Game of Thrones Season 8: Release date, casting, trailers and theories

Get set for The Long Night

Spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 7 below

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The Long Night is here, everyone. Game of Thrones Season 7 bowed out with an epic final episode in which we learned of Jon’s true parentage and saw The Night King and its Ice Dragon break down The Wall and move on Westeros.

But we’re looking forward  to Game of Thrones Season 8 already, so here’s absolutely everything we know about the show’s final episodes, including release date, casting news and trailers.

When is Game of Thrones Season 8 returning?

Though there’s been no official word just yet, Game of Thrones Season 8 is currently slated to return in late 2018 or early 2019. TV insiders, The Hollywood Reporter, recently reported that 2019 is more likely right now.

How many episodes will there be in Game of Thrones Season 8?

As confirmed by show runners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, Game of Thrones Season 8 will feature just six episodes. Though it is likely that each episode will be a feature-length, so anything from 60 mins to 120 minutes.

Is Game of Thrones Season 8 the last series?

Alas, yes. The showrunners have opted to split the final seasons into a smaller runs, but will make lengthier episodes. But basically, it’s endgame for these characters and maybe Westeros.

Is it going to include plots from the book?

Since its inception, the show and the book series, A Song of Ice and Fire, by George R. R. Martin have existed on an uneven time schedule. This means that parts of the book appear in the show further down the line, and that the show does not incorporate every storyline in the book.

Since the end of Season 6, the show has been running on completely fresh material – as its storylines went beyond that of A Dance With Dragons, Martin’s last finished work.

Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss with George R.R. Martin

Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss with George R.R. Martin

Is there a Game of Thrones Season 8 trailer?

Not yet, but when production begins – some images will begin to emerge.

So will George R. R. Martin write the ending?

It’s hard to say just how involved he is with the show’s finale. Just weeks ago Martin said that he hadn’t caught up with Season 7 of the show, but in previous series he had several writing credits for episodes.

In 2014, however, Benioff and Weiss said that they had sat down with Martin and learnt how the book’s were going to end. So whether they decide to follow Martin’s blueprint, or continue to take the show in their own direction is up for debate.

But considering that the show has taken a distinctly different path from the books in its later series, and Martin’s currently slow writing pace – Game of Thrones Season 8 could provide the definitive ending for the saga.

According to HBO’s President of Programming Casey Bloys, the show will shoot several different endings in a way to combat hackers and keep the finale secret. “I know in Game of Thrones, the ending, they’re going to shoot multiple versions so that nobody really knows what happens,” he said .

Where can I watch Game of Thrones Season 8?

As per previous seasons, Game of Thrones Season 8 will originally air on HBO, and then on Sky Atlantic the following day in the UK.

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Has Game of Thrones Season 8 started filming?

Not just yet. However pre-production is well underway and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who plays Jaime Lannister said that filming will begin in the next couple of months. “We go back in October, so maybe in the next few weeks, we’ll get the scripts and I’ll find out. I’m very curious.”

Season 7’s filming schedule was disrupted by the fact that literally, Winter did not come in time for them to film certain scenes.

Who’s going to be in Game of Thrones Season 8?

Unless told otherwise, we can assume that all the main characters will be returning for the show. So Jon Snow (Kit Harrington), Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey), Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner), Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) will all feature in the epic finale.

Littlefinger (Aidan Gillian) came to grisly end at the end of Season 7 at the hand’s of The Stark sisters – so he’s well and truly out.

A big question remains about Tormund and Beric Dondarrion – two of the heroes who went beyond The Wall to capture a White Walker. At the end of Season 7 finale, The Dragon and The Wolf, we saw The Night King make his offensive on The Wall – and Eastwatch, where both characters were based. Neither character were killed on screen, so there’s a big chance they would return – but will it be as the living or the dead?

The same applies to Gendry, who returned midway through Season 7 after a lengthy absence. He too went beyond The Wall, and was last seen making his way back to Eastwatch to have a raven sent to Daenerys for reinforcements. He wasn’t spotted at all in the finale, so his location is also a mystery.

Will there be any new characters in Game of Thrones Season 8?

The gigantic casting list for the show has been expanding season-on-season since its inception – but this may be the first time we just stick with the characters we have. With only six episodes remaining, the chances of the Benioff & Weiss adding new characters seems unlikely. Any new characters to the show would have to play a major part in the shows conclusion to warrant extended time dedicated to their story.

What’s going to happen in Game of Thrones Season 8?

Well, it’s going to be The Great War, isn’t it? The show and book have teased at lengths that the ultimate battle in the show is between the living and the dead – and now that The Night King is through the wall, that showdown is going to come sooner rather than later.

