Monday 21 October 2019

Game of Thrones Season 8: Everything we know so far

Game of Thrones stars Emilia Clarke and Kit Harrington
Game of Thrones stars Emilia Clarke and Kit Harrington

It’s back! Game of Thrones is about to return to our screens so here’s what you need to know about the new season.

This is the eighth and final season so fans will finally find out who ends up on the Iron Throne. Or if anyone ends up on the Iron Throne. Or if anyone survives the final season… This is George RR Martin after all!

As you might expect, secrecy surrounds Season 8 but here’s what we know for sure. If you haven’t seen the first seven seasons, what follows is dark and full of spoilers.

It returns on April 15

NOW TV will stream the first episode of Season 8 on April 15, at the same time as it is released in the US. So you can be among the first people to watch it if you can't wait until the next day.

There’ll only be six episodes but they will get longer

Just six episodes! We don’t know what the episodes are called yet but HBO have confirmed the running times. Despite some speculation about feature length episodes, the running time for the first two episodes will be just under an hour. However, the other four will clock in at around the 80-minute mark so you will get some more GOT for your buck. 

The trailer is here. #GameofThrones

Posted by NOW TV on Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Who stars in it?

You can expect all the major cast characters who weren’t killed in Season 7 to return. That means the return of Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen), Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister), Maisie Williams (Arya Stark), Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark), Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran Stark) and more for one last season… although we can’t say how long they’ll last!

The only real question is whether Tormund Giantsbane (Kristofer Hivju), everyone’s favourite Wildling, and the flaming sword-wielding Beric Dondarrion (Richard Dormer) survived the attack at the end of Season 7.

 

They’ve brought back experienced GOT directors

The producers have turned to veteran directors of some of the show’s most iconic episodes to handle the final season. David Nutter (“The Red Wedding” and “The Dance of Dragons”) will do three episodes, Miguel Sapochnik (“Battle of the Bastards” and “Hardhome”) will do two, and the final episode will be directed by the show’s co-creators, David Benioff and DB Weiss, who have previously co-directed “Walk of Punishment” and “Two Swords.”

What’s happening?

Need a quick recap of what’s going on with the show’s main characters?

Cersei is still on the Iron Throne and staying as far away from the Army of the Dead as she can, which makes perfect sense to us. Jaime has left her and, with the trailer telling us that he intends to fight for the living, seems certain to head north for the fight.

Cersei has sent Euron Greyjoy to fetch reinforcements, in the form of the Golden Company. Meanwhile, Theon has gone to rescue Yara. So let’s hope he doesn’t jump overboard if the opportunity presents itself again.

Jon, Dany and their advisors are on their way to Winterfell to join the other Starks and prepare to defend the North against the White Walkers. Speaking of which, the Night King and his army are crossing the Wall and heading south for the inevitable battle with Jon, Dany and her dragons.

Sam Tarly and Gilly are also back in Winterfell. Actor John Bradley has said that Sam is the perfect candidate to tell Jon about his parentage, which is pretty much the dictionary definition of a thankless task.

 

Expect some epic scenes at Winterfell

The Season 8 trailer shows Daenerys and her dragons arriving at Winterfell and footage released for the Golden Globes shows Dany being welcomed to Winterfell by Sansa.

“Winterfell is yours, your Grace,” she says, echoing the words that her father used when welcoming King Robert back in Season 1.

So Sansa is acknowledging that Jon has bent the knee to Daenerys. Whether they can retain that harmony with so many lords, ladies, kings and queens in the one castle is another thing, especially when the truth about Jon is revealed.

However, we know that peace will not last long at Winterfell. The Battle of Winterfell has been billed as “longest consecutive battle sequence ever committed to film” in an EW feature. The battle was shot over 11 weeks - mostly at night time - and it will see the Army of the Dead attack the Stark stronghold.

It’s been reported that “beloved heroes” will die at Winterfell’s gates so we can expect a few emotional goodbyes amid the carnage.

Game of Thrones. The final season. 15 April ❄️🔥 #ForTheThrone

Posted by NOW TV on Monday, January 14, 2019

 

The Night King “has a target”

Speaking in an interview with EW, the actor who plays the Night King revealed that his character is hunting someone down.

“People will see he has a target he wants to kill, and you will find out who that is,” Vladimir Furdik revealed.

Could that be Jon Snow, Bran Stark, Daenerys or even Gilly’s baby? We’ll just have to wait to find out. Furdik also revealed that Jon and the Night King would have a similar moment to the one in the episode “Hardhome”, where the Night King locks eyes with Jon as he raises the fallen dead.

That promises to be suitably dramatic.

Ghost is back

Fans who wondered why Jon’s direwolf was strangely absent from Season 7 can breathe a sigh of relief. Ghost will return for Season 8, according to visual effects supervisor Joe Bauer.

Bauer told the Huffington Post that Ghost will have a “fair amount of screen time” in the upcoming season. So it looks like Daenerys won’t be the only one in the relationship to have an oversized, semi-magical pet.

Here’s what the cast had to say about the ending

“I thought it was brilliant, yet beautiful.” - Iain Glen, AKA Jorah Mormont.

“Not everyone’s going to be happy, you know, and you can’t please everyone.” - Kit Harrington, AKA Job Snow.

“It’s not like a fairytale happy ending by any means at all and I think it’s a really wonderful final season.” - Hannah Murray, AKA Gilly.

“For me – without giving anything away, I guess – I was satisfied with how unpredictable the show's ending really is.” Sophie Turner, AKA Sansa Stark.

“We had a giant read-through with all the cast in October and I think pretty much everybody cried at one point. And it was… pretty surprising.” – Lena Headley, AKA Cersei Lannister.

“I don’t know if anyone’s ready. I don’t know if TVs are ready.” – Emilia Clarke, AKA Daenerys Targaryen.

The final season of Game of Thrones. Finally. Streaming weekly on NOW TV from April 15.

Grab your 14 day free trial with NOW TV.

Game of Thrones. ©2019 Home Box Office, Inc. All rights reserved. HBO® and all related programs are the property of Home Box Office, Inc.

Sponsored by: NowTV

Online Editors

Most Read

Independent.ie on Twitter