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Updated article with episode release dates, duration and additional information/spin-offs about the new season or future spin-offs, all still spoiler free– Winter has been approaching for a long time now, but the wait is coming to an end! Season 7 ended in August 2017 with dragons and white walkers and… a bit of involuntary incest. Besides, fans who are waiting impatiently for the outcome cannot even console themselves with a new book by George R.R. Martin. If that’s the case, here’s our guide to the ultimate season of Game Of Thrones, to get you up to speed and in the mood.

Release date, episodes and casting

So when can we see the end? Season 8 is the last of the series, HBO has confirmed that the first episode will air on SundayApril 14, 2019 in the United States, but it will take until Monday, April 15, 2019 at 3amto enjoy it in France,on the channel OCS (Orange Ciné Séries). The season will consist of six episodes, they will be released at the rate of one per week. Only six, yes, but they’ll be long. While the first two will last just under an hour, the other four will last around one hour and twenty minutes.

Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, as well as David Nutter and Miguel Sapochnik, will direct the episodes. Benioff, Weiss, Bryan Cogman and Dave Hill will write the scripts. As fans know, the series is ahead of Martin’s books as no new books have been released since 2011. However, the author recently published a book spin-off on the history of the Targaryen family, called Fire and Blood.

  • To watch the new season, you will need a subscription to OCS. For your information, OCS offers 1 month free trial with no obligation…

The main cast members who have survived so far will be back (one exception: Ellaria Sand, who is probably still watching the body of her daughter Tyene rotting in Cersei’s dungeon). Here is the casting (not exhaustive of course):

  • Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister)
  • Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister)
  • Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister)
  • Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen)
  • Kit Harington (Jon Snow)
  • Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark)
  • Maisie Williams (Arya Stark)
  • Isaac Hempstead-Wright (Brandon Stark)
  • Liam Cunningham (Davos Mervault)
  • Carice van Houten (Melisandre)
  • Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy)
  • Pilou Asbæk (Euron Greyjoy)
  • Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei)
  • Jacob Anderson (Grey Worm)
  • Gwendoline Christie (Brienne de Torth)
  • John Bradley-West (Samwell Tarly)
  • Hannah Murray (Gilly)
  • Iain Glen (Jorah Mormont)
  • Bella Ramsey (Lyanna Mormont)
  • Joe Dempsie (Gendry)
  • Kristofer Hivju (Tormund)
  • Rory McCann (Sandor Clegane)
  • Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson (Gregor Clegane – The Mountain)

Brief summary of issues

The Lannister children are still present, Tyrion (Dinklage), Cersei (Headey) and Jaime (Coster-Waldau), will be there. It remains to be seen whether Cersei will tell her brother/lover the truth about being pregnant with their fourth child. Now that the other three are dead, anything’s possible.

As for the Stark house, Father Ned (Sean Bean) lost his head in the first season, mother Catelyn (Michelle Fairley) and brothers Robb (Richard Madden) and Rickon joined him in the afterlife a little later. But Jon Snow (Harington) – son of Ned’s sister and rightful heir to the Iron Throne – and Ned’s real children, Bran (Hempstead-Wright), Arya (Williams) and Sansa (Turner) are still alive.

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Daenarys Targaryen seems to have found love with Jon Snow – too bad she’s his aunt (that kind of thing never really mattered to the Targaryens though). She has also teamed up with Tyrion, and is still accompanied by her followers: Grey Worm (Anderson), Missandei (Emmanuel) and Jorah Mormont (Glen).

Jon Snow’s friend Samwell Tarly (Bradley-West) and his companion Gilly (Hannah Murray) have uncovered vital secrets about the history of Westeros during their stay at the Citadel, and you know it will all come out eventually. Also back, Brienne de Torth (Christie), her lover Tormund (Hivju), Davos Seaworth (Cunningham), The Hound Sandor Clegane (McCann) and her zombie brother Gregor Clegane called The Mountain (Björnsson), Arya’s friend Gendry (Dempsie), the mysterious Red Priestess Melisandre (van Houten), the unfortunate Theon Greyjoy (Allen) and his evil uncle Euron (Asbæk).

However, we don’t know much about the new characters who will join the adventure in the last season. Rumor has it that actor Marc Rissmann is to play Harry Strickland, commander of the Golden Company, an army for hire. We have also heard the names of Fergus (played by Seamus O’Hara), Willa (Alice Nokes) and Sarra (Danielle Galligan), but it is hard to know what roles they will play in the story.

What we know about the plot

Get ready for action and be prepared to lose important characters (the dead won’t be the same as in the book, however). An HBO executive described last season as a bloodbath, indicating that the cast members were going to, one by one, run to their doom. As you can imagine, there’s going to be a great war between humans and the undead this season. Entertainment Weekly was able to follow part of the shooting of the series and reports that we will see the longest battle sequence ever shot in amovie. It took 55 days of filming.

