Game of Thrones Season 8: Premiere date, spoilers, cast and more

Game of Thrones Season 8: Premiere date, spoilers, cast and more

HBO has announced Game of Thrones will return for its final season in April 2019

Season eight of the show will feature six episodes with each one over 50 minutes

Peter Dinklage, Lena Heady, Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke will star on the show

Let the countdown to season eight of Game of Thrones begin.

HBO announced on Tuesday the show would return in April 2019. The network shared a teaser video with footage from past episodes, reminding viewers what’s at stake as they head into the final season of Game of Thrones.

An exact date for the premiere hasn’t yet been set.

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Game of Thrones is officially set to return to HBO on an undisclosed Sunday in April 2019

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The eighth and final season of Game of Thrones will be six episodes long, but full of action

That same morning, director David Nutter participated in a Reddit AMA in which he shared some information about the season ahead. He’s responsible for three of six forthcoming episodes of Game of Thrones, including the first episode of season eight.

Nutter described the season ahead as: ‘Spectacular, Inspiring, Satisfying,’ which left fans desperate to know more.

Need to know everything about season eight of Game of Thrones right now? Get the details below.

What is Game of Thrones about?

Game of Thrones is a fantasy series, based on George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire books. The show focuses on three families — the Starks, the Targaryens and the Lannisters — battling for control of the Seven Kingdoms.

Despite their troubling histories, all three families are forced to work together to a degree when the Night King threatens to destroy all of Westeros and beyond.

The show features compelling storytelling, bloody battles and even a love story or two.

Game of Thrones announcement

On Tuesday, HBO announced Game of Thrones would be returning to the network in April 2019. The news was shared on Twitter.

Game of Thrones teaser

HBO tweeted a video containing the official announcement about Game of Thrones’ return, but before you get too excited, all the footage was taken from previous seasons.

The network’s message read: ‘Every battle. Every betrayal. Every risk. Every fight. Every sacrifice. Every death. All #ForTheThrone.’

Game of Thrones final season trailer

A trailer for season eight of Game of Thrones hasn’t been released.

Game of Thrones spoilers

HBO was careful to keep information about the final season of Game of Thrones carefully guarded following major leaks over the years. Very little about what’s to come on the show has gotten out that those linked to it didn’t put out themselves.

On Tuesday, director David Nutter participated in a Reddit AMA in which he opened up about the premiere and more. He’s responsible for three of the six episodes being featured in the upcoming season of Game of Thrones.

As for what to expect from the first episode of season eight, Nutter said: ‘I’ve never directed an opening episode of GOT before until season 8 but I think it’s really important to make a splash.

‘You have to reset the table, put everyone back in their place, you have to take them to their next position. But you have to entertain, that’s what’s most important.’

Nutter went on to say: ‘Hang onto your seat ‘cause it’s going to be special.’

James Hibberd of Entertainment Weekly previewed the premiere for readers, revealing: ‘Season 8 opens at Winterfell with an episode that contains plenty of callbacks to the show’s pilot.

‘Instead of King Robert’s procession arriving, it’s Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) and her army. What follows is a thrilling and tense intermingling of characters — some of whom have never previously met, many of who have messy histories — as they all prepare to face the inevitable invasion of the Army of the Dead.’

The season, as a whole, will focus on the remaining characters coming together to battle the Night King.

Executive Producer Bryan Cogman told EW: ‘It’s about all of these disparate characters coming together to face a common enemy, dealing with their own past, and defining the person they want to be in the face of certain death.

‘It’s an incredibly emotional, haunting, bittersweet final season and I think it honors very much what [author George RR Martin] set out to do — which is flipping this kind of story on its head.’

Each of the six episodes will be action-packed, according to Nutter.

‘There was not a second chance to get all of these sequences right, and a lot of the sequences had many actors in them and some wonderfully intimate scenes as well,’ he shared.

‘So really it was about taking these characters from point A to B to C to D to E in the various episodes that I did, and making sure that it all balances out properly. We had a lot of rehearsal time and that was really the thing that saved me more than anything else.’

After last season, Thronies know that in season eight, Jon Snow (Kit Harington) will discover who his real parents are. There’s also some speculation that Daenerys will become pregnant with his child.

Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) will continue chipping away at her kill list, hopefully crossing off the remaining six names before Game of Thrones comes to an end.

