“Game of Thrones” will return for its long-awaited eighth and final season in April, HBO announced on Tuesday.
The final season will be six episodes long, which also makes it the series’ shortest. Seasons 1 through 6 of the show each had 10 episodes, while Season 7 had seven episodes.
But the final season will also have longer-than-normal episodes, clocking in at 80 minutes each.
Despite the shorter run, it took 10 months to shoot the eighth season, and each episode cost around $15 million, according to Variety. Just think of all the battles, dragons and undead that can buy!
The teaser has no new footage, but it is a fun reminder of both the stumbles and victories that have placed all the remaining players where they are on the board for the last big battles for Westeros.
“Game of Thrones” is like Russian roulette when it comes to surviving another season, and every actor that makes it to the next round seems just as surprised as audiences watching. Lena Headey, who plays the villainous Cersei Lannister, thought her character wouldn’t make it it to the end of Season 7.
“I [assumed] oh, I’m going to die,” she told Time about reading the script. “And then, I went straight to the end. I was really in shock. I think obviously, now, there’s got to be some body count at the end of [season] 8.”
Cersei’s brother/lover Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) will head North to perhaps seek Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) or Jon Snow (Kit Harington), and Davos also makes it to the eighth season. And perhaps the best news: direwolf Ghost will be back! The show’s visual effects supervisor, Joe Bauer, confirmed it, telling Huffington Post that the fluffy fan favorite “has a fair amount of screen time” in the new season.
Emilia Clarke — who plays Daenerys Targaryen, Mother of Dragons — posted her own goodbye to the hit series while visiting Ireland, Game of Thrones‘ most prominent filming location.
“Hopped on a boat to an island to say goodbye to the land that has been my home away from home for almost a decade,” she wrote, in the caption to a smiling selfie. “It’s been a trip @gameofthrones thank you for the life I never dreamed I’d be able to live and the family I’ll never stop missing #💔#lastseasonitis.”
Meanwhile, Kit Harington has other plans when it comes to celebrating his final day of filming.
After playing Jon Snow across eight seasons, actor said he planned to cut his signature long hair.
“I’d like to step away and enjoy the obscurity, cut my hair, make myself less recognizable as the character, and go do and some other things with a completely new look and tone,” Harington told Entertainment Weekly in June.
How short will he go? “Short-short,” Harington said. “The beard will be harder to get rid of — I quite like the beard. I like having the long hair and beard both, but it will be like ritualistic thing. I can’t go into my next role looking the same. This role was brilliant, but I’ll need to get rid of Jon Snow.”
As “Game of Thrones” prepares to take its bow, HBO is already planning for the next incarnation of the series.
Over the summer, HBO confirmed a pilot order for an in-development prequel series, which does not yet have a title. Naomi Watts was recently announced as the star.