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Arya and Sansa Stark at Winterfell

There are simply six episodes left of Recreation of Thrones. Ever. That’s it. Gone. Donezo. We’ve recognized this for a while, however as the ultimate season creeps ever nearer it’s actually beginning to sink in.

Forward of the ultimate season we’ve a number of questions. Will Jaime actually kill Cersei? Will Jon Snow experience a dragon? And is he Azor Ahai reborn? Or is that Daenerys? Or another person completely?

We’re going to have to attend for the solutions. HBO have stored particulars tightly underneath wraps this time round – they’re determined to keep away from spoilers after the whole thing of season 7 was leaked on-line forward of launch.

However a number of fascinating nuggets of stories have been made public – some by HBO themselves, some by the forged, and a few by eagle-eyed followers looking out any GoT-related tales they will discover on this lengthy await season eight.

Right here’s every thing we all know thus far concerning the launch date, forged, plot, and what key figures have needed to say concerning the present’s final hurrah. Some spoilers!

Arya and Sansa Stark at WinterfellArya and Sansa Stark at Winterfell (Photograph: HBO)

When will season eight air?

The primary episode will formally air on Sunday four April 2019, HBO has introduced.

Meaning Recreation of Thrones is returning to its traditional spring time slot, after being delayed till July for season 7.

As all the time, the episodes will air at 2am on Sky Atlantic within the UK, which means we will watch stay with followers within the US. A repeat will then present on the identical channel at 9pm on the Monday.

If HBO airs the six episodes each Sunday with out breaks, that places the long-awaited finale on 19 Might. Mark your calendars, everybody.

Is there a trailer?

There’s! HBO lastly launched the precise, correct, bona fide, bells-on season eight trailer on Tuesday 5 March, and it accommodates round two minutes of brand name new footage!

It begins with Arya sprinting full pelt away from… one thing. Nothing scares Arya nowadays, so no matter it’s have to be god rattling terrifying. Followers are speculating that it might be the raised Stark lifeless from the crypts of Winterfell.

We hear her talking excessive of the scene, in a a lot calmer method. “I do know demise, he’s acquired many faces,” she says. “I look ahead to seeing this one.”

The trailer then confirms that Euron did certainly go to gather the Golden Firm from Essos – we see them crusing again throughout the slender see on Greyjoy ships – and in addition that Tormund and Beric Dondarrion are nonetheless alive.

Different goosebump-inducing moments present Jon and Daenerys driving into battle collectively, and later approaching Drogon and Rhaegal north of the Wall. Certainly Jon goes to journey Rhaegal in season eight?

We get a passionate kiss between Gray Worm and Missandei, and Jaime reiterating the very fact he intends to struggle for the dwelling, however probably the most intriguing scene includes his sister, Cersei.

The Queen, dressed within the lighter colors we’ve not seen her in because the early season, seems to be tearful and she or he goes to drink from a glass of wine. Consuming is regular for Cersei in fact, however on the finish of season 7 she turned down a drink whereas speaking with Tyrion as a result of she was seemingly pregnant. Does this imply one thing has occurred to the infant, if there ever was one within the first place?

Earlier than the right trailer we got a number of teasers, although they included the sum complete of roughly seven seconds of footage from season eight correct.

On 6 January HBO launched a trailer for all its huge exhibits coming again this yr, from Recreation of Thrones to True Detective and Huge Little Lies.

Throughout that medley we received to see Sansa Stark welcoming Daenerys to her residence within the North. “Winterfell is yours, your grace,” Sansa tells Dany, suggesting she has accepted the Mom of Dragons and Jon Snow’s new beau as her queen.

Sansa’s phrases are a name again to the very first episode of the present, when her father Ned Stark uttered the identical phrase to his good good friend Robert Baratheon, who travelled to Winterfell to call him Hand of the King.

One other teaser launched late on 13 January to announce the official begin date consists of virtually two minutes of brand name new footage, although none of will probably be seen in season eight.

The clip exhibits Jon, Sansa and Arya strolling by means of the crypt of Winterfell, previous the statues of the lifeless Stark kinfolk.

First, we see Jon stroll previous Lyanna, his mom (though Jon doesn’t know that but), and we hear Lyanna’s voice say: “You need to shield him.”

That is what Lyanna tells her brother, Ned, when she palms Jon over to him on her deathbed.

