The eighth and final season of Game of Thrones premiered on April 14, 2019. At last, fans are finally going to find out the ultimate fate of Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen and the rest of the Westerosi.
Here’s everything we know about season 8 so far.
What time does Game of Thrones air?
It airs on 9 p.m. EST on HBO in the U.S., and in the U.K. at 2 a.m. on Sky Atlantic as part of the Transatlantic simulcast the show is offering this year.
What happened in Game of Thrones season 8 episode 2
“A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” was another dialogue-heavy, table-setting episode, as everyone at Winterfell hunkered down and prepared for the White Walkers’ impending siege of the city.
Jaime Lannister was met with skepticism when he arrived at Winterfell and announced he had defected from his sister Cersei. But after Brienne of Tarth vouched for his integrity, he was set free; Jaime returned the favor by knighting her, creating one of show’s most touching and uplifting moments.
Theon returned and pledged to defend Bran Stark, who is expecting a visit from the Night King during the Battle of Winterfell. Arya received a weapon from Gendry; the pair consummated their long-held crushes for each other. Podrick sang a hymn, “Jenny’s song.”
As many characters exchanged their farewells before the war, from Grey Worm to Missandei to the Hound to Jorah to Brienne to Sam, it was hard not to think that many of them might be saying goodbye for good.
What happened in the Game of Thrones season 8 premiere?
The Game of Thrones season 8 premiere opened with Jon, Daenerys and their combined entourage arriving at Winterfell to begin preparing for the war against the dead, a development that led to several long-awaited reunions between fan favorite characters. After Sansa and Tyrion got nostalgic about Joffrey’s murder, Jon and Arya shared an emotional moment in the godswood, and Gendry agreed to make Arya a fancy new dragonglass weapon.
As was speculated by fans, Jon finally rode Rhaegal, the dragon named after his father, and Bran spent the majority of the episode staring at people from across the Winterfell courtyard while “waiting for an old friend” — a.k.a. Jaime.
Meanwhile, the Night King and his army were busy sending a message by leaving the dead body of young Ned Umber impaled to a wall and surrounded by a spiral of severed limbs for Tormund, Beric and Dolorous Edd to discover at Last Hearth.
And last but not least, Jon finally learned that he is the trueborn son of Rhaegar Tarygaryen and Lyanna Stark, not the bastard of Ned Stark as he was raised to believe. Unfortunately, since that means Jon is not only related to Daenerys, but also the rightful heir to the Iron Throne, this discovery seems likely to throw a wrench their budding romance.
Here’s what we learned from the official Game of Thronesseason 8 trailer when it came out.
The two-minute preview was all about building up to the final showdownbetween the living and the dead that’s supposed to blow the Battle of the Bastards out of the water. All eyes were on an injured Arya Stark running away and in another key shot, an uninjured Arya with a a dragonglass dagger in hand. Another revelation? Tormund and Beric live! And most interesting of all, Daenerys and Jon visit Drogon and Rhaegal, fueling speculation that it might be time for Jon to ride the dragon named after his father. (And in the premiere, it happened.)
How about those new Game of Thrones season 8 teasers?
With just days to go until the season 8 premiere, HBO dropped two new promos, “Together” and “Survival,” as well as a new teaser, “Aftermath,” to get fans hype for Game of Thrones‘ return. While both promos largely featured scenes that we already saw in the season 8 trailer — except for a shot of what looks to be the moments before Jon and Arya finally reunite — the teaser does not contain any show footage, according to HBO.
Instead, it shows glimpses of Tyrion’s Hand of the Queen pin, Arya’s sword Needle, Lyanna’s feather, Bran’s wheelchair, Jaime’s golden hand, Daenerys’ dragon chain and Jon’s sword Longclaw in the snowy ruins of Winterfell, perhaps hinting at what’s to come if our heroes fail to defeat the Night King.
HBO also released a corresponding poster to the “Aftermath” teaser that shows the bodies of nearly all of Westeros’ major players laid out in the snow in the shape of the Iron Throne.
What is the plot of Games of Thrones?
The plot of the final season is still very much under wraps. HBO programming president Casey Bloys told Entertainment Weekly that the network has heightened security to prevent season 8 leaks and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau even revealed that the scripts the cast received would “self-destruct.”
“They’re very very strict. It’s reached a crazy level this year,” he explained during an interview at Cannes 2018. “We actually get the scripts, and then when we’ve shot the scene—and we only have it digitally—and then when you’ve done the scene, it just vanishes. It’s like Mission: Impossible. ‘This will self-destruct.’”
But that hasn’t stopped some of Thrones‘ biggest stars from teasing the action to come. “This season is bloodier than ever. It’s full of betrayal, full of war, full of danger,” Sophie Turner told 1883 Magazine. “That’s all I can say without giving too much away.”
How many episodes are there in season 8 of Game of Thrones?
HBO split the final 13 episodes of Game of Thrones into two shorter seasons. Season 8 will consist of six episodes and will have the longest average episode length of any Game of Thrones season. The run times for all six episodes have been confirmed by HBO, with the first four episodes set to run for 54, 58, 60 and 78 minutes, respectively, while episode 5 and the finale will run for 80 minutes each. That’s an average episode length of 68 minutes and 20 seconds.
A November cover of Entertainment Weeklyalso featured the first official photo from Game of Thrones season 8. The instantly iconic shot shows Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke cozied up to each other against a wintry Westeros backdrop. “End game,” reads the caption, which seems like a nod to both the final season of the show and possibly, Jon and Dany’s romance.
On Feb. 6, HBO released the first official photos from season 8. The stills — which show Jon Snow (Kit Harington), Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) and others — don’t give much away about the plot.
HBO has also announced that David Benioff & D.B. Weiss, David Nutter and Miguel Sapochnik are the directors of the new season. Season 8 episodes were written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss, Bryan Cogman and Dave Hill.
In an interview with TIME in March 2017, showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss told us that they already knew “what happens in every scene.”
How many more seasons of Game of Thrones are there?
Season 8 will be the final season of Game of Thrones. However, HBO has officially greenlit a pilot episode for a prequel series from showrunner Jane Goldman (X-Men: First Class, Kingsman: The Secret Service) that will take place thousands of years before the events of Game of Thrones and chronicle “the world’s descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour.”
Bloys told EW that Goldman’s prequel won’t start shooting until at least early 2019.
There’s also a chance we could be getting even more Thrones spinoff series. “Three more Game of Thrones prequels, set in different periods and featuring different characters and storylines, remain in active development,”George R.R. Martin wrote in a June blog post. “Everything I am told indicates that we could film at least one more pilot, and maybe more than one, in the years to come.”