/ The survivors of the first eight seasons of Game of Thrones will face the Night King and his army of White Walkers and wights in the final season.HBO
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It has been a long wait for the final season of Game of Thrones, and sadly, the wait is not quite over yet. But HBO has thrown hungry fans a bone with a shiny new teaser trailer. There‘s no new footage from the upcoming episodes, but we do get one full minute featuring some of our favorite moments from seasons past.
(Some spoilers from prior seasons below.)
Game of Thrones is the HBO adaptation of George R.R. Martin‘s best-selling Song of Ice and Fire series of novels—for those of you who‘ve been living under a rock since the show debuted in 2011 and turned into a bona fide global phenomenon. It‘s a ratings blockbuster for HBO that has won multiple Emmys and may be one of the most expensive TV series ever made, thanks to numerous film-quality battle scenes, CGI dragons, and a simply massive all-star cast of characters. Bonus: it‘s got a killer theme song and opening title sequence.
“When you play the game of thrones, you either win or you die.” Those were Cersei Lannister‘s (Lena Headey) words to Ned Stark (Sean Bean), way back in Season 1, as the two rival noble houses got caught up in a bloody power struggle over who should succeed the late king of Westeros to rule over the nine districts. Everyone wants to lay claim to the Iron Throne (a monstrosity forged out of the swords of long-ago vanquished foes). That includes exiled Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), who plots an invasion from across the sea.
A walk down memory lane
- Tomboy Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) loses her innocence. HBO
- Arya‘s father Ned Stark (Sean Bean) loses his head. Remember when we thought he was the show‘s star? HBO
- “Dracarys.” It means “Dragonfire” in High Valyrian, and the Mother of Dragons (Emilia Clarke) brings it. HBO
- “The Lannisters send their regards.” Worst. Wedding. Ever. HBO
- Admit it, you cheered when psychopathic boy-king Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) started choking. HBO
- “You know nothing, Jon Snow.” Star-crossed lovers bid farewell. HBO
- Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) goes on trial. HBO
- Oh Red Viper (Pedro Pascal), he got you monologuing. HBO
- Baby dragons all grown up and hungry for battle. HBO
- Daenerys Targaryen rides into battle on Drogon. HBO
- Jon Snow (Kit Harington) faces near-impossible odds in the Battle of the Bastards. HBO
- “My Lady Sansa (Sophie Turner), you may survive us yet.” HBO
- “Shame!” Cersei‘s (Lena Headey) master plan backfires spectacularly. HBO
- Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer) senses something is amiss. HBO
- Cersei gets her revenge with wildfire. HBO
- King Tommen (Dean-Charles Chapman) can‘t live with what his mother has done. HBO
- Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) becomes the Three-Eyed Raven. HBO
- Jon Snow might just be the promised hero to save Westeros from the army of the undead. HBO
There are unlikely alliances and bloody betrayals, steamy sex scenes, disastrous weddings, dragons and jousting, gorgeously staged battles, and a shockingly high body count. Kings have risen and fallen at an alarming rate. Game of Thrones quickly distinguished itself for killing off a slew of seemingly major characters with nary a flinch over the course of seven seasons. When we last left Westeros, Cersei Lannister had improbably ascended to the Iron Throne, although this being Game of Thrones, one shouldn‘t count on her holding onto it for long.
Of course, all that jockeying for power distracted the leaders of Westeros from the one, true threat: an impending invasion from the north, beyond a great wall of ice. It‘s led by the so-called Night King, the truly terrifying head of an icy undead race called the White Walkers. Humans who die by their hand in the north turn into ice zombies, or “wights.” And now the wall has fallen and the Night King is marching on Westeros.
Will the kingdom of men survive? It is far from a foregone conclusion. The TV series long ago outstripped Martin‘s writing pace—the next two novels in the series, Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring, have yet to be published—although the author had considerable input in shaping the overall narrative arcs for the HBO series.
The differs from prior ones in that it will only have six episodes rather than the usual ten (Season 7 had seven episodes). “From the beginning we‘ve wanted to tell a 70-hour movie,” co-showrunner David Benioff last year. “It will turn out to be a 73-hour movie, but it‘s stayed relatively the same of having the beginning, middle and now we‘re coming to the end.”
That end begins next April on HBO. We can hardly wait.
Game of Thrones trailer.