After 8 seasons, Game of Thrones is finally coming to an end…. until a series of prequels hit our screens.
It’s been a long time coming. The last episode of season seven aired in August 2017. But the final season has apparently been a vast amount of work. It only includes six episodes, but each is a similar length to a feature film. One epic battle apparently took two months to film just the exterior shots.
Game of Thrones, the HBO adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s fantasy novels, has become a cultural phenomenon, breaking popularity records across the globe. The series has won more Emmy Awards, America’s TV Oscars, than any other series.
The epic tale of the warring families of Westeros’s Seven Kingdoms for the right to sit on the Iron Throne has castles, swordfights, magic, zombies, treachery and dragons.
Spoiler alert: This is the trailer for Season 8. You may not want to click play if you haven’t caught up the previous seasons.
If you need some reminders of who is who, and who did what to whom, check out the Viewers Guide.
Find the Throne
To heighten interest in the new series, starting on 14 April in the U.S., HBO has hidden six copies of the Iron Throne in secret locations around the world, and published videos of them online. (Each is an hour long as dawn rises behind the throne, kind of the antithesis of an action-packed GoT episode.)
The first throne was found rapidly in the Puzzlewood in the Forest of Dean in south-west England, a reputedly magical woodland that has been used for filming Star Wars, Merlin and Doctor Who.
Who might end up on the throne at the end of season eight? Fans have all sorts of theories, but the HBO site has detailed minisites of five of the characters’ journeys to the throne: Daenerys Targaryen, Cersei and Tyrion Lannister, Jon Snow and Arya Stark (no, not Sansa or Bran).
Spoilers or red herrings? Only time will tell.
Growing up on GoT
Some viewers probably feel they have grown up with GoT, as a slightly older generation was defined by Harry Potter. But many of the young actors have literally grown up on the series. The Stark children Sansa (Sophie Turner), Arya (Maisie Williams) and Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) were respectively 14, 13 and ten when they were first cast. In this video, many of the actors who have made it through to the final season reminisce about their years on the show. John Bradley, who plays the clever but unmilitary Night’s Watch Steward Samwell Tarly, points out that GoT was his first job after drama school.
Writing the Saga
The man behind the series keeps a relatively low profile. George RR Martin is an experienced sci-fi and fantasy writer, both in book format and as a screenwriter. Before GoT he had worked on the Twilight Zone and the CBS series Beauty and the Beast. He’s been closely involved in GoT.
And now that the GoT is at an end, there are at least five prequels in the pipeline, sent thousands of years before GoT and with completely different casts. One has actually reached the stage where major casting announcements have been made. No release date has been given yet, but fantasy fans needn’t despair, they will be able to plunge back into the many Westerosi stories in the not too distant future.
Game of Thrones: The Final Season
Starting 15 April exclusively on OCS
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> Winter is Coming… for the Summer
> Medieval Murder and a Sword Called Excalibur
> To Find a Dragon
> Screen Tourism: “Game of Thrones” Fans Flock to Northern Ireland