The first official Game of Thrones season 8 photos show the series' main characters looking (understandably) worried. HBO's extremely popular adaptation of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy novel series is about to enter its final six super-sized episodes. The series took a year off in-between seasons to give it the extra time it needed to finish its eighth and final installment, which will feature what are easily the show's biggest battle sequences and showdowns to date. HBO’s Chief Executive Officer Richard Plepler has even described season 8 as essentially "six movies", due to the scale of their spectacle and narratives.
Similarly, there are still a whole lot of characters on the table, despite the sheer number of people that've died (usually, in brutal and horrifying ways) over the course of the previous seven seasons. Those still alive (for now) heading in Game of Thrones season 8 include Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), in addition to Jon's siblings Arya, Sansa, and Bran Stark (Maisie Williams, Sophie Turner, and Isaac Hempstead Wright), Tyrion Lannister and his siblings Cersei and Jaime (Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie), Varys (Conleth Hill), Samwell Tarley (John Bradley) and Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham). All 12 main players are featured in the first photos from season 8, as it were.
EW has unveiled the first official photos from Game of Thrones season 8 online, ahead of the show's return in April. Take a look, below.
As you would expect, these season 8 images aren't even remotely spoiler-y and do little but confirm that the remaining main characters are exactly the same, since the last time viewers saw them. That will probably change once the Battle of Winterfell - between the living and the Night King's army of the dead - gets underway, but in the meantime all 12 main characters are alive and well. Of course, before all that happens, certain players are in for a rude awakening. For starters, Sam and Bran need to tell Jon that he's the true heir to the Iron Throne and that his new queen and lover, Daenerys, is actually his relative. Jon's parentage might not be important when the White Walker army is knocking at the Starks' door, but it'll definitely matter once the (snow?) dust has settled and the surviving characters have to decide who gets to rule what parts of Westeros.
Speaking of rulers - Cersei will still be hanging out in King's Landing when season 8 begins, based on these photos. That may change over the course of the season, especially when the queen makes her next big move and attempts to knock her competition (namely, Daenerys "Mother of Dragons" Targaryen) permanently off the board. Meanwhile, there's the question of what will happen with Sansa and whether she's fated to become the Queen of the North, by the time the show wraps up. Heck, when you think about it, season 8 could end up being the "Game of Queens" as much as anything else.
Game of Thrones season 8 premieres Sunday, April 14 on HBO.