The Game of Thrones season 8 premiere will include several callbacks to the original pilot episode, as the HBO fantasy TV series' final season starts off in the same place where it all began: Winterfell. A whole lot has changed in the world of Westeros since then, between its kings and queens dropping like flies (only to be replaced by new ones) and the White Walkers having not only made their way to The Wall, but even taken it down (with more than a little assistance from the Night King's newly acquired, icy-fire breathing dragon).
Game of Thrones has further outstripped the plot of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire source material and is now barreling towards an unknown ending that actors like Peter Dinklage promise is "beautifully" done, be it bittersweet or not. However, before the living and the dead have their grand showdown, the members of the former need to do a little regrouping. And what better location for Jon, Tyrion, Daenerys, Sansa, and the rest of the gang to meet up than the Stark family's home in the north, e.g. the first place the White Walkers are bound to reach?
All joking aside, it only makes sense for Game of Thrones' final season to open at Winterfell (considering that's where Jon, Tyrion, and Daeny were all headed at the end of season 7). As part of their much more extensive set visit report, EW has revealed that season 8 begins with an episode that is chock-full of callbacks to the show's pilot, starting with the arrival of Daeny's army - which will intentionally echo that of King Robert's forces making their way to Winterfell, back in the show's first episode.
More than that, the season 8 premiere will feature meet-ups between characters who not only have a long and complicated history, but also those who have never crossed paths before - something else that took up the majority of the pilot. And in a reversal of what happened during the show's first episode, back when Ned Stark acknowledged that winter was coming, but dismissed the notion that the White Walkers are real, Game of Thrones' final season will explore what happens when its living characters are forced to set aside their differences and band together to battle the (slow, but steadily) approaching Night King and his Army of the Dead.
In another example of things coming full circle, EW's report further suggests that Game of Thrones' final battle will take place at Winterfell, in what promises to be a truly epic (and massive) conclusion to the show's sprawling narrative. Either way, it's safe to assume that season 8 will harken back to the first season's (pardon the wording) game-changing events in more than a few noticeable ways. Heck, even Jon's direwolf Ghost is coming back for the series' final bow.
Game of Thrones season 8 premieres on HBO in 2019.