HBO Finally Revealed the ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 8 Premiere Date With a Dark New Teaser
Winter is coming — and it has an official premiere date. After more than a year of anticipation, HBO finally revealed that the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones will begin on Sunday, April 14, 2019.
The network dropped the release date in a tweet accompanied by the hashtag “#ForTheThrone,” as well as a brand-new look at what to expect when viewers return to Westeros.
In the video, which looks to be more of a scene-setting promotional video than a clip from the upcoming season, Jon Snow (Kit Harington) walks through the crypts under Winterfell, where he encounters a statue of Lyanna Stark, his birth mother. As he passes, the feather in her hand flutters to the ground and we hear her voice telling Ned, “You have to protect him.”
The teaser then shows Sansa (Sophie Turner) and Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) — once thought to be Jon’s half-siblings but revealed last season to be his cousins — walking separately through the same crypts and passing statues of other deceased family members.
Ominously, when they finally meet up, they encounter statues of themselves. Some fans think Sansa and Arya’s statues reflect their current appearance, while Jon’s appears to be an aged version of himself, but others argue that all three are meant to depict them as they are.
In any case, the air in the tunnel soon turns icy, and Jon, Sansa, and Arya turn and draw their swords to face an unknown threat.
The ending of the beloved HBO drama has been kept tightly under wraps, but that’s not to say that potential spoilers haven’t been slipping out in the past year. In March 2018, HBO exec Francesca Orsi admitted that several tears were shed when cast members read the scripts for the final episodes. “None of the cast had received the scripts prior, and one by one, they started falling down to their deaths,” she said.
Maisie Williams also told Stephen Colbert that reading the script for the finale was an unforgettable experience. “It’s just surreal, to be honest,” she said. “Everyone’s waiting for this moment, and then you read it and it’s just like, it’s incredible.”
Season 8 of Game of Thrones premieres on HBO on Sunday, April 14.
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(photo via Helen Sloan/courtesy of HBO)