It seems like only yesterday that Game of Thrones premiered on HBO. And by the time the credits rolled on the first episode, we were completely hooked. We’ve been completely enthralled by the battle for the Iron Throne, by the shocking deaths and betrayals, and by George R. R. Martin’s incredible world.
But now, the end is nigh for Game of Thrones. In 2016, HBO announced that the game-changing fantasy series would end after Season 8, which is slated to air in 2019. And that means that, despite news of multiple spinoffs, we’ll likely be saying goodbye to many of our favorite characters — at least the ones that aren’t already dead.
The entire GoT production team has been notoriously tight-lipped about major plot points over the years. So, of course, they’re not giving much away when it comes to how it will end. But some of the cast has offered a few hints as to what we can expect as Game of Thrones winds down.
A few fan-favorite characters may make it to the end
Ever since Robert Baratheon suffered an untimely fate, Game of Thrones fans have waited to find out who will ultimately rule the Seven Kingdoms. And although it’s safe to say that absolutely no one in Westeros is safe from death, there are at least a couple of characters we can expect to stick it out to the end.
We know this because the actors themselves have hinted that they’re signed on through Season 8. In a June 2017 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Emilia Clarke — aka our favorite mother of dragons Daenerys Targaryen — revealed that she’ll be returning for the final season.
Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark, also recently let it slip that she’s made room in her busy schedule to film the final Game of Thrones season. That’s good news for fans of both characters — but may be bad news for one of them if they wind up going head-to-head.
The cast has a lot of feelings about who should win the Iron Throne
According to Game of Thrones showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff, only a handful of people know who will ultimately reign victorious — themselves, and author George R. R. Martin included. But that hasn’t stopped the GoT cast from sharing their opinions about who should ultimately prevail.
In an interview with EW, Maisie Williams, Sophie Turner, Kit Harington, and Isaac Hempstead Wright all shared who they believe should win the Iron Throne. As it turns out, the actors who play the surviving children of Winterfell couldn’t come to a consensus. Harington and Hempstead Wright think that Sansa deserves a shot at running Westeros; Williams and Turner, on the other hand, want to see Jon Snow sitting on the Iron Throne.
At least they could all agree that it’s time for the Starks to get a chance to rule.
The cast is very nervous about bringing Game of Thrones to an end
The cast of Game of Thrones has been filming the series since 2009. So, they’re understandably unsure about what the future holds once they’ve wrapped production for good. And some cast members have expressed nervousness over not only how the series will end, but what their lives will be like afterward.
Like everyone else, they’re theorizing about the ending
Fans of Game of Thrones have mastered the art of theorizing about how all of the show’s intricate details will add up. And it turns out, the series’ stars are just as willing to guess how everything will shake out for their characters. According to Kit Harington, the cast and crew are eager to learn every new bit of plot information — and to make their own guesses about how it will all end.
He told MovieFone, “Everyone’s been wondering how it’s going to end, and what’s going to happen right from the get-go, and theorizing about it.”
One cast member says the ending is already there for us to find
Given fans’ propensity for theorizing and analyzing, it stands to reason that at least one lucky fan has managed to figure out the Game of Thrones ending, even by accident. And according to Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who plays Jaime Lannister, that’s probably the case.
Coster-Waldau acknowledged fans’ passionate response to the series when he told Observer, “You can find the ending of Game of Thrones on the internet. It’s there. But you wouldn’t know.” For his part, Coster-Waldau thinks that fans don’t really want to know the ending yet. That’s where he’d be wrong.
Some Game of Thrones stars think their characters should get a spinoff
Much has been said about the news that HBO will be developing multiple Game of Thrones spinoffs in the coming years. And fans are excited about the other areas of Westeros that we may be able to explore. But it turns out the cast are excited too, because it could mean that they won’t have to say goodbye to their characters forever.
Gwendoline Christie, who plays fan-favorite Brienne, told Newsweek she’d be thrilled to explore more of the Game of Thrones world. “She’s such a fascinating character. There’s so much there to mine and there’s so much there to utilize, you can really explore so many storylines about Brienne of Tarth.”
The cast isn’t allowed to know how Game of Thrones ends
You might think that, by now, at least some of the long-standing cast members of Game of Thrones would be privy to the series’ most closely guarded secrets. But according to Emilia Clarke, the actors know little more than the fans do when it comes to the series’ endgame.
In an interview with the L.A. Daily News, Clarke confessed that “no one” in the cast has been told how Game of Thrones will end. “It’s a secret from the cast,” Clarke said. “We generally can’t be trusted. They pretty much have told us so.”
It makes sense to keep the big reveal on lockdown, even from the actors who will bring it to life. However, they’ll still have to keep fans in the dark once they’ve finished filming the final season, which means Clarke and her co-stars should start practicing their poker faces.
Follow Katherine Webb on Twitter @prufrox.
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