Obviously, there will be other smaller plotlines, but as the show moves towards its conclusion, every storyline sits within the lingering chill of The Night King’s assault on Westeros.

One person who doesn’t seem to give a damn is Cersei Lannister, who is already manoeuvring to defeat Daenerys and Jon’s armies once the battle is ‘over’. This was despite her promise to pledge her Lannister men to the cause. Basically, she’s going to screw over whoever she can to keep her icy hands on the Iron Throne.

Jon and Dany, meanwhile, got it on in the final episode as they started their journey from Dragonstone to Winterfell – with Tyrion lingering outside with a concerned look on his face. His concerns are likely different to ours, as Bran and Sam Tarly exposed Westeros’ best kept secret – that Jon is actually a Targaryen, that his real name is Aegon, and that he’s actually the rightful heir to the throne. Oh, and that means Dany is his Aunt. Gross. That will obviously play a big role in what comes next for the happy couple – but let’s quickly go through the big questions that remain.

Judging by a sneaky pic taken at Titanic Studios, Belfast, the Dothraki could play a huge role in the new episodes. The pictured hut was like many we saw in earlier Seasons in Essos – where the Dothraki were based.

The fighters were rarely used in Season 7, but this leaked photo could suggest that the Dothraki’s motives, and maybe even Essos will feature more heavily in Season 8.

What are the big questions that need to be answered?

What’s going to happen with Jon and Daenerys?

Either way – it can’t end well. Bran Stark is adamant that the pair need to know the truth about their ancestry, and you best believe he’ll find a creepy way of telling them. In the final episode, we also learn that Rhaegar and Lyanna Stark married before giving birth to Jon (Aegon), meaning that due to the line of succession (Rhaegar’s dad, Aerys II was killed by Jamie Lannister), Jon is actually the rightful heir.

That whole scenario begs a lot of questions – some we’ll never know the answer to. Does Jon want the throne? Probably not. Will Daenerys and Jon still feel the same way about each other when they find out? Hopefully not. And will it cause serious friction between the pair as they battle The Night King? Almost certainly.

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What was Tyrion doing outside of their room?

Perhaps the weirdest part of the whole scenario was Tyrion lurking outside of their room with a pretty confused look on his face. Throughout Season 7, Tyrion was adamant that Daenerys needed to begin thinking about a successor, much to her displeasure. Since her miscarriage early on in the show, Daenerys has repeated the prophecy that she cannot bear any more children. So Daenerys needs to start thinking about who will succeed her, Tyrion says, but Daenerys thinks its all a ploy for Tyrion to be named the successor.

Was Tyrion concerned about that whole situation because he’s worried a Dany child would be as obsessive, and potentially dangerous as she shows signs of being? Or did something happen between Cersei and Tyrion in that meeting room in King’s Landing? Tyrion was pretty shocked at the news at the news of Cersei’s ‘pregnancy’, and sounded distraught at the news of Tommen and Myrcella deaths. Could he be turning back to team Lannister? Surely not…

Is Cersei actually pregnant?

Well she says she is. But it’s been pretty conveniently timed. As Jaime’s loyalty appeared to wane, she revealed the news that she’s pregnant with their child. But during the Season 7 finale, Jaime abandoned Cersei and King’s Landing – and told her that “I don’t believe you” before he stormed out the room. This most likely refers to her order for The Mountain to kill him, which he didn’t, but nothing can be ruled out with Cersei.

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HB_Old Is Dying….Richard is Shoe maker !!!!!!!

Are we finally going to see Clegane Bowl?

The big throwdown we can all get behind. A fight between brothers Sandor Clegane, our beloved antihero The Hound, and his ghastly brother, Gregor Clegane, The Mountain, has been longed for by fans for a while now. In the Season 7 finale, we got a brief glimpse of what that could look like as the pair squared up at the Dragon Pit in King’s Landing.

Will some of the main characters turn into White Walkers?

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who plays Jaime, certainly thinks it’ll happen. “You know some of the main characters are going to get turned. There are going to be some blue-eyed main characters running around, ” he told Esquire. “And, god, I hope it’s not me. That’s three hours of make-up in the morning.”

Is Bran Stark actually The Night King?

This popular theory picked up a bit of steam in the last few months, as we learned more about Bran’s powers and saw more of The Night King. The crux of this theory is, basically, that Bran Stark is actually The Night King. The theory suggests that Bran warged into The First Man as he is turned into a White Walker by the Children of the Forest and became trapped in that body. It’s pretty full on, but definitely plausible. Take a look here for the full lowdown.

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