Game Of Thrones' seventh (and second to last) season is only a few months away, with a summer premiere date expected to be announced sometime soon; fans are caught between excitement over a new season, and dread over the fast-approaching end of the show. We've got a lot to look forward to in the upcoming season, with Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) finally landing in Westeros, meeting Jon Snow (Kit Harrington), and releasing her dragons to do battle. We have also heard from Maisie Williams (who plays Arya) that the season will end on a "major cliffhanger", suggesting that the wait between seasons 7 and 8 will be even more tense.
Now, as filming wraps for some of the characters, the actors reveal that they are also feeling the change as they move into filming the final season after a short break - and promise some phenomenal watching in season 7.
Talking to Mashable ahead of the Game of Thrones concert tour, several of the series stars spoke about how they feel as the end of this long project draws near. Alfie Allen, who plays Theon Greyjoy, says that the pace hasn't changed much, but there is certainly a feeling of sadness on the set. Liam Cunningham, who plays Davos, agrees with this feeling, saying that it adds to the tension when filming:
"So it can be occasionally a little odd on set; it adds to the work and adds to the tension and we can use it, but I’ve never committed to a job like this before, this length of time. I’ve got a family on this that I’m gonna miss hugely."
The actors are careful not to give anything away, but they also talk a little about how this feeling of ending is also bringing things to a head on the show. Cunningham says, "Because we know we’re coming to an end, and [because of] what we’ve been filming in Season 7 — without giving anything away, things are coming to a head." Plus, Jacob Anderson (who plays Grey Worm) hints at something very big to come:
"I’m just in awe of how everybody’s managing to fit as much as there is into seven episodes, because it doesn’t necessarily feel like a normal season, it feels bigger."
Allen also previews what fans can expect:
"It’s gonna be a crazy season. It’s definitely going to blow a lot of people’s minds. It’s still the same running theme; characters that haven’t crossed each other’s paths before will do, and they’re gonna take it even further this time."
These comments are obviously going to stir up a lot of excitement for fans, especially Allen's words about characters crossing paths - a clear reference to Daenerys and Jon Snow, but there are plenty of other possibilities that are also incredibly exciting. The news that this season will feel bigger than ever before also comes as a relief to many fans who were concerned that the shorter length (seven episodes instead of 10) would mean a less intense season for the show.
Although this is obviously going to drum up even more excitement for the hit fantasy series, these actors aren't giving anything important away. We already knew that there would be some new character meetings in this season - that's a huge part of Daenerys coming to Westeros, after all. We could also have easily assumed that there would be a lot coming to a head, as this brings an eight-year series toward its final conclusion. Still, it's wonderful to hear how excited the stars are about this latest season, and touching to know that they will miss making the show as much as we are going to miss watching it.
Game of Thrones season 7 premieres on HBO summer 2017.