It would not be wrong to say that Game of Thrones Season 8 pretty much holds the potential to break the internet when it finally premieres.
The first season made its stellar debut back in Spring 2011 and since then, fans have been waiting anxiously for every recurring season to know just how the medieval tale of kingdoms brewing with politics and betrayals would progress. It has been seven long years and we have nearly approached the precipice of the television series.
Here is everything there is to know (and is available right now) about the upcoming eighth season of Game of Thrones.
When will Game of Thrones Season 8 premiere?
It has been officially confirmed through Maisie Williams, who has been playing the role of Arya Stark since the very first season, that filming is expected to wrap by the end of the year unless there are unprecedented delays.
The first episode of the eighth season is then slated to premiere on all associated networks sometime in April next year. This is a very important moment in the history of the critically acclaimed television series and hence, fans cannot expect the production team to rush the new batch of episodes.
It was previously assumed that the eighth season would drop later this year because all of the past seven seasons have taken a year each. Since the last season concluded in August, there was substantial reason to believe that the new season would follow the same pattern. This makes the eighth season the only one for Game of Thrones to take this long to come out.
How many episodes will Game of Thrones Season 8 feature?
It is unfortunate but the eighth season is going to feature just six episodes, as officially confirmed by co-creators David Benioff and D. B. Weiss. The silver lining is that each episode is possibly going to have a longer running time and will be one-hour features at the minimum.
To put it into perspective, the past six seasons have received ten episodes each. The seventh season, released last year, dropped in the count by receiving only seven.
It can be questioned if the producers purposely held back a few episodes for the next season or not. The seventh season left off at such a crucial junction that a couple of more episodes would have helped satisfy the audience.
Will Game of Thrones Season 8 really be the end?
The epic tale of conflict for the right to rule the fictional seven kingdoms of Westeros has seen numerous arcs over the years but will now be going through its concluding chapters.
This fact is probably known by each and every fan but for those unaware, the eighth season will indeed be the last one for the television series.
We will finally get to see who manages to win the Iron Throne or if the Iron Throne even survives the great war to come. Expect every single plot thread to be fully unravels in the next season.
Will Game of Thrones Season 8 follow the novels?
It is no secret for readers that the television adaptation has taken several liberties over the years. The first season is actually the only one that tried to closely follow the events from the first novel in the series, A Song of Ice and Fire, by George R. R. Martin.
The seasons that followed only moved further away from the original works. Eventually, a point was reached where it was no longer about how an event occured differently in the novels because it never existed there in the first place.
Since the end of the sixth season, the television show has been running on completely fresh material. This is primarily because Martin is a slow writer and has yet to publish the remaining novels in the series. His last finished work is “A Dance With Dragons” and he has been writing “The Winds of Winter” for more than seven years now.
Hence, the final season will not follow any published works. Even if Martin finishes up his new novel by the premiere date, it will not include the ending because there is still one more novel left in the series.
But I wanted George R. R. Martin to write the ending?
That might still be a possibility because George R. R. Martin has been credited for writing some of the episodes in the television series. However, it is uncertain if he was involved with the script for the last season since he is reportedly yet to even catch up to the previous season.
It should also be pointed out that Martin sat down with co-creators David Benioff and D. B. Weiss back in 2014 to tell them how the books will end. This was in the case of the author parting ways with this world and hence, the show would still go on.
That being said, the television series has taken a very different path in the past couple of seasons and there is the likelihood of the last season not following the blueprints offered by the original author. In that light, if Martin manages to finish the remaining novels in the series, the ending to the epic saga might be completely different to the television show.
Will Game of Thrones Season 8 leak early?
History is a stern reminder that the last season, much like the previous ones, will somehow be leaked on the internet ahead of the official release date. In all honesty, that is pretty much certain to happen. However, the producers of the television series are taking a unique approach to curb that sense of satisfaction in seeing leaked episodes before everyone else.
Casey Bloys, president of programming at HBO, revealed a few months back that several different endings will be filmed for the upcoming season. The actual finale will be kept a secret until the right moment. Hence, even if the episodes get leaked, no one will be able to know for sure if they watched the authentic conclusion to the tale.
What can we expect in terms of the plot?
The great war between the living and the dead is finally on the verge of taking place. In one corner is the Night King, played by Vladimir Furdik, who has broken through the Wall with his army of Night Walkers and a newly turned dragon.
In the second corner are the Dothraki warriors and two living dragons under the banner of Daenerys Targaryen, played by Emilia Clarke. They have allied themselves with Jon Snow, played by Kit Harington, who has the Night Watch behind him as well as the wildlings.
In the third corner is Cersei Lannister, played by Lena Headey, with the armies of the seven kingdoms and the vicious mercenary group called the Golden Company.
No one knows what the Night King really wants except that death follows him wherever he goes and right now, he is marching into Westeros from the north. Jon Snow, wanting to beat the Night Walkers, has recognized Daenerys Targaryen as his queen in return for her help. She aims to wipe out the undead and sit on the Iron Throne–with minimal destruction. Cersei Lannister, nearly driven mad by power, is willing to join the fight against the Night Walkers but has plans to wipe out both Daenerys and Jon once the opportunity presents itself. There is no way that she will hand over her crown that easily.