John Bradley, who plays Samwell Tarly on Game of Thrones, told TV Guide: ‘Each of the characters this year is placed in a completely alien environment at some point in the season that they’ve never been placed in before. The thrill is seeing how they react to it and how they respond…This season, I think, more than any other is stretching these characters.’

One of the six will feature the biggest battle in Game of Thrones history, topping Battle of the Bastards in season six. Both the yet unseen battle and Battle of the Bastards were filmed by director Miguel Sapochnik, according to EW.

The scene alone took 55 nights to shoot.

‘It’s brutal,’ Peter Dinklage , who plays Tyrion Lannister, told EW.

‘It makes the Battle of the Bastards look like a theme park.’

Game of Thrones viewers can expect time travel to be featured in season eight, though Nutter declined to reveal much about it.

Instead, he told Reddit users: ‘Well, I’ll be the first to tell you that I have no time travel in my episodes. That’s the only clue I’m going to give you.’

You can also anticipate the return of at least one direwolf. The wolf will either be Ghost, Jon Snow’s trusty companion , or Arya Stark’s wolf, Nymeria.

All the others are dead.

‘I have to say that you will see a direwolf in season 8. That’s all I can say,’ Nutter shared.

Visual effects supervisor Joe Bauer confirmed that it’s Ghost returning in season eight, telling Huffington Post the creature ‘has a fair amount of screen time’ in the new season.

As for how Game of Thrones will end, fans can rest easy knowing they were taken into consideration when the finale was written.

Nutter said during his AMA: ‘I think that David and Dan did a tremendous job, and they took into consideration what the fans want, as well as what is right as far as storytelling is concerned. I guarantee there’s going to be lots of surprises and shocking moments, but it’s really very compelling stuff.’

It’s anyone’s guess who will make it out of the finale alive .

Lena Heady, who plays Cersei Lannister, told Time: ‘I [assumed] oh, I’m going to die.

‘And then, I went straight to the end. I was really in shock. I think obviously, now, there’s got to be some body count at the end of [season] 8.’

Game of Thrones budget

Game of Thrones has always been an expensive show for HBO to produce. Per WinterIsComing.Net, the first season of the show cost an estimated $6 million (£4.6m) each episode.

That figure has increased each season, in some cases significantly so. Variety reported that the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones cost an astounding $15 million (£11.5m) per episode.

That number doesn’t include re-shoots and additional effects. With that factored in, HBO will have spent over $90 million (£69.1m) on season eight.

Game of Thrones cast

Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen

Kit Harington as Jon Snow

Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark

Maisie Williams as Arya Stark

Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister

Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister

Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth

Alfie Allen as Theon Greyjoy

Isaac Hempstead as Bran Stark

Iain Glen as Jorah Mormont

Natalie Emmanuel as Missandei

John Bradley as Samwell Tarly

Carice van Houten as Melisandre

Conleth Hill as Lord Varys

Rory McCann as The Hound

Liam Cunningham as Davos Seaworth

Kristofer Hivju as Tormund

Jerome Flynn as Bronn

Hannah Murray as Gilly

Jacob Anderson as Grey Worm

Joe Dempsie as Gendry

Hafpor Julius Bjornsson as Gregor Clegane

Gemma Whelan as Yara Greyjoy

Daniel Portman as Podrick Payne

Pilou Asbaek as Euron Greyjoy

Watch Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones airs on HBO. You can subscribe to HBO through your cable provider, with Hulu or with Amazon.

You can also access HBO by subscribing to HBO Go or HBO Now.

Through your cable provider, the price of HBO will vary. In most cases, HBO costs $14.99 per month after a seven-day free trial period.

Game of Thrones spin-off

HBO has decided to move forward with one of five Game of Thrones spin-off show ideas they had in development. The show is tentatively titled, The Long Night.

It’s co-created by Jane Goldman and George RR Martin . Naomi Watts will star as ‘a charismatic socialite hiding a dark secret’, according to Variety.

HBO released the following synopsis for the series: ‘Taking place thousands of years before the events of Game of Thrones, the series chronicles the world’s descent from the Golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour. And only one thing is for sure: From the horrifying secrets of Westeros’ history to the true origin of the white walkers, the mysteries of the east, to the Starks of legend…it’s not the story we think we know.’