Game of Thrones season 8: Cast, recaps, spoilers and theories – CNET


Daenerys is so close to landing that Iron Throne. Or is she?


The eighth and final season of Game of Thrones is almost over. 

There’s just one episode left to go, the series finale, which will air on May 19. HBO revealed a trailer right after the May 12 episode, but true to form, the network didn’t drop any spoilers. (Need a guide to the Easter eggs you might have missed last week? Here you go.)

The May 12 episode was a ratings winner, but May 19 will likely torch it like Drogon torched a certain city recently. (Spoiler alert?)

The youngest actors have grown up with the show, especially Arya, Bran and Sansa.

Speaking of Arya, she dropped a big spoiler on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. But check the calendar for that air date before freaking out…

Episode runtimes and dates revealed

Like episode 5, the series finale will also be an hour and 20 minutes long.

Now playing: Watch this: Game of Thrones, season 8: Everything you need to know


Where’s that book?

Fans who just don’t know what they’ll do after the series ends can’t even console themselves with a new George R.R. Martin book in the saga, because ha ha ha boo hoo hoo

But the book, like winter, is coming. Just before Thanksgiving 2018, Martin told The Wall Street Journal he was at a remote mountain cabin where he goes to “hunker down” and write, and that he’s “hard at work” on Winds of Winter.  He wouldn’t give spoilers, but he said he had a master plan, despite the TV show events. 

“I’m still going to finish it the way I always wanted to finish it, the way it’s been in my head for 25 years now,” Martin said.

Martin also spoke up about Winds of Winter in August 2018. Then, he noted that some people have died on screen who won’t die in the books. (Margaery? Hodor? Shireen? We can dream…) Despite what Martin said, he’s not adverse to killing major characters on the page too — and blames J.R.R. Tolkien’s Gandalf, of all people.

How to watch

To watch the finale, you’ll need a subscription to HBO (or a friend with one), but if you don’t have cable, you can pay for HBO Now, a streaming subscription version of HBO that doesn’t require a regular cable subscription (or even a TV). Not sure you’ll like it? You can stream HBO Now free for 30 days. And you can catch up on past seasons via HBO, Blu-ray, DVD and 4K Ultra Blu-ray. Past seasons are also available on Hulu with an HBO Premium Add-on

Meet the cast

The major cast members who’ve survived to this point were back when the final season launched (one exception: Ellaria Sand, who’s presumably still watching daughter Tyene’s body rot away in Cersei’s dungeon).

Here’s a list of some of the top stars who were still around at the beginning of the season (quite a few are no longer around).

More info

Director David Nutter revealed some tidbits about the final season in his Reddit AMA on Nov. 13. Asked about Daenerys’ goals, he said the Targaryen’s quest for the Iron Throne has good intentions. “I think she wants to make a difference,” he said. “She wants to free the slaves. She wants to be a good, fair just ruler. After so many years it chasing her and now her chasing it — I think in some respects it’s about destiny for her and some of it’s really beyond her own calling and something she’s destined to become.

Peter Dinklage, whose Tyrion Lannister is a favorite character of many, revealed a bit about what will happen to the youngest Lannister. First, he said the show “ends beautifully” for his character, but he added “whether it be tragic or not.” Fans probably didn’t expect Tyrion to live happily ever after, but “tragic” is a frightening word, especially in this context.

We also know that even after the show ends, fans will be able to relive the terrors and triumphs of Westeros by visiting the Game of Thrones sets in Northern Ireland. HBO isn’t confirming a lot of details for what will be called the Game of Thrones Legacy attractions, but the sets Winterfell, Castle Black and King’s Landing could be included, and costumes, props, weapons and other items will be on display.

What’s up with the GOT spinoffs?

George R.R. Martin doesn’t want to call them spinoffs, but HBO is working on as many as five “successor shows” taking place in the Game of Thrones universe. Martin has said fans should not look for any familiar faces, as all of the new shows will take place before the time period depicted in Game of Thrones. It’s not yet known if all, or how many, of the shows will actually make it to air.

But one has definitely advanced more than others. Martin called it The Long Night, then had to say that’s not the official title (but if we had to guess… it is). It looks to be about the mysterious Children of the Forest — check out our guide to what we know so far.

In May, British tabloid The Sun announced that filming has begun, and has the working title “Bloodmoon.” We also know Naomi Watts has been cast as a “socialite with a secret,” and Josh Whitehouse also has a role.

Need some more background? In June 2018, Deadline reported that HBO ordered this pilot from writer Jane Goldman, who’s known for the Kingsman movie series, as well as StardustKick-Ass and two X-Men blockbusters. It’ll be set thousands of years before Game of Thrones, and HBO delivered a fairly generic plot summary, except for that bit about the White Walkers.

“The series chronicles the world’s descent from the golden age of heroes into its darkest hour,” the network revealed. “And only one thing is for sure: From the horrifying secrets of Westeros’ history to the true origin of the White Walkers, the mysteries of the East to the Starks of legend … it’s not the story we think we know.” 

Martin says “some (of the successor shows) may not even be set on Westeros.”

We do know what won’t be covered: no Robert’s Rebellion and no Dunk and Egg. Robert’s Rebellion refers to Ned Stark, Robert Baratheon and Jon Arryn’s rebellion against House Targaryen, and Dunk and Egg are other Martin characters, a hedge knight and his squire, who have their own stories taking place a century before the current books. Martin said when he’s done writing all his tales of Dunk and Egg, he’d love for them to have a show, and that Robert’s Rebellion will be explained in the current book series when (if… ) he finishes.

Note: This story was first published on April 6, 2018, and is updated more frequently than GRRM publishes. 


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