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Game of Thrones (season 8)

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Game of Thrones (season 8)
Several main characters in the shape of the Iron Throne in the snow
Promotional poster
StarringSee List of Game of Thrones cast
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes2
Release
Original networkHBO
Original releaseApril 14, 2019 (2019-04-14) –
present (present)
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 7
List of Game of Thrones episodes

The eighth and final season of the fantasy drama television series Game of Thrones, produced by HBO, premiered on April 14, 2019. Filming officially began on October 23, 2017 and concluded in July 2018.

Unlike the first six seasons that each had ten episodes and the seventh that had seven episodes, the eighth season only has six episodes. Like the previous season, it largely consists of original content not found in George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series and adapts material Martin revealed to the showrunners about the upcoming novels in the series, The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring. The season was adapted for television by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss.

Episodes

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected by [1][2]Written by [3]Original air date [4]U.S. viewers
(millions)
681"Winterfell"David NutterDave HillApril 14, 2019 (2019-04-14)11.76[5]
Upon reaching Winterfell with their combined armies, Jon and Daenerys learn the White Walkers have breached the Wall and the Night King commands the undead Viserion. In response, the Northern lords and their allies rally around Winterfell but distrust Daenerys and doubt Cersei's pledge. At King's Landing, Euron returns from Essos with the Golden Company and entices Cersei into consummating their union while Qyburn, acting on Cersei's orders, hires Bronn to assassinate Tyrion and Jaime. Theon rescues Yara, who sets out to retake the Iron Islands, before departing for Winterfell to help fight the Army of the Dead. At Winterfell, Jon reunites with Bran and Arya, and, with Daenerys' encouragement, learns to ride Rhaegal. After meeting Daenerys and learning she executed his father and brother, Sam tells Jon about his true identity. Tormund and Beric, who survived the Wall's destruction, encounter Edd and several Night's Watch members at House Umber's seat of Last Hearth, finding its occupants, including Ned Umber, dead and a message from the Night King. The following day, Jaime arrives at Winterfell and encounters Bran.
692"A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms"David NutterBryan CogmanApril 21, 2019 (2019-04-21)10.29[6]
Jaime reveals Cersei's deception to the Targaryen–Stark alliance and, despite Daenerys's and Sansa's mistrust, joins their forces after Brienne vouches for him. Jaime later apologizes to Bran for crippling him, with Bran saying he is not angry, and they are no longer the same people. Tyrion loses Daenerys' favor for having trusted Cersei, prompting Jorah to ask her to forgive his mistakes. Daenerys fails to gain Sansa's trust through their mutual love for Jon after refusing to give any assurances about the North's fate. Theon, Edd, Tormund, and Beric arrive at Winterfell, with the latter three reporting House Umber's fall. Bran proposes that he lure out the Night King, who intends to destroy the Three-Eyed Raven. His plan is reluctantly accepted, with Theon and the Ironborn offering their protection. Gendry finishes a special weapon for Arya, who then seduces him. Tyrion, Jaime, Davos, Brienne, Podrick, and Tormund share a drink, during which Jaime formally knights Brienne. Jorah fails to dissuade Lyanna Mormont from fighting and receives House Tarly's ancestral sword as a gift from Sam. As the Army of the Dead approaches, Daenerys finds Jon at Lyanna Stark's tomb and learns about his Targaryen lineage and claim to the Iron Throne.
703TBAMiguel SapochnikDavid Benioff & D. B. WeissApril 28, 2019 (2019-04-28)TBD
714TBADavid NutterDavid Benioff & D. B. WeissMay 5, 2019 (2019-05-05)TBD
725TBAMiguel SapochnikDavid Benioff & D. B. WeissMay 12, 2019 (2019-05-12)TBD
736TBADavid Benioff & D. B. WeissDavid Benioff & D. B. WeissMay 19, 2019 (2019-05-19)TBD

Cast

Main cast

Guest cast

The recurring actors listed here are those who appeared in season 8. They are listed by the region in which they first appear.

