“Game of Thrones” prepares to stun audiences

For all the “Game of Thrones” fans out there, April 14 was a big day. The beloved series returned for its eighth and final season, ending a franchise that has been loved by viewers since its inception in 2011. Season eight has been set to six “feature length” episodes, likely 80 minutes or longer. Season eight has been a long time coming, with the last episode of season seven airing in August of 2017. Filming for season eight began shortly after the conclusion of season seven (October 2017) and wrapped up in July of 2018. But for fans, the wait has been much longer. Over a year and a half between seasons felt like eons to fans in dire need of their fantasy fix.

Season eight has garnered high levels of anticipation, largely due the finality of this season. Fans were left on the edge of their seats as the world of Westeros prepares for all out war. For the first time since the inception of the series, many of the well-liked characters are in the same places. The Stark siblings (Arya, Sansa and Bran) have been in Winterfell for the majority of season seven accompanied by Brienne of Tarth and Podrick Payne. Most of Daenerys’ camp is also together. Jon, Daenerys, Tyrion and other important figures from this camp have been hinted to arrive in Winterfell through newly released teaser clips. In the South, a pregnant, vengeful Cersei Lannister is prepared to strike north. Revealing her intention to betray Daenerys, and with the help of Euron Grejoy, the Lannisters, those loyal to Cersei at least, are in prime position to make their move.

This season is especially exciting as the events of past seasons have only added fuel to the flame, putting the world of Westeros in prime position to boil over. Jon and Arya are en route to unite for the first time since the first season, Jamie and Tyrion Lannister are poised to willingly fight on the same side for the first time, all while the Night King readies his army of the undead, positioned to bring the long winter south of the Wall from the back of his reanimated dragon. Many fan theories could also be confirmed this season. These include Daenerys’ pregnancy, Gendry Baratheon and Arya Stark’s relationship, Cersei’s possible death at the hand of one of her brothers, as well as who will be seated in the Iron Throne at the end of this final season.

Regardless of which theories are confirmed or who dies or lives, fans are sure to be in for an exciting final season. HBO did not spare a dime on this final season as the cost of production per episode more than doubled from the previous of five million euros, on average, to more than €11.2 million. HBO has also been rumored to be taking great measure to conceal the series’ ending, with their president of programming announcing that several endings could have been filmed. Continuing the theme that began with George R.R. Martin, nobody truly knows how the series is going to end.

Written by Ethan Doyle

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