Game of Thrones is finally coming to an end whether you like it or not.
Security is tight, the spoilers are real, and winter has come with no mercy. All we know is that things are about to get really, really serious.
From its air date, to plot spoilers and what the cast have to say about the final episode, here’s everything we know is definitely going to happen (and might possibly not happen) when the final series of the fantastical dragon-blazing-epidrama drops next month.
What time is it on in the UK on NOW TV and Sky Atlantic?
If you’re a super fan you’re going to have to set that Monday morning alarm for 2am because the final season is being simulcast in the UK. Can’t tune in at an uncivilised hour? It will be available to watch on NOW TV on Monday morning. Some words of warning: Stay away from the Internet if you can’t watch until Monday night at 9pm on Sky Atlantic.
Who is in it?
Major members of the cast, including Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen), Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark), Maisie Williams (Arya Stark), John Bradley (Samwell Tarly) and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) are all guaranteed to reprise their roles. How long they will live for in the final season? Well, obviously that’s unknown.
The long lost Gendry actor Joe Dempsie revealed to Digital Spy that he’s been filming “a fair bit” for the final six episodes, too. The evil Euron Greyjoy, masterfully played by Pilou Asbæk, also confirmed his return to Thrillist. Several members of the Night’s Watch will also resurface – at least that’s the word from actor Ben Crompton who will return as Lord Commander Eddison Edd Tollet before his watch is ended for good.
Tom Wlaschiha and Vladimir Furdik have also been spotted filming by several fans. Does this mean the Night King and CO will take King’s Landing and win the Game of Thrones?
When does it start?
HBO confirmed back in January that the new season will air on April 14, 2019 (April 15 in the UK). Season eight will consist of six episodes, the last two of which will be 1 hour 20 minutes long each:
Episode one: 54 minutes
Episode two: 58 minutes
Episode three: 60 minutes
Episode four: 78 minutes
Episode five: 80 minutes
Episode six: 80 minutes
What we definitely know is that the final episode will air on May 19, which means that we will enjoy six uninterrupted glorious (and possibly very gory) Sundays.
Who is directing and writing it?
David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, David Nutter and Miguel Sapochnik have directed. Benioff and Dave Hill wrote episode one, Bryan Cogman episode two, and Benioff and Weiss penned the remaining four.
What is expected to happen?
Who knows? Everything has been kept secret since filming began in Autumn 2017 – but that of course hasn’t stopped fans from theorising who will end up taking the Iron Throne. Some think Jamie is going to kill Cersei, others that Bran is the Night King and that Game of Thrones is just one big story told by Samwell Tarly (major shocker there).
What we do know is that the war between the White Walkers and the people of Westeros is on. According to Entertainment Weekly, the first episode of the show takes place in the Stark home of Winterfell and is going to be full of references to the first season pilot: essentially one big dose of flashbacks galore. Other than that, you’ll just have to cry and decipher all the clues in the trailer.
What do the cast have to say about the ending?
To IGN Sophie Turner said: “I think, you know, as an actor it was really satisfying — I think for everyone, everyone’s storylines — to be able to act out the way that it all ends. It was really satisfying for us. Who knows if it will be satisfying for the fans. I think a lot of fans will be disappointed and a lot of fans will be over the moon, I think.”
Her on screen sister Williams told Sky News: “I don’t think anyone is going to be satisfied [when it ends]. I don’t think anyone wants it to end but I’m really proud of this final season.”
The Dragon Queen herself, Clarke, told Ryan Seacrest on the 2019 Oscars red carpet: “I know there’s going to be some things in this last season that’s going to shock people.”
Her lover and brother (in the show of course) Harrington, who still knows nothing, confessed to The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show that he’s “maybe not happy, but very satisfied” about how it all ends.
HBO’s programming president Casey Bloys said in 2017 that the crew would do everything in their power to avoid leaks, even filming multiple endings to avoid spoilers. However, Williams denied such a thing on an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live in February 2018. “I don’t think we’ve got the budget to shoot lots of different endings,” she said. “As we know, sometimes presidents don’t always tell the truth.”
The shade Maisie, the shade.
Will there be more Game of Thrones?
Yes! A prequel series will explore all the events that took place before a Song of Ice and Fire. Deadline reports that production is likely to start some time this year, with director SJ Clarkson already chosen for the pilot episode. According to HBO the new series will be:
“Taking place thousands of years before the events of Game of Thrones, the series chronicles the world’s descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour. From the horrifying secrets of Westeros’s history to the true origin of the White Walkers, the mysteries of the East to the Starks of legend, only one thing is for sure: It’s not the story we think we know.”
Naomi Watts, Miranda Richardson, Naomi Ackie, Denise Gough and Jamie Campbell Bower are all set to star in the fantasy epic, rumoured to be called The Long Night. No release date has been finalised, but Game of Thrones creator George R. R. Martin will be involved in the script. Don’t expect to see any of your fan favourites though, as rumour has it, the prequel will barely even allude to any of the events that took place in Game of Thrones.
How is everything still a secret?
Security is next level. After spending time with the cast and crew, Entertainment Weekly’s James Hibberd reported that “only crew members wearing a special episode six badge were allowed on set during filming and some scenes were shot on a closed set”.
In fact, rules were so strict that director David Nutter confirmed to the Huffington Post that absolutely “no paper was allowed on set” to avoid any leaks. He added: “They basically take it to the point where it’s like the Gestapo. It’s tough to get answers.”
Emilia Clarke was also banned from using social media for the entirety of filming. Insert theories here:
Game of Thrones premieres on Sky Atlantic on April 15
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