Subsequent Sansa walks previous her mom, Catelyn, and Catelyn’s voice says: “All this horror that’s come to my household, it’s all as a result of I couldn’t love a motherless baby.”

Catelyn says this to Robb’s spouse Talisa again in season three, referring to Jon, who she believes is her husband’s bastard son, relatively than her nephew and the rightful inheritor to the Iron Throne.

We see Jon cease in entrance of the statue of Ned, and we hear phrases Sean Bean’s character spoke again in season 1. “You’re a Stark,” he tells Jon. “You won’t have my identify, however you might have my blood.”

All of this factors to Jon’s true parentage – that he’s the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark – being an enormous storyline within the last season. Not that we’d each have anticipated in any other case.

Jon joins Sansa and Arya on the finish of the crypt, the place they’re met by their very own statues. All of a sudden their torches exit, and the tunnel is overcome by frost. Jon and Arya draw their swords as a thick, icy fog attracts in the direction of them, after which it cuts to black.

The primary teaser, launched again in August, included roughly two seconds of latest footage.

It exhibits Jon Snow hugging a steely-eyed Sansa at Winterfell, and is reduce amongst scenes from season seven together with Daenerys and Drogon torching Lannister troopers and Cersei and Jon dealing with off within the Dragonpit at King’s Touchdown.

Extra revealing trailers will come within the coming months, however Recreation of Thrones historically likes to maintain its promo materials very obscure, and typically makes it intentionally deceptive to attempt to throw followers off the scent of key storylines.

Within the season 7 trailer, followers have been made to worry for Jon Snow (once more) when footage of him driving out Past the Wall alone was accompanied with voiceover of Sansa saying, “The lone wolf dies, however the pack survives”. In the long run, we found Sansa was truly quoting her father whereas chatting with Arya, and Jon ended the season protected and sound (nicely, as protected as you might be if you’re heading North to tackle a White Walker military).

Each battle.
Each betrayal.
Each danger.
Each struggle.
Each sacrifice.
Each demise.
All #ForTheThrone.

— Recreation of Thrones (@GameOfThrones) November 13, 2018

Who’s becoming a member of the forged?

Being the final season, don’t anticipate to see too many new characters strolling in subsequent spring – the final six episodes will concentrate on those we’ve come to know and love (and hate) during the last seven years.

The most important piece of casting information – and the one named character forged for season eight publicly thus far – is German actor Marc Rissmann taking over the position of Harry Strickland.

Marc Rissmann in Into the Badlands, a show which he appeared in for one episodeMarc Rissmann in Into the Badlands, a present which he appeared in for one episode (Photograph: Massive Child Footage)

Within the books, Strickland is the chief of the Golden Firm, the military of mercenaries from Essos which Euron Greyjoy sails off to convey again for Cersei on the finish of season 7.

A lot of smaller, unnamed roles have additionally been forged, which you’ll be able to examine right here.

One one that gained’t be showing within the last season is Mark Gatiss – who performs head of the Iron Financial institution Tycho Nestoris. He’s confirmed his time on the present is over.

What do we all know concerning the plot?

As we stated earlier than, plot particulars are being held very near HBO’s chest, which is certainly for the most effective, however there are some things we all know.

No massive spoilers are out within the open but, however we’ll nonetheless put a spoiler degree forward of every piece of data, so you possibly can skip elements if you wish to go into season eight utterly at the hours of darkness.

Spoiler degree: very delicate

Peter Dinklage spoke to Leisure Weekly about how Tyrion’s relationship with Daenerys will develop in season eight, admitting his character does have emotions for his queen.

Jon Snow and Daenerys slept together in the final episode of season 7Jon Snow and Daenerys slept collectively within the last episode of season 7 (Photograph: HBO)

“It’s difficult,” he stated. “A variety of the time with Tyrion, it’s skilled and private. Clearly, he has emotions for Daenerys. He loves her – or thinks he does. She’s awe-inspiring. He’s questioning that as a result of he doesn’t have an excellent monitor document for falling in love. There’s jealousy wrapped up in there.

“He loves Jon Snow, too. They’re the 2 individuals he has probably the most in widespread with, in a approach – they’re each outsiders in their very own households who’ve refused to comply with the trail their household has taken, and hopefully for the higher.

