The seventh season of Game of Thrones feels like it wrapped up a lifetime ago. It did. It’s unclear how we all made through more than one year without GoT, but it’s almost time for the eighth and final season. In March 2019, with just weeks to go before the premiere, HBO blessed fans with the first full trailer for season eight, complete with dragon moments, the Golden Company, Gendry looking hot (as always), and Cersei looking nervous (with a glass of wine, naturally).
This is huge compared to a teaser HBO dropped in January of some of the Stark siblings walking through the crypts of Winterfell.
Until the big day, April 14, do enjoy this examination of every last minuscule detail that’s currently available.
1. The journey to season eight’s premiere date has been a long one. HBO confirmed in January 2018 that the final season of the show would not air until 2019. Six months later, HBO president Casey Bloys revealed that the final six episodes will air in “the first half” of 2019. Per THR, he said nothing more about the show, except that “it’s pretty great.”
On Nov. 13, under the campaign #ForTheThrone, HBO finally confirmed that the eighth and final season will premiere in April 2019.
2. It will consist of six episodes. In 2016, showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss said the final two seasons would include 13 episodes; seven in season seven and six in season eight. However, these final six might be longer than the standard hour-long ones we’ve enjoyed thus far. Sound designer Paula Fairfield told a crowd at Con of Thrones that season eight’s episodes may end up being feature-length (the season-seven finale clocked in at 82 minutes).
3. Production began in the fall of 2017. Casey Bloys, HBO’s president of programming, confirmed in July 2017 that the scripts were finished, and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) told Collider that the actors were due back on-set in October 2017. Filming wrapped in July 2018.
4. The scale will continue to be huge. Season seven’s battles were bigger and crazier than any the show’s ever done before—the loot train, of course, but also the ice dragon—and it seems that season eight will continue in that vein. “They spent an increasing amount of money on less episodes, so it’s gonna be much bigger in scale,” Kit Harington told The Huffington Post of season seven. “We’re trying new things, experimenting with new camera techniques. I think we’re trying to break boundaries and push past boundaries in these final two seasons.”
5. Only four writers will be responsible for all six episodes. According to David Benioff, Dave Hill will write episode one, Bryan Cogman will do episode two, and Benioff and D. B. Weiss will handle the last four.
6. In the same vein, four directors will call the shots this season: David Nutter, Miguel Sapochnik, and showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss have the honor of directing the final six episodes. Nutter last directed GoT in season five; Sapochnik’s most recent work on the show was in season six (he also directed season five’s “Hardhome”).
7. Tyrion’s probably not going to fall for Daenerys. After the season finale scene where Tyrion lurked outside Daenerys’s door while she and Jon Snow had sex, people immediately began to speculate that Tyrion’s actions may have been fueled by his growing romantic feelings for Daenerys. Not so, says finale director Jeremy Podeswa. “I think there’s jealousy, but it’s maybe not romantic jealousy, in the way that it is for Jorah, for example,” he told the Daily Beast. “I think that for Tyrion, it’s more complicated. I think he has a very special relationship with Dany, and he really believes in her as a true leader and has invested a lot in her. I think for him, with Jon and Dany getting together, this represents a possible undermining of his position with her and also a monkey wrench thrown into what the master plan really is meant to be around this entire alliance.” So for now you can keep your Tyrion/Daenerys pairing relegated to fan fiction.