In Entertainment Weekly's cover story on the show's final season, the magazine revealed that the season eight premiere will mirror the series premiere. However, instead of King Robert arriving at Winterfell, Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) and her army have a triumphant arrival. This leads to an exciting moment for many fans, since some characters who have never physically been in the same scene will finally meet.
"It's about all of these disparate characters coming together to face a common enemy, dealing with their own past, and defining the person they want to be in the face of certain death," co-executive producer Bryan Cogman explained to EW. "It's an incredibly emotional, haunting, bittersweet final season, and I think it honors very much what George set out to do — which is flipping this kind of story on its head."
The meetings will not be all happy though. Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) is not going to be thrilled that Jon (Kit Harington) swore allegiance to Daenerys at first.
Although EW did not confirm it, the meetings could include Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) meeting with Jon to deliver the big information he discovered at the end of season seven. While looking in the past, Bran learned that Jon is really the child of Lyanna Stark (Aisling Franciosi) and Rhaegar Targeryen (Wilf Scolding).
That means that Jon is really a legitimate heir to the Iron Throne, even though he had been long told he was a bastard with no claim. It also means that Jon is Daenerys' nephew, making their scene in bed during season seven awkward to watch.
According to EW, the meetings will be followed by a dramatic battle with the Army of the Dead, which will rival the famous Battle of the Bastards.
"It's brutal," Peter Dinklage, who plays Tyrion Lannister, told EW. "It makes the Battle of the Bastards look like a theme park."
The battle will follow multiple characters during the events, and their survival tales are all different stylistically.
"Having the largest battle doesn't sound very exciting — it actually sounds pretty boring. Part of our challenge, and really, [director Miguel Sapochnik's] challenge, is how to keep that compelling," executive producer/writer David Banioff told the magazine. we've been building toward this since the very beginning, it's the living against the dead, and you can't do that in a 12-minute sequence."
Game of Thrones season eight will only include six episodes and is scheduled to debut in the first half of 2019 on HBO. Like season seven, it will be based on original material from Benioff and D.B. Weiss, but George R.R. Martin has said the material comes from his outlines for the upcoming final two A Song of Ice and Fire novels.
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