of them are expected like the one of Daenerys and Jon Snow, but the one that catches the eye the most is that of the Night King. Winter is indeed coming.
February 24 – New teaser features Arya and Drogon
HBO has kept new details regarding Game of Thrones season 8, but slowly we are getting new info. The latest teaser comes from HBO’s 2019 sizzle teaser that highlight all of the new content coming out in 2019, including the final season for Game of Thrones. In it, we see the Unsullied and more importantly, Drogon, arrive at Winterfell where Arya sees the majestic dragon for the first time.
Unlike the rest of Winterfell resident that are scared of the Drogon, Arya seems to be overjoyed to see him. As we’ve learned in the past, Arya is an admirer of the Targaryen house, which likely means she’ll hit it off with Daenerys and Drogon right off the bat.
We anticipate the teaser to be part of the first episode of season 8 as last we saw Daenerys, Jon Snow and Drogon, they were on their way to Winterfell at the end of season 7.
All the big details
Game of Thrones Season 8 debuts on April 14
This one is easy. After months and months of playing it coy, HBO finally revealed that Game of Thrones Season 8 will debut on Sunday, April 14. Fans can expect the show’s final episode to air on Sunday, May 19.
Here’s the first (brief) footage
HBO has yet to release a proper trailer for the show. For now, fans have a short teaser and some photos to check out.
It’ll consist of 6 episodes
The past few seasons have gotten shorter and shorter, and season 8 will be the series’ shortest yet. As in, “only six episodes” short. Which sucks!
There’s still so much story left and hearing that there are six more episodes means Game of Thrones will be over before we know it. However, there is some good news.
Those episodes will be long
Although HBO will only release six episodes, the episodes will be very long. We’re talking the length of a feature film. Some episodes will be as short as 70 minutes while others will be over an hour and a half. So, even with a shortened season, fans will still get plenty of action and story beats before the final episode is over.
The short summary
I don’t blame you if you don’t want to watch the previous seven seasons of Game of Thrones, as there’s a lot of content to watch. Binging all of those episodes would be a feat only elite athletes and committed couch potatoes could endure.
If you are starting fresh with season 8, you only need to know a few things. Basically, the show has been building toward a big war between the Night King and his undead army and the rest of the world. In the meantime, there’s also been a war for the Iron Throne, with various dynasties creating alliances to take control.
Currently, Cersei Lannister rules the Iron Throne. Daenarys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), otherwise known as Mother of Dragons, believes herself to be the rightful heir to that throne. However, Jon Snow is secretly the true heir, further complicating matters.
Jon will finally learn true parentage
The audience knowns Jon Snow’s dirty secret, but he doesn’t. And when he finally does learn who his real parents are, it’s going to be very awkward now that he’s becoming romantically involved with Daenerys.
Back in season 7, we finally learned that Jon wasn’t the bastard child of Ned Stark (Sean Bean), but the son of Ned’s sister Lyanna Stark (Aisling Franciosi) and Rhaegar Targaryen (Wilf Scolding).
Complicating matters is the fact that Rhaegar married Lyanna in secret, which not only means Jon isn’t a bastard, but that he’s the true heir to the Iron Throne. A few characters in Game of Thrones know Jon’s true parentage, and it’s only a matter of time before he finds out.
Now the question becomes: What will Jon Snow do once he finds out who he really is? The initial shock will no doubt give way to tension between him and Daenerys (his aunt and current girlfriend), who believes that she is the rightful heir to the Iron Throne.
Who is alive?
There are still dozens and dozens of people alive, but audiences really only need to know about half of them, because they’re more crucial to the overarching war against the undead.
For all intents and purposes, there are three “teams” right now consisting of rulers, warriors, brothers, sisters, and everything in between.
Here are characters who will be very important in season 8:
- Jon Snow (Kit Harington)
- Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke)
- Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage)
- Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner)
- Arya Stark (Maisie Williams)
- Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham)
- Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie)
- Samwell Tarly (John Bradley)
- Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey)
- Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau)
- Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel)
- Varys (Conleth Hill)
- Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen)
- The Hound (Rory McCann)
- The Mountain (Hafþór Björnsson)
- Melisandre (Carice van Houten)
- Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson)
- Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbaek)
- Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead-Wright)
- Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen)
- Gilly (Hannah Murray)
Season 8 will feature the biggest battle ever
Game of Thrones has been slowly building to the Great War, which means fans can expect a pretty fantastic battle to unfold when it finally happens. Apparently, season 8’s epic clash will make the Battle of the Bastards look tame by comparison.
Imagine season 8’s battle like the one between the Avengers and Thanos, which was teased for several years before blowing the minds of viewers across the world. The Night King and his undead army have been marching toward Winterfell for several seasons now, and we’ll finally see the living fight the dead.
For context, season six’s Battle of the Bastards took an astonishing 25 days to film, and we all know how that turned out. HBO set a high bar with that battle, but we have confidence the show will leap that bar once the Night King arrives with his zombie dragon.
Get ready for the Cleganebowl
Another battle we’re looking forward to seeing will be between brothers Sandor “The Hound” Clegane and Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane. Fans already got a brief taste of this battle during season seven’s finale, when The Hound had a stare down with his brother during the Dragonpit meeting in King’s landing.
While we have no confirmation a battle between the two brothers will take place, there’s a good chance HBO will grant the wish of fans everywhere. The Mountain has tormented his brother—he burned The Hound’s face when they were kids—and it’s finally time for The Hound to get his revenge.
That being said, would revenge be a satisfying conclusion to The Hound’s arc? He has gone from deranged warrior to more contemplative protector. The Mountain, meanwhile, isn’t even technically a person anymore after being turned into a Frankenstein-like monster.
Cersei will (probably) die, but how?
This is a big one. It’s all but confirmed that Cersei will die in the final season. As the series’ most despised character, she definitely has it coming. But how she’ll die is the question everyone wants answered.
One of the more popular theories believes that it will be Jaime who is Cersei’s downfall. If you’re a longtime Game of Thrones fan, hearing that Jaime might kill Cersei is shocking, but it also makes a lot of sense considering everything that’s happened over the past few seasons.
In the show, a witch actually told a young Cersei that she would be killed by the “volanqar,” which roughly translates to little brother in High Valyrian. As it turns out, Jaime is Cersei’s little brother.
When the show started, Cersei and Jaime were inseparable. But now that Cersei has turned into the Mad Queen, Jaime might have no choice but to be the one who finally takes her down.
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