The eighth and final season of the fantasy drama television series Game of Thrones, produced by HBO, premiered on 14 April 2019 and concluded on 19 May 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 widespread acclaim of previous seasons, and is the lowest-rated of the series on the website Rotten Tomatoes. While the performances, production values, cinematography, and music score were praised, criticism was mainly directed at the writing and shorter runtime of the season, as well as numerous creative decisions made by the showrunners.
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.
The final season depicts the culmination of the series’ two primary conflicts: the Great War against the Army of the Dead, and the Last War for control of the Iron Throne.
In the first half of the season, Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen and many of the main characters converge at Winterfell to face the Dead. During the long, bloody battle, which includes aerial combat by dragons, Bran lures the Night King into the open, where Arya destroys him; the army of White Walkers and wights crumble. Meanwhile, Cersei Lannister remains in King’s Landing and strengthens her forces to set traps for a weakened Daenerys.
The second half of the season resumes the war for the throne as Daenerys suffers losses until she finally assaults King’s Landing on Drogon, her last dragon. She defeats Cersei’s forces, burns the city and kills Cersei and her brother Jaime. Daenerys vows to “liberate” the whole world as she has liberated the capital of Westeros. Unable to sway her from her destructive path, an agonised Jon kills her. Drogon flies away with her body. The leaders of Westeros choose Bran Stark as King, who grants the North independence and appoints Tyrion his Hand. Sansa Stark is crowned Queen in the North. Arya sails west, and Jon leads the Wildlings north of the Wall.
- Main Cast:
- 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.
- Guest Cast:
- The recurring actors listed here are those who appeared in season 08.
- They are listed by the region in which they first appear.
- In the North:
- Richard Dormer as Beric Dondarrion.
- Ben Crompton as Eddison Tollett.
- Daniel Portman as Podrick Payne.
- Rupert Vansittart as Yohn Royce.
- Bella Ramsey as Lyanna Mormont.
- Megan Parkinson as Alys Karstark.
- Richard Rycroft as Maester Wolkan.
- Harry Grasby as Ned Umber.
- Staz Nair as Qhono.
- Vladimir Furdik as the Night King.
- In King’s Landing:
- Pilou Asbæk as Euron Greyjoy.
- Anton Lesser as Qyburn.
- Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson as Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane.
- Gemma Whelan as Yara Greyjoy.
- Marc Rissmann as Harry Strickland.
- Tobias Menzies as Edmure Tully.
- Lino Facioli as Robin Arryn.
HBO announced the eighth and final season of the fantasy drama television series Game of Thrones in July 2016. Like the previous season, it largely consists of original content not found in George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. As Benioff had verified in March 2015, the creators have talked with Martin about the end of the series, and they “know where things are heading.” He explained that the ends of both the television and the book series would unavoidably be thematically similar, although Martin could still make some changes to surprise the readers. When asked about why the television series is coming to an end, he said, “this is where the story ends.”
Series creators and executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss serve as showrunners for the eighth season. The directors for the eighth season were announced in September 2017. Miguel Sapochnik, who previously directed “The Gift” (S05E07) and “Hardhome” (S05E08) in the fifth season, as well as “Battle of the Bastards” (S06E09) and “The Winds of Winter” (S)6E10) in the sixth season, returned to direct two episodes. David Nutter, who had directed two episodes each in the second, third, and fifth seasons, including “The Rains of Castamere” (S03E09) and “Mother’s Mercy” (S05E10), directed three episodes for the eighth season. The final episode of the series was directed by Benioff and Weiss, who have previously co-directed two episodes, taking credit for one episode each.
At the series’ South by Southwest panel on 12 March 2017, Benioff and Weiss announced the writers for the series to be Dave Hill (episode 01) and Bryan Cogman (episode 02). The showrunners divided up the screenplay for the remaining four episodes amongst themselves.
Writing for the eighth season started with a 140-page outline. Benioff said that the divvying up process and who should write what section became more difficult because “this would be the last time that [they] would be doing this.”
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, HBO programming president Casey Bloys said that instead of the series finale’s being a feature film, the final season would be “six one-hour movies” on television. He continued, “The show has proven that TV is every bit as impressive and in many cases more so, than film. What they’re doing is monumental.” Filming officially began on 23 October 2017 and concluded in July 2018. Many exterior scenes were filmed in Northern Ireland and a few in Dubrovnik, Croatia; Paint Hall Studios in Belfast were used for interior filming. The direwolf scenes were filmed in Alberta, Canada.
The eighth season saw the return of Tobias Menzies as Edmure Tully and Lino Facioli as Robin Arryn in the final episode, neither of whom appeared in the seventh season. Marc Rissmann was cast as Harry Strickland, the commander of the Golden Company.
Co-creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have said that the seventh and eighth seasons would likely comprise fewer episodes, saying that after the sixth season, they were “down to our final 13 episodes after this season. We’re heading into the final lap”. Benioff and Weiss said that they were unable to produce 10 episodes in the series’ usual 12 to 14-month timeframe, as Weiss explained, “It’s crossing out of a television schedule into more of a mid-range movie schedule.” HBO confirmed in July 2016 that the seventh season would consist of seven episodes and would premiere later than usual in mid-2017 because of the later filming schedule. Benioff and Weiss later confirmed that the eighth season would consist of six episodes and would premiere later than usual for the same reason.
Benioff and Weiss said about the end of the series: “From the beginning, we’ve wanted to tell a 70-hour movie. 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. It would have been really tough if we lost any core cast members along the way[;] I’m very happy we’ve kept everyone and we get to finish it the way we want to.” The first two episodes are, respectively, 54 and 58 minutes long, while the final four episodes of the series are all more than an hour in length – episode three is 82 minutes (making it the longest episode of the series), episodes four and five are each 78 minutes, and the final episode is 80 minutes.
A two-hour documentary, Game of Thrones: The Last Watch, which documents the making of the eighth season, aired on 26 May, the week after the series finale.
Ramin Djawadi returned as the series’ composer for the eighth season. The soundtrack album for the season was released digitally on 19 May 2019 and was released on CD on 19 July 2019.
The season received mixed reviews from critics.
The season premiered on 14 April 2019 in the US on HBO.
The season was released on Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, and DVD on 03 December 2019.
A petition to HBO for “competent writers” to remake the eighth season of Game of Thrones in a manner “that makes sense” was started on Change.org after “The Last of the Starks” aired, but went viral after “The Bells” aired and saw Daenerys’s arc take a significant turn. The petition described showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss as “woefully incompetent writers”. As of 06 September 2019, it has amassed over 1.73 million signatures. Digital Spy reported that fans of the series criticised the season for the way it handled several character arcs and the “rushed” pacing. The petition’s creator stated that he never expected HBO to remake the season, but saw the petition as a message “of frustration and disappointment at its core”.
With 32 nominations, Game of Thrones broke the record of the most nominations received by a regular TV show in a single year.
Game of Thrones Series
You can find an overview of the Game of Thrones franchise here.
You can find a full index of the Game of Thrones TV Series here.
- Episode 01: Winterfell.
- Episode 02: A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.
- Episode 03: The Long Night.
- Episode 04: The Last of the Starks.
- Episode 05: The Bells.
- Episode 06: The Iron Throne.
Production & Filming Details
- Director(s): David Nutter, Miguel Sapochnik, David Benioff, and D.B. Weiss.
- Writer(s): Dave Hill, Bryan Cogman, David Benioff, and D.B. Weiss.
- Release Date: 14 April 2019 to 19 May 2019.
- Running time: 54-82 minutes (approximate, per episode).
- Rating: 15/18 (depends on season).
- Country: US.
- Language: English.