Already itching for Game of Thrones Season 8? Us too! Here’s everything you need to know about the next Game of Thrones series, including details on the release date, cast, plot, trailers, and much more.
Beware – here be spoilers! If you’re not completely up to date with the show – or you don’t want to find out details about the final season of Game of Thrones – then read no further. You have been warned.
Update (September 19, 2017): The latest news is that Game of Thrones creators are currently casting for two child actors to take up roles in the show. We’ve got more details on what to expect below.
With the latest season of Thrones behind us, we’ve now got nothing but The Long Night ahead of us. Winter is finally here, and it’ll be many more cold months before our TV screens are graced with fan favourites like Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, and Tyrion Lannister again.
The good news is that hype for the show is now bigger than ever, which means you can be sure that HBO will be spending top dollar to guarantee a quality season. HBO has committed to giving the producers the time they need to develop a quality final season, so we’ve got high hopes for what’s coming.
In the meantime, read on for the latest news and rumours (bearing in mind our above warning about spoilers being below!)
You can watch Game of Thrones using Now TV, with a 14-day free trial followed by rolling £7.99 monthly payments:
Game of Thrones Season 8 Release Date: When is the next series of Game of Thrones out?
Bad news, denizens of Westeros! It seems that HBO is yet to confirm an official air date for the next season of Game of Thrones.
The show is currently slated to return in late 2018 or early 2019, but the Hollywood Reporter cites insider sources as saying that production could run as late as August 2018, which means it’s entirely possible that we won’t see the series again until the year after next.
Filming is set to begin in October 2017.
Game of Thrones Season 8 Episodes: How many episodes will there be?
Until recently, all Game of Thrones seasons were 10 episodes strong. But the most recent run – season seven – came with just seven episodes in tow.
Unfortunately, season eight will have even fewer, with viewers promised a grand total of just six episodes for the final season. It’s likely, however, that at least some of these episodes will be longer than a typical 48-minute airing – expect high-budget, feature-length goodness.
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The Hollywood Reporter writes: “Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have all six episodes mapped out and are working in tandem with the production team to determine a schedule that makes sense for the sweeping fantasy drama and its sprawling cast.”
The first episode will be written by Dave Hill; the second episode will be penned by Bryan Cogman; and showrunners Benioff and Weiss will divide up the remaining four. Importantly, Thrones author George R.R. Martin won’t be scripting an episode this season, breaking tradition.
Game of Thrones Season 8: Is this really the final season?
Yes, Game of Thrones season eight is absolutely the last season. The TV series is based on a (currently incomplete) series of books, and so has a definitive ending that was determined long ago and already shared with the Thrones series showrunners.
However, the good news is that HBO is currently looking into five potential “successor shows”, which could be prequels, sequels, or current timeline spin-offs. Stay tuned.
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Game of Thrones Season 8 Plot: What’s next for the story?
The story so far
Here are some key events from where we left off in season seven:
- The Night King has resurrected a fallen dragon and used it to breach the Wall. He now leads an army of White Walkers into Westeros.
- Against her brothers’ advice, Queen Cersei Lannister has opted to betray Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen, and leave the northern armies to fend for themselves against the army of the dead.
- Jaime Lannister, unhappy with Cersei’s decision to withdraw her help in the fight against the undead, has left Cersei and now heads north to honour his pledge to give aid against the Night King.
- Daenerys Targaryen is now one dragon short – thanks to epic spear-tossing from the Night King – but has gained a sultry paramour in the form of Jon Snow. Little do either of them know that Jon is actually a Targaryen, because he’s the son of her late brother Rhaegar. Yes, Jon is sleeping with Auntie Daenerys.
- An eternal black sheep of Westeros, Theon Greyjoy now hopes to regain his honour by rescuing his sister Yara, who is currently held by prisoner by their uncle Euron. The bad news is that Euron Greyjoy is in league with Cersei, and together are brokering a deal with the Golden Company to destroy the enemies of House Lannister once and for all.
- In the North, sisters Arya and Sansa Stark have finally put an end to Littlefinger’s meddling – by murdering him at Winterfell, naturally. They cottoned onto his scheming courtesy of their brother Bran Stark‘s visions, which allow him to see into the past and uncover lost truths. His most recent vision? Revealing the marriage of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, confirming Jon Snow (or Aegon Targaryen, by birth) as the rightful Targaryen heir to the Iron Throne.
What’s coming next
So what’s happening next season? Well no plot details have leaked thus far, so it’s tough to say. What makes it even more difficult is that season eight is based on an outline of the two final novels in George R. R. Martin’s series, A Song of Ice and Fire – neither of which have been published yet.
The most significant thing we’ve heard so far was from HBO President of Programming Casey Bloys, who recently revealed an interesting tidbit about Game of Thrones season 8 while speaking at a US university.
According to Bloys, the final series of Game of Thrones will shoot multiple endings in a bid to thwart hackers. HBO, as you may be aware, suffered a number of high-profile leaks during season 7.
I know in Game of Thrones, the ending, they’re going to shoot multiple versions so that nobody really knows what happens. You have to do that on a long show. When you’re shooting, people know. So they’re going to shoot multiple versions so that there’s no real definitive answer until the end.
That’s great news for those of us who hate spoilers.
In any case, we’ll update this section once we hear more.
Game of Thrones Season 8 Cast: New cast members for GoT season 8
The following cast members have been confirmed as returning starring and guest-starring cast:
- Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister
- Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Ser Jaime Lannister
- Lena Headey as Queen Cersei Lannister
- Emilia Clarke as Queen Daenerys Targaryen
- Kit Harington as Lord Jon Snow
- Liam Cunningham as Ser Davos Seaworth
- Sophie Turner as Lady Sansa Stark
- Maisie Williams as Arya Stark
- John Bardley as Samwell Tarly
- Isaac Hempstead-Wright as Bran Stark
- Rory McCann as Sandor Clegane
- Pilou Asbaek as King Euron Greyjoy
- Mark Gatiss as Tycho Nestoris
And in September 2017, it emerged that Game of Thrones producers were casting for two child actors. One role is described as “Northern Girl”, and is expected to be filled by someone aged between eight and 10. The second role is for a boy aged eight to 12 with a “fit and agile look”, according to Thrones site Watchers on the Wall.
Related: Comiccon 2017 trailers
Game of Thrones Season 8 Trailer: Watch trailers, teasers and clips here
We haven’t seen any trailers for the new season just yet, and that’s because production won’t be completed for many more months. However, we’ll update this section with trailers as soon as they arrive.
In the meantime, check out some of these quality YouTube videos to sate your hunger for Thrones:
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