The eighth and final season of the fantasy drama television series Game of Thrones, produced by HBO, premiered on April 14, 2019, and concluded on May 19, 2019. Unlike the first six seasons, which consisted of ten episodes each, and the seventh season, which consisted of seven episodes, the eighth season consists of only six episodes.
The season was filmed from October 2017 to July 2018 and largely consists of original content not found in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, while also incorporating material that Martin has revealed to showrunners about the upcoming novels in the series, The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring. The season was adapted for television by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss.
The season was met with mixed reviews from critics, in contrast to the critical acclaim of previous seasons, and is the lowest-rated of the series on the website Rotten Tomatoes. While the performances, production values and music score were praised, criticism was mainly directed at the shorter runtime of the season as well as numerous creative decisions made by the showrunners regarding the plot and character arcs. Many commentators deemed it to be a disappointing conclusion to the series.
The season received 32 nominations at the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards, the most for a single season of television in history. It won twelve, including Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for Peter Dinklage.
Riot Games CEO Nicolo Laurent said it took six years to make the first season of Arcane.
Arcane was first announced at the League of Legends 10th anniversary celebration in 2019, and is set in Riot’s League of Legends fictional universe, In September 2021, it was announced that Hailee Steinfeld, Ella Purnell, Kevin Alejandro, Katie Leung, Jason Spisak, Toks Olagundoye, JB Blanc and Harry Lloyd had joined the voice cast.
On November 20, 2021, following the conclusion of Arcane‘s first season, Riot Games and Netflix announced that a second season was in production for a post-2022 release.
Upon reaching Winterfell with their combined armies, Jon and Daenerys learn the Army of the Dead has breached the Wall and the Night King commands the undead Viserion. The Northern Houses and the Vale rally around Winterfell but distrust Daenerys and doubt Cersei’s pledge to send troops. Euron returns to King’s Landing with the Golden Company and entices Cersei to consummate their union. Cersei, through Qyburn, hires Bronn to assassinate Tyrion and Jaime. Theon rescues Yara, who then sets out to retake the Iron Islands, while Theon returns to Winterfell. There, Jon is reunited with Arya. Jon and Daenerys ride the dragons and deepen their bond. Daenerys wants to reward Sam for saving Jorah before realizing that she executed his father and brother. Sam tells Jon that he was born Aegon Targaryen and is the true heir to the Iron Throne. At House Umber, Tormund and Beric encounter Edd and other Night’s Watch members. They find the castle’s occupants dead, and the wight of Ned Umber is left as a gruesome message. Jaime arrives at Winterfell where Bran awaits him.
“A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”
Jaime reveals Cersei’s deception to the Targaryen-Stark alliance and joins them after Brienne vouches for his honor. Jaime apologizes to Bran for crippling him; Bran replies he harbors no anger and says they are no longer the same people. Daenerys no longer trusts Tyrion’s judgment for his having believed Cersei, but Jorah asks that she forgive Tyrion’s mistakes. Citing their mutual love for Jon, Daenerys tries to gain Sansa’s trust, but Sansa says the North vowed never to bow to anyone again. Theon, Edd, Tormund, and Beric arrive at Winterfell, with the latter three reporting the undead army’s impending arrival. Bran proposes he lure out the Night King, who intends to destroy the Three-Eyed Raven. Theon and the Ironborn will protect Bran. Arya seduces Gendry, wanting to experience it before they die. Jaime formally anoints Brienne as a knight. Jorah fails to dissuade Lyanna Mormont from fighting, and Sam presents Jorah with House Tarly’s ancestral sword. As the Army of the Dead approaches, Jon reveals his true lineage to Daenerys, who realizes that he has a claim to the Iron Throne.
“The Long Night”
The living meet the Army of the Dead outside Winterfell. The initial Dothraki charge is destroyed and the Unsullied are quickly overwhelmed, despite the dragonfire. Edd is killed saving Sam and survivors retreat into the castle. Melisandre ignites the fire trench surrounding Winterfell to delay the advancing horde. Jon and Daenerys aerially engage the Night King on their dragons. The wights invade Winterfell, overpowering the defenders; Lyanna Mormont is killed destroying a giant wight; Beric dies defending Arya and Melisandre tells Arya what she must do. Jon and Rhaegal knock the Night King off Viserion and Daenerys and Drogon burn him with dragonfire without any effect. The Night King raises the slain Winterfell soldiers and the dead entombed in the Stark family crypt, who attack those sheltered there. Wights pull Daenerys from Drogon and Jorah is fatally wounded defending her. The Night King kills Theon as he protects Bran. Arya ambushes and stabs the Night King with her Valyrian steel dagger shattering him and his White Walkers and Viserion and all wights. Her purpose served; Melisandre allows herself to die of old age.