British actress Maisie Williams knows how the show ends, and she told her mother, so maybe you can bribe her to confess? Casey Bloys, HBO’s president, said the crew planned to film multiple endings to mislead on-set curious onlookers who might divulge important information. I immediately said to myself: I don’t think we have the budget to shoot a lot of different endings, however, Maisie Williams told presenter Jimmy Kimmel. What is certain is that episode 6 was shot rather secretly with a small part of the production team wearing a specific badge. In the following video, we can see Arya seeing her first dragon:  

In any case, will a young generation of northern leaders, led by the young Lyanna Mormont (Bella Ramsey), Alys Karstark (Megan Parkinson) and Ned Umber (Harry Grasby), win in the last season? Well, we hope so, because Lyanna Mormont is a real badass.

So, will the Dragonpit, the ancient home of the Targaryen dragons, reappear once again? A GoT fan site reported on April 2 that a shoot was being prepared in a ruined Roman amphitheatre in the ancient Spanish city of Italica, which served as the Dragonpit for a major scene in season 7. Whether it’s hosting a battle or something else, we may see this place again next season.


 

As for Gendry, he’s finally finished rowing and is ready for action. Actor Joe Dempsie, who plays Gendry, the hidden son of former King Robert Baratheon, told Digital Spy that he shot a good for this season 8, but of course he didn’t say whether or not he survived the end. In any case, given his filiation, fans expect great things from the young blacksmith with royal blood.

Finally, Jon Snow’s wolf, Ghost, will be present and will even play an interesting role in the season according to Joe Bauer, in charge of special effects.

Flashbacks with Rhaegar Targaryen and Khal Drogo?

Will there be more flashbacks featuring Rhaegar Targaryen in the final season? The actor who plays him, Wilf Scolding, posted a picture of himself on May 2 in front of a hotel in Belfast, where the series is shooting, and fans were overwhelmed by the speculation. He’s since deleted it, but you can see it here. No doubt the fans would love to find out more about his cursed relationship with Ned’s sister, Lyanna Stark.

Another rumour claims that Brienne de Torth (Gwendoline Christie) and Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) filmed a scene in which they once again fight on the same side, probably against the undead. It would be a nice scene, but what would it mean to poor Tormund?

Could Khal Drogo, alias Jason Momoa, make a comeback? Maybe in a flashback, or maybe in a creepy zombie resurrection? Fans got a little excited when Momoa shared a photo on Instagram in which he raises a Guinness with Game of Thrones Showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff during the shooting of the series.

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Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) revealed in an interview at the Cannes Film Festival that the scripts were only given to the actors digitally, and that they self-deleted after a while (don’t believe the fake scripts that are currently being traded on the web). Coster-Waldau also said that he believes the series ends in the right way and in his own way. He says the story is complete from season one to the end, phew…

It remains to be seen who will end up on the Iron Throne. If some like Daenerys or Jon Snow look good, the series could have some surprises in store for us. Several images of the characters on the famous seat have been published on Twitter. The British newspaper The Independent has analysed Jon Snow’s posture and says it resembles that of a promotional image from the first season showing Ned Stark, which they say could herald a tragic end for the illegitimate son. In any case, the end will be surprising andclears according to Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark.

What is the status of GoT’s spin-off?

George R.R. Martin doesn’t want to call them spin-offs, but HBO is working on no less than five series based on the Game of Thrones universe. Martin said that fans should not look for familiar faces, as all new series will take place before the period described in Game of Thrones. In June 2018, Deadline reported that HBO had ordered a driver for one of the series, Martin mentioned the title The Long Night but then said it wouldn’t be the final title. Shooting will begin in early summer 2019 according to HBO. We also know that Naomi Watts has been cast in the role ofsocialite with a secret and that Josh Whitehouse will also be in the role.

We don’t know much about the series itself, whose pilot was commissioned from writer Jane Goldman, known for the Kingsman film series as well as Stardust, Kick-Ass and two X-Men blockbusters. The plot will unfold thousands of years before Game of Thrones. HBO has provided a fairly generic summary:

The series traces the fall of the world from the golden age of heroes to its darkest hour … and one thing is certain: from the horrible secrets of Westeros history to the true origin of the White Walkers, from the mysteries of the East to the legendary Starks … we will be far from the history we think we know. Martin also points out that some (spin-off series) may not even happen at Westeros.

We also know what will not be dealt with in the spin-offs: no rebellion by Robert Baratheon on the program (we are referring here to the rebellion of Ned Stark, Robert Baratheon and Jon Arryn against the house of Targaryen). No Dunk and Egg either. These are other characters of Martin, a knight errant and his squire, who lived a century before the present books. Martin says that when he’s finished writing their adventures, he’d love them to have their series. But it’s obviously not for now.

Finally, after the end of the series, the sets located in Northern Ireland will be open to the public, and props and costumes will also be on display.

Article translated and adapted from CNET.com 

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  • Game of Thrones in Paris : our visit in pictures of the official exhibition