Production

Development

HBO announced the eighth and final season of the fantasy drama television series Game of Thrones in July 2016.[31][32] Like the previous season, it largely consists of original content not found in George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series.[33] As Benioff had verified in March 2015, the creators have talked with Martin about the end of the series, and they "know where things are heading". He explained that the ends of both the television and the book series will unavoidably be thematically similar, although Martin could still make some changes to surprise the readers.[34] When asked about why the television series is coming to an end, he stated: "this is where the story ends".[35]

Crew

Series creators, and executive producers David Benioff and D. B. Weiss serve as showrunners for season 8. The directors for the eighth season were announced in September 2017. Miguel Sapochnik, who previously directed "The Gift" and "Hardhome" in season 5, as well as "Battle of the Bastards" and "The Winds of Winter" in season 6, returned to direct two episodes. David Nutter, who had directed two episodes each in seasons 2, 3, and 5, including "The Rains of Castamere" and "Mother's Mercy", directed three episodes for season 8. The final episode of the series was directed by Benioff and Weiss, who have previously co-directed two episodes, taking credit for one episode each.[1]

At the series' South by Southwest panel on March 12, 2017, Benioff and Weiss announced the writers for the series to be Dave Hill (episode 1) and Bryan Cogman (episode 2). The showrunners divided up the screenplay for the remaining four episodes amongst themselves.[36]

Writing

Writing for the eighth season started with a 140-page outline. Benioff said that the divvying up process and who should write what section became more difficult because "this would be the last time that we would be doing this".[37]

Filming

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, HBO programming president Casey Bloys stated that instead of the series finale's being a feature film, the final season would be "six one-hour movies" on television. He continued, "The show has proven that TV is every bit as impressive and in many cases more so, than film. What they're doing is monumental".[38] Filming officially began on October 23, 2017[39] and concluded in July 2018.[40] Many exterior scenes were filmed in Northern Ireland, and a few in Dubrovnik, Croatia; Paint Hall Studios in Belfast were used for interior filming.[41]

Casting

The eighth season sees the return of Tobias Menzies as Edmure Tully and Lino Facioli as Robin Arryn, neither of whom appeared in season 7.[42] Marc Rissmann has been cast as Harry Strickland, the commander of the Golden Company.[43]

Content

Co-creators David Benioff and D. B. Weiss have said that seasons 7 and 8 would likely comprise fewer episodes, stating that after season 6, they were "down to our final 13 episodes after this season. We're heading into the final lap".[44][45] Benioff and Weiss stated that they were unable to produce 10 episodes in the series' usual 12 to 14-month timeframe, as Weiss explained, "It's crossing out of a television schedule into more of a mid-range movie schedule".[44] HBO confirmed in July 2016, that the seventh season would consist of seven episodes and would premiere later than usual in mid-2017 because of the later filming schedule.[46] Benioff and Weiss later confirmed that the eighth season would consist of six episodes, and would premiere later than usual for the same reason.[47]

Benioff and Weiss said about the end of the series: "From the beginning we've wanted to tell a 70-hour movie. It will turn out to be a 73-hour movie, but it's stayed relatively the same of having the beginning, middle and now we're coming to the end. It would have been really tough if we lost any core cast members along the way, I'm very happy we've kept everyone and we get to finish it the way we want to".[47] The first two episodes are, respectively, 54 and 58 minutes long, while the final four episodes of the series are all more than an hour in length—episode three is 82 minutes (making it the longest episode of the series), episode four is 78 minutes and the last two are each 80 minutes.[48]

A two-hour documentary, Game of Thrones: The Last Watch, which documents the making of season 8, is due to air on May 26, the week after the series finale.[49]

Music

Ramin Djawadi returned as the series' composer for season 8.[50]

Release

Broadcast

The season premiered on April 14, 2019.[51]

Marketing

On December 6, 2018, HBO released the first official teaser trailer for the eighth season.[52] A second teaser trailer was released on January 13, 2019, which announced the premiere date as April 14, 2019. The trailer was directed by David Nutter.[53] HBO released a promotional advertisement with Bud Light on February 3, 2019, during Super Bowl LIII.[54] Later, first-look photos of several main characters were released on February 6, 2019.[55] On February 28, posters of many of the main characters sitting upon the Iron Throne were released.[26] The official full trailer was released on March 5, 2019.[27]

Illegal distribution

The season premiere was reportedly pirated by nearly 55 million people within the first 24 hours of release. Of these numbers, 9.5 million downloads came from India, 5.2 million came from China, and 4 million came from the U.S.[56] On April 21, 2019, it was reported that the second episode of the season was illegally leaked online hours before it aired due to being streamed early on Amazon Prime Germany.[57]

Reception

Critical response

On Metacritic, the eighth season (based on the first episode) has a score of 74 out of 100 based on 12 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[58] On Rotten Tomatoes, the season has a 90% approval rating from 172 critics with an average rating of 8.09 out of 10.[59]

Game of Thrones (season 8): Critical reception by episode

Ratings

No. Title Air date Rating
(18–49)
Viewers
(millions)
DVR
(18–49)
DVR viewers
(millions)
Total
(18–49)
Total viewers
(millions)
1 "Winterfell" April 14, 2019 5.0 11.76[5] TBD TBD TBD TBD
2 "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms" April 21, 2019 4.4 10.29[6] TBD TBD TBD TBD

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External links