The final epic battle set to climax Game of Thrones season 8 may be set at the Starks' tragic home of Winterfell. After seven seasons filled with war, intrigue, love and dragons, HBO's acclaimed fantasy series is at last headed into its final run of six episodes. Production on the last six chapters in the GoT saga has now reached an advanced stage, with multiple cast members wrapping up their work on the series, and dropping vague hints about what happens to their characters.
Of course, HBO is doing its utmost to keep all its season 8 secrets under wraps until the episodes finally air, even enlisting special drone-killing technology to ensure no one gets any set pictures that might cause precious bits of information to make it out to the public. Thanks to such precautions, very little is actually known about season 8 beyond a few non-spoilery hints, like the fact that Jon Snow's direwolf Ghost is set to make an appearance. Naturally, theories abound as to what the final season has in store for Snow, Daenerys, Arya, Sansa and the rest of the show's surviving characters.
One thing almost everyone is sure about is that Game of Thrones season 8 will contain a climactic battle that surpasses anything seen previously on the series. What isn't known is where exactly the battle will take place and who will still be left to take part. Now however, HBO has allowed a small hint to make its way to the public via an EW first look article teasing season 8. Going by the info contained in the article, it seems the last big Game of Thrones battle will take place in and around Winterfell, the northern home of the Starks.
The article starts out referencing a previous revelation by a crew member that the production spent 55 nights shooting battle scenes, but then goes on to clarify that these only covered exteriors shot at the Winterfell set, with several weeks being needed to shoot the indoor scenes. In terms of sheer number of days spent shooting, the 55 nights already surpassed the 25-day shoot for the show's previous biggest-ever battle scene, the season 6-climaxing Battle of the Bastards. To give another idea of the scope of the apparent Winterfell climax that is coming for season 8, Tyrion Lannister actor Peter Dinklage called the battle "brutal,” adding "It makes the Battle of the Bastards look like a theme park" (an interesting choice of words as HBO is reportedly literally turning some of the show's sets into a theme park).
According to GoT showrunner David Benioff, this last great battle is actually shown from multiple perspectives, and follows several different characters as they try to survive. Benioff then seemingly confirmed what everyone already knew: That this battle will involve humanity's last desperate stand against the Night King and his army of white walkers. Benioff said, "We’ve been building toward this since the very beginning, it’s the living against the dead." In order to pull off the battle, the production greatly expanded the Winterfell set, which no doubt was why they took extra precautions against anyone using drones to get photographs.
Indeed, the end of season 7 set up the likelihood of a great battle taking place in the northern stronghold of Winterfell, after the Night King used the reanimated dragon Viserion to attack the Wall, leaving the North wide open to invasion. But even if this is the final huge battle of season 8, it's not guaranteed that the show will actually end on this action-packed note. Because even if Jon Snow, Daenerys, Jaime Lannister and company defeat the Night King and his forces at Winterfell, there's still the little matter of Cersei lurking in King's Landing, waiting to make her own final play for power. One thing is certain: some very epic things are set to happen at Winterfell during the last six episodes of Game of Thrones.
Game of Thrones season 8 premieres on HBO in 2019.