HBO’s CEO has seen all six rough cuts for Game of Thrones upcoming season 8 and described the experience as watching “six movies.” Last December, HBO released a trailer for Games of Thrones' eighth and final season, thus officially kicking off a new marketing campaign that will only ramp up over the coming months.
Based on George R.R. Martin's epic fantasy novels, collectively known as A Song of Ice and Fire, Game of Thrones first premiered on HBO in 2011. Since then, the series has chronicled the shifting power dynamics in the continents Westeros and Essos, with the primary characters seeking control of the narrative’s Seven Kingdoms. While The Sopranos set a high bar for “prestige TV” during the early 2000s, Game of Thrones is undoubtedly one of the most cinematic series ever produced, and with episodes that often eclipse 60 minutes in length. During Game of Thrones’ run thus far, it has earned three Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Drama Series.
Per Variety, HBO’s Chief Executive Officer Richard Plepler recently announced that he’s seen rough cuts for the brand new Game of Thrones episodes. After last Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards, in which HBO only landed one award (Best Supporting Actress for Sharp Objects’ Patricia Clarkson), Plepler appeared at an HBO after-party and made some telling statements about the network's most iconic series: “It’s a spectacle. The guys have done six movies. The reaction I had while watching them was, ‘I’m watching a movie.”
While Game of Thrones is known for its lengthy productions, the new season reportedly consists of episodes that are longer that some feature films. According to the Variety report, the new episodes are rumored to be 90 minutes in duration. Plepler praised the raw storytelling of showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, stating, “They knew the bar was high. They’ve exceeded the bar. I’ve watched them twice without any CGI and I’m in awe. Everybody’s in for an extraordinary treat of storytelling and of magical, magical production.”
On Sunday, HBO released new Game of Thrones footage during a promotional 2019 clip. While many people were undoubtedly pleased to see footage for both True Detective season 3 and Damon Lindelof’s new Watchmen series, it was Game of Thrones that had people talking the most on social media, thanks to a clip of Emilia Clarke’s Daenerys Targaryen arriving in Winterfell for the first time, and with her lover-nephew Jon Snow, portrayed by Kit Harington. Sophie Turner’s Sansa Stark also appears, and gives control to the Mother of Dragons.
With Games of Thrones season 8 set to premiere in April, we’re only weeks away from seeing perhaps the most epic TV filmmaking ever produced. As Netflix and Amazon push forward with high profile, straight-to-streaming feature films, so too will HBO continue to raise the bar with series like True Detective, Watchmen, and Game of Thrones.
Game of Thrones season 8 premieres in April on HBO.