“He’s questioning how sensible of a transfer [Jon and Daenerys getting together is]as a result of ardour and politics don’t combine properly. He is aware of the 2 of them getting collectively could possibly be very harmful.”

Spoiler degree: very delicate

In August HBO launched the script for the ultimate episode of season 7, “The Dragon and the Wolf” which all however confirmed what we already closely suspected – Tormund and Beric survived the Wall crashing down by the hands of the Night time King’s new undead dragon.

The script says the pair “run for his or her lives and disappear from view”, which means we’re 99.9 per cent sure to be seeing them once more. Reward the gods – it wouldn’t be truthful to lose Tormund but.

Replace: The season eight trailer has confirmed each characters reside… for now.

Tormund and Beric - almost certainly aliveTormund and Beric – virtually definitely alive (Photograph: HBO)

Spoiler degree: medium

It was confirmed method again in April that forged and crew spent an unimaginable 55 nights filming a single battle on set in Northern Eire.

The situation means the battle takes place within the North – extra particularly at Winterfell – and the almost definitely trigger can be the Night time King’s military waging conflict on Jon Snow and co. on their march down Westeros.

To place this battle scene in perspective, the Battle of the Bastards took 25 days to movie – lower than half the time. This must be the present’s largest battle by a distance.

We all know this battle is happening in one of many episodes directed by Miguel Sapochnik, which suggests it can virtually definitely be in episode three.

In a thanks observe to the crew despatched after wrapping, assistant director Jonathan Quinlan wrote: “When tens of tens of millions of individuals all over the world watch this episode a yr from now, they gained’t know arduous you labored.

“They’ll simply perceive they’re watching one thing that’s by no means been executed earlier than.”

Season 6's Battle of the Bastards will be eclipsed in Season 8Season 6’s Battle of the Bastards shall be eclipsed in season eight (Photograph: HBO)

Spoiler degree: medium

Not solely will season eight function Recreation of Thrones‘ largest ever battle, it’ll additionally function its second largest!

This one might be at King’s Touchdown, and hints at a good bit of destruction. Fan website A Pink Priestess uploaded movies to its Twitter account of a number of the set on hearth.

Higher high quality video. I hadn’t seen the small hearth on the left #GameOfThrones

— A Purple Priestess (@a_red_priestess) June 22, 2018

It’s estimated round 600 extras have been used for this battle, which might once more be a results of the White Walkers laying waste to the dwelling. How a lot of Westeros will truly be left when that is all stated and achieved?

Spoiler degree: medium-high

A lawsuit between Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who performs Jaime, and his former agent, has revealed that the Danish actor is simply down to seem in 4 of the six episodes within the ultimate season.

This doesn’t imply he’s going to die in episode 4, although – a few episodes may skip his storyline.

What are the forged saying about it?

Unsurprisingly, everybody who’s ever had even the vaguest affiliation with the present is being requested about in continuously in interviews. Listed here are a number of the highlights.

Package Harington (Jon Snow) on expectation for the ending: “I don’t assume everybody’s going to be pleased. You possibly can’t please everybody.” A collection that’s spanned “eight or 9 years will probably be extremely troublesome to finish.” – MTV Information

Sophie Turner (Sansa) on how a lot dying is coming: “What can you realize… this season is bloodier than ever. It’s filled with betrayal, filled with conflict, filled with hazard. That’s all I can say with out giving an excessive amount of away.” – Simply Jared

Gendry made a long-awaited return to the show in season 7Gendry made a long-awaited return to the present in season 7 (Photograph: HBO)

Joe Dempsie (Gendry) on the duo he most needs to see meet up: “Undoubtedly the Hound and the Mountain. They’re both saving it for one thing epic, or will probably be a type of issues they gained’t have the ability to slot in, however I’d actually like to see it.” – Watchers on the Wall

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime) on filming all collectively once more: “Virtually all the season was shot in or round Belfast. So for the primary time in all these years, the entire forged was, kind of, on the town collectively the entire time. It was simply numerous enjoyable to hang around and spend time collectively and recognize what we’ve skilled and the way fortunate we’re to be part of this present.” – Huffington Publish

Natalie Dormer (Margaery) on whether or not ex-cast members know the ending: “I do know A to B. I do know what B is, however I don’t understand how they get B. However I do know B.” – The Hollywood Reporter