What the ‘Game of Thrones’ Cast Has Already Revealed About Season 8
Production on Game of Thrones‘ final season is now underway. The conclusion of this story has been so highly anticipated going back to the publication of the first book 20 years ago, and now, the cast actually knows how it all ends.
Obviously, they’re remaining tight-lipped and ensuring that spoilers don’t get out. But members of the cast have still given us a few intriguing nuggets about Season 8. Here’s a look at everything we know about the final season of Game of Thrones, based on interviews with the series’ performers.
Sophie Turner says Sansa ends up ‘back in the deep end’
Sansa Stark was in a pretty good place the last time we saw her. She got the better of Littlefinger, who had been attempting to turn her against her sister all season.
In a recent interview, actress Sophie Turner said that going into Season 8, Sansa is feeling confident and safe. But things are about to get a lot worse for her. Turner explained:
It’s going to be tricky for her, because at the end of last season, she felt that she had everything set up. She had her family back together. They were in control of the North again. This season, there’s a new threat, and all of a sudden she finds herself somewhat back in the deep end. And without Littlefinger, it’s a test for her of whether she can get through it. It’s a big challenge for her, without this master manipulator having her back. This season is more a passionate fight for her than a political, manipulative kind of fight.
Turner is likely referring to the fact that Sansa will be faced with the threat of the White Walkers, a new foe that, unlike Littlefinger, cannot be as easily outmaneuvered.
Emilia Clarke claims there will be multiple endings to prevent spoilers
Apparently, HBO is going to great lengths to ensure Season 8 spoilers don’t get out. In fact, Emilia Clarke claims that the crew is writing multiple different endings so nobody will know the real one. This had already been rumored, so Clarke was just confirming it.
Clarke told The Telegraph, “They’ve written a number of different endings. So none of the cast know what the actual ending is. If there’s ever a leak of any kind, don’t believe it because it’s probably not true.”
This seems pretty unbelievable, especially since Game of Thrones is such an expensive show. But it’s not unprecedented. For the Season 4 finale of Lost, for example, showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse wrote and filmed three possible endings so nobody would know which one was real. But all of those endings took place in the same location, so shooting them was not that expensive.
On the other hand, it seems unlikely that the Game of Thrones crew would actually go through the effort of shooting three completely distinct, equally involved endings. It’s possible they’re only writing multiple endings, though, with only the real one getting filmed.
John Bradley says each character is in a new environment
According to John Bradley, the actor who portrays Samwell Tarly, pretty much every single character is thrust into a new environment in Season 8.
These characters are so detailed and so rich, you can feel that you’ve got a pretty good handle on your character. You can predict how your character will react in any given circumstance, but when you place these characters in a new environment, it’s always putting them under a microscope, and you constantly have to reexamine your character. 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.
It’s not entirely clear whether Bradley is speaking literally about characters traveling to new places, or whether he just means that the characters are presented with unusual situations. Either way, don’t expect anyone’s arc in Season 8 to be a retread of what came before.
Bradley also says every single episode of the season is like an ‘Episode 9’
That’s not all John Bradley has said about Season 8, though. While speaking to HuffPost, he explained that every episode of the final season is going to be like an “Episode 9” of a previous season. He’s referring to the fact that usually in Game of Thrones, Episode 9 is where the huge, climatic moments happen. But in Season 8, that’s going to be every week.
I think what we used to call Episode 9 in ‘Game of Thrones’ folklore — the episode when everything comes to a head and you get a lot of spectacular sequences — I think you’re gonna get six ‘Episode 9s’ this year. You can tell that because we’ve got directors who have been in charge of some of the most huge setpieces in the past doing episodes all throughout the season.
Kit Harington says he cried after reading the last episode
Pretty much every season of Game of Thrones has been bigger — and more expensive — than the last. And it sounds like Season 8 will be even more elaborate than what has come before.
In an interview, Kit Harington said that Season 8 is the biggest yet: “It’s a lot of—it’s just bigger than it’s ever been! It is sinking in, it’s just quite emotional. I don’t know how I’m going to feel sometime next year when I’ve finished. It’s quite a sudden shift, I guess, but it feels like the right time.”
We already know for a fact that Game of Thrones Season 8 is the biggest yet because every episode will reportedly cost $15 million. In the past, Game of Thrones episodes have typically cost about $10 million each.
Harington has also revealed that he cried after reading the last episode, though he said this had more to do with the fact that the show is ending and not because of anything that happens in the finale.
Iain Glen says there aren’t that many separate storylines this time
Since the beginning of Game of Thrones, there have always been a lot of separate storylines taking place all over the fictional world. That’s why the map in the opening credits sequence is so helpful.
But in Season 7, those storylines began to converge, with one scene, in particular, bringing many protagonists together in one place for the first time. According to actor Iain Glen, that will continue into Season 8. He recently explained that although the show previously used two shooting units in two separate locations at once, this time, they’re not doing that, since the actors are generally in the same place.
“We’re all starting to be in the same storylines and so they can’t have two filming units anymore,” he said. “I think this last season will take much longer to shoot because they can only use one unit, because we’re all in the same sort of scenes.”
Several of the actors say it won’t return until 2019
Glen mentioned that Season 8 will take longer to shoot, and indeed, there’s evidence to suggest that the series won’t return for quite some time. So far, HBO has not announced a premiere date. If the show came back after about a year’s hiatus, it would return around August or September 2018.
This has not been officially announced, but considering filming only began in October 2017, and Turner said in December that there are still six or seven months of shooting left, it is a virtual certainty that Game of Thrones will be back in 2018. A premiere date of around February or March 2019 now seems likely.
Isaac Hempstead Wright says it won’t go the way some people want
The last episode of Game of Thrones is going to be one of the most monumental television events of the decade. Book fans have been speculating about this ending since 1996, when the first novel was published.
Because there’s so much build-up, though, it seems inevitable that some people will be disappointed, something Isaac Hempstead Wright has said. He explained:
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