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GAME OF THRONES’ Final Season Gets a Premiere Date

GAME OF THRONES’ Final Season Gets a Premiere Date

HBO is going to extraordinary lengths to prevent spoilers for Game of Thrones‘ eighth and final season from getting past the network’s protective Wall of secrecy, but a two-year wait between seasons gives us plenty of time to forge our Maester’s link in Westerosi mysteries. And while we still have a lot of old dusty books to dig through, we have already unearthed some important facts about what to expect from the end to the Great War between the living and the army of the dead. Here’s everything we know about Game of Thrones final season…so far.

Update! Premiere Date

After some signs pointed to another summer premiere like season seven had, HBO has finally announced the show’s final season will kick off in April. Game of Thrones will end–fittingly–with A Dream of Spring.

First Official Photo

Entertainment Weekly shared the first official from the series, and while it and the accompanying interview doesn’t tell us anything new just yet, it’s still cool to see Jon and Daenerys warming each other up in the Northern snow.

Episode Order, Length, and Budget

The bad news – the final season will only be six episodes long. The good news – each episode might be feature length. So while we will get less of the Seven Kingdoms on a weekly basis, the season’s total run time could be one of the longest yet.

With bigger episodes comes a bigger budget, and HBO is expected to spend $15 million per episode, which is a whopping number even for the most popular show in the world. But if they are essentially making the equivalent of six movies it almost seems like a bargain.

Writers and Directors

The six episodes will be helmed by three directors: Miguel Sapochnik, David Nutter, and Game of Thrones creators and showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. Nutter will direct episodes one, two, and four; Sapochnik will lead three and five; and Benioff and Weiss will direct the series finale.

Sapochnik has previously directed episodes with some of the show’s biggest battles and sequences, including “Hardhome,” “Battle of the Bastards,” and “The Winds of Winter.” Nutter’s resume with the series is just as impressive, having led “The Rains of Castamere” (a.k.a. The Red Wedding), as well as “The Dance of Dragons” and “Mother’s Mercy.” With those three sets of directors tapped for the show’s end, we expect a whole lot of battles and tears.

Benioff and Weiss also penned scripts for the final season, along with Bryan Cogman who has written for the show since 2011, and Dave Hill, who worked as a writer from season five forward.

Spoiler-Fighting False Finales

HBO has had to deal with some very serious leaks before, so to make sure no one can know exactly how the show will end, they are reportedly going to shoot multiple fake endings for the finale. That way even if any of them are spoiled, the public won’t know if it is real even if it was actually filmed.

The Biggest Battle in Show History

A letter to the cast and crew from the show’s assistant director Jonathan Quinlan (that we probably were never meant to see) thanking them for their work on an unparalleled shoot in television history revealed that a single battle sequence took three locations and an astonishing 55 days to shoot. Even with all of the incredible sequences the show has had over the years, they’ve never filmed something like this before.

New (But Brief) Footage

An HBO sizzle reel gave us our first footage from the new season, but all it showed was Jon and Sansa reuniting and hugging at Winterfell. It’s not much, but it does tell us Jon and Daenerys will make it there before the Night King.

Each Character In a “Completely Alien Environment”

Samwell Tarly himself, and one of our favorite D&D players, John Bradley said in an interview that the final season would send every character to an all new environment that will force them to face new challenges. That wasn’t very specific, but we do have some ideas what that could mean for all the different players in the great game.

New Cast Members For Sale

In the season seven finale, Cersei sent Euron Greyjoy to pick up the famous, 20,000 strong mercenaries, the Golden Company, and we think we know who will play their leader. An accidental slip up by the agency for actor Marc Rissmann (The Last Kingdom, Into the Badlands) indicated he will play the head of the Golden Company, Harry Strickland, in two episodes, and based on when he was expected to film, it looks like he might be there at the start of the season and for whatever force comes looking for Cersei at the end.

A Whole Lot of Gendry

Joe Dempsie said his character, Robert Baratheon’s last surviving child Gendry, has “done well out of it this year,” appearing in a lot of the season. He didn’t say that guarantees he will survive, but it also means he is a real candidate to end up on the Iron Throne.

Fate of Beric and Tormund

The script for last year’s season finale was made available online thanks to the Emmys, and we learned some interesting facts from it, like how internally HBO refers to the Night King’s new transportation as an ice dragon (even if that’s still confusing). Among the other revelations though was that Beric Dondarrion and Tormund Giantsbane, last seen atop the Wall fleeing the blue flame of Viserion, both survived. Yay!

A New Queen?

Did Lena Headey and Maisie Williams spoil the ending by revealing Arya will be the last woman standing? MAYBE.

Make sure to check back here for updates as we learn more about the final season. In the meantime tell us in the comments section below your boldest prediction for a character’s ending.

Images: HBO

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