“The Last of the Starks”
The survivors mourn, burn the dead and then celebrate their victory. During the somber feast, Daenerys uplifts the mood by legitimizing Gendry as a Baratheon, naming him Lord of Storm’s End. Arya gently declines Gendry’s subsequent marriage proposal while Jaime and Brienne become lovers. To protect her claim to the throne, Daenerys asks Jon to conceal his true parentage. Bronn arrives and threatens Jaime and Tyrion but spares them in exchange for being promised Highgarden castle. Jon reveals his true parentage to Sansa, Bran, and Arya, swearing them to secrecy. Wanting Jon as king, Sansa tells Tyrion, who informs Varys. Arya and the Hound head for King’s Landing, separately bent on revenge. Tormund returns north with the Wildlings, taking Ghost at Jon’s request. Daenerys and her fleet set sail for King’s Landing, while Jon leads the Northern army. At Dragonstone, Euron’s navy ambushes Daenerys’ fleet, killing Rhaegal with ship-mounted ballistas. Missandei is taken hostage and Daenerys considers seizing King’s Landing using dragonfire. Varys and Tyrion debate whether Jon would be a better ruler than Daenerys. Jaime leaves Winterfell to return to Cersei, despite Brienne’s pleas to stay. Cersei rejects Daenerys’ demand to surrender and has Missandei beheaded before an enraged Daenerys and Grey Worm.
Varys urges Jon to advance his claim to the throne but Jon refuses to betray Daenerys. After Tyrion reveals Varys’ plot, Daenerys executes Varys by dragon-fire. Jaime is captured but Tyrion releases him so Jaime can persuade Cersei to surrender the city and then escape Westeros together. Jaime, Arya and the Hound each infiltrate King’s Landing. Riding Drogon, Daenerys destroys the Iron Fleet and most of the city’s defenses, allowing her army to enter. Cersei’s forces are quickly overwhelmed and the city signals its surrender. An enraged Daenerys begins leveling the city, burning soldiers and civilians. The allied army follows her lead, slaughtering anyone in their path, horrifying Tyrion and Jon. Jaime kills Euron but is mortally wounded. The Hound convinces Arya to abandon her vendetta against Cersei and save herself; then he confronts the Mountain. The brothers, battling each other, ultimately perish after falling from a tower into flames. Cersei and Jaime reunite but are killed as the Red Keep collapses on them. Jon calls for a retreat as frantic civilians flee the devastation. Arya barely escapes alive.
“The Iron Throne”
Jon is appalled when the Unsullied execute captured soldiers upon Daenerys’ orders. Tyrion finds Jaime and Cersei dead in the ruins. Daenerys rallies the Unsullied and Dothraki, proclaiming she will lead them to “liberate” the entire world. Tyrion resigns as Hand of the Queen and is imprisoned for treason. Arya and Tyrion separately warn Jon that Daenerys is a threat to him, House Stark and the people. Jon confronts Daenerys. Unable to halt her destructive path, an agonized Jon kills her. Drogon, enraged, melts the Iron Throne, then carries away Daenerys’ body. Later, Tyrion proposes that all future monarchs be chosen by Westerosi leaders, rather than familial succession. Bran Stark is proclaimed King Bran the Broken. He grants the North independence as a kingdom and appoints Tyrion his Hand. Jon is sentenced to the Night’s Watch to appease the Unsullied, who set sail for Naath, Missandei’s homeland. Tyrion reorganizes the Small Council – Brienne, Bronn, Davos and Sam – to rebuild King’s Landing. Podrick is knighted. Sansa is crowned Queen in the North. Arya sets sail to explore unknown lands west of Westeros. Jon rejoins Tormund and Ghost at Castle Black, leading the Wildlings north of the Wall.
- Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister
- Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister
- Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister
- Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen
- Kit Harington as Jon Snow
- Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark
- Maisie Williams as Arya Stark
- Liam Cunningham as Davos Seaworth
- Nathalie Emmanuel as Missandei
- Alfie Allen as Theon Greyjoy
- John Bradley as Samwell Tarly
- Isaac Hempstead Wright as Bran Stark
- Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth
- Conleth Hill as Varys
- Rory McCann as Sandor “The Hound” Clegane
- Jerome Flynn as Bronn
- Kristofer Hivju as Tormund Giantsbane
- Joe Dempsie as Gendry
- Jacob Anderson as Grey Worm
- Iain Glen as Jorah Mormont
- Hannah Murray as Gilly
- Carice van Houten as Melisandre
On December 6, 2018, HBO released the first official teaser trailer for the eighth season. A second teaser trailer was released on January 13, 2019, which announced the premiere date as April 14, 2019. The trailer was directed by David Nutter. HBO released a promotional advertisement with Bud Light on February 3, 2019 during Super Bowl LIII. Later, first-look photos of several main characters were released on February 6, 2019. On February 28, posters of many of the main characters sitting upon the Iron Throne were released. The official full trailer was released on March 5, 2019.
- S02E01 – “Winterfell”
- S02E02 – “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”
- S02E03 – “The Long Night”
- S02E04 – “The Last of the Starks”
- S02E05 – “The Bells”
- S02E06 – “The Iron Throne”
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