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Game of Thrones (season 8)
StarringSee List of Game of Thrones cast
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes6
Original networkHBO
Original releaseApril 14 –
May 19, 2019
Season chronology
Season 7
List of Game of Thrones episodes

The eighth and final season of the fantasydrama television series Game of Thrones, produced by HBO, premiered on April 14, 2019, and concluded on May 19, 2019. Unlike the first six seasons, which consisted of ten episodes each, and the seventh season, which consisted of seven episodes, the eighth season consists of only six episodes.

The final season depicts the culmination of the series' two primary conflicts: the great battle at Winterfell against the Army of the Dead, and the final battle in King's Landing for control of the Iron Throne.

The season was filmed from October 2017 to July 2018 and largely consists of original content not found in George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, while also incorporating material that Martin has revealed to showrunners about the upcoming novels in the series, The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring. The season was adapted for television by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss.

  • 2Cast
    • 2.2Guest cast
  • 3Production
  • 4Release
  • 5Reception


See also: List of Game of Thrones episodes
No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateU.S. viewers
681'Winterfell'David NutterDave HillApril 14, 201911.76[1]
Upon reaching Winterfell with their combined armies, Jon and Daenerys learn the Army of the Dead has breached the Wall, and the Night King commands the undead Viserion. The Northern lords and their allies rally around Winterfell, but distrust Daenerys and doubt Cersei's pledge. At King's Landing, Euron returns from Essos with the Golden Company and entices Cersei to consummate their union. On Cersei's orders, Qyburn hires Bronn to assassinate Tyrion and Jaime. Theon rescues Yara, who then sets out to retake the Iron Islands, while Theon returns to Winterfell. At Winterfell, Jon reunites with Bran and Arya, and later learns to ride Rhaegal. Sam meets Daenerys, who reveals that she executed his father and brother. After Sam and Jon are reunited, Sam reveals Jon's true identity is Aegon Targaryen, king and rightful heir to the Iron Throne. At House Umber's seat of Last Hearth, Tormund and Beric encounter Edd and other Night's Watch members. They find the castle's occupants dead and Ned Umber's body used as a gruesome message from the Night King. Jaime arrives at Winterfell where Bran is awaiting him.
692'A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms'David NutterBryan CogmanApril 21, 201910.29[2]
Jaime reveals Cersei's deception to the Targaryen–Stark alliance and, despite Daenerys and Sansa's mistrust, joins their forces after Brienne defends his loyalty. Jaime later apologizes to Bran for crippling him; Bran replies he is not angry, and they are no longer the same people. Tyrion loses Daenerys' favor for believing Cersei, prompting Jorah to ask her to forgive Tyrion's mistakes. Citing their mutual love for Jon, Daenerys tries and fails to gain Sansa's trust after refusing to give any assurances about the North's fate. Theon, Edd, Tormund, and Beric arrive at Winterfell, with the latter three reporting House Umber's fall. Bran proposes that he lure out the Night King, who intends to destroy the Three-Eyed Raven. His plan is reluctantly approved, with Theon and the Ironborn offering protection. Gendry finishes a special weapon for Arya, who then seduces him. Tyrion, Jaime, Davos, Brienne, Podrick, and Tormund gather for a drink, during which Jaime formally knights Brienne. Jorah fails to dissuade Lyanna Mormont from fighting, and he receives House Tarly's ancestral sword as a gift from Sam. As the Army of the Dead approaches, Daenerys finds Jon at Lyanna Stark's tomb where he reveals to her his Targaryen lineage, and she acknowledges his claim to the Iron Throne.
703'The Long Night'Miguel SapochnikDavid Benioff & D. B. WeissApril 28, 201912.02[3]
The Living Army meets the Army of the Dead outside Winterfell. The Dothraki are obliterated first, then the Unsullied are overwhelmed. Edd is killed after saving Sam. The survivors retreat into the castle while Melisandre ignites the defensive fire trench surrounding Winterfell to delay the advancing horde. Jon and Daenerys engage the Night King on their dragons. The wights invade Winterfell, overpowering the defenders and killing Lyanna Mormont. Beric dies defending Arya, whom Melisandre helps realize her destiny to deny the God of Death on that day. Jon and Rhaegal knock the Night King off Viserion; Daenerys commands Drogon to burn the Night King, but dragon fire has no effect. The Night King raises slain Winterfell defenders, including the dead entombed in the crypt where Tyrion, Sansa, Varys, Missandei, Gilly, and the other sheltering civilians are attacked. When swarming wights pull Daenerys from Drogon, Jorah dies defending her. The Night King arrives at the Godswood for Bran and kills Theon. Arya ambushes the Night King, stabbing him with her Valyrian steel dagger. The Night King and his White Walkers disintegrate, and Viserion and the wights collapse. Her purpose served, Melisandre leaves Winterfell and falls dead from old age.
714'The Last of the Starks'David NutterDavid Benioff & D. B. WeissMay 5, 201911.80[4]
The survivors mourn their dead, burning them on funeral pyres. Daenerys legitimizes Gendry as a Baratheon, and names him Lord of Storm's End. Arya declines Gendry's marriage proposal. Jaime and Brienne become lovers. To protect her position as queen, Daenerys wants Jon to conceal his true parentage. Bronn arrives to kill Jaime and Tyrion for Cersei, but spares them in exchange for Highgarden. Daenerys wants to immediately attack King's Landing, but her war council disagrees. Jon reveals his Targaryen claim to Sansa and Arya, swearing them to secrecy. Wanting Jon as king, Sansa tells Tyrion, who informs Varys. Arya leaves Winterfell and joins Clegane, heading south. Tormund tells Jon that he and the wildlings will return north and Jon asks him to take Ghost with him. Daenerys and her fleet set sail for King's Landing, while Jon leads the Northern army. Euron Greyjoy's navy ambushes the fleet at Dragonstone, killing Rhaegal with a more powerful 'scorpion' weapon and capturing Missandei. Daenerys considers seizing King's Landing using dragon fire. Varys and Tyrion debate whether Jon or Daenerys is a better ruler. Jaime heads to King's Landing after Cersei's attack. Cersei refuses Daenerys' demand to surrender and has Missandei beheaded by the Mountain, angering Daenerys.
725'The Bells'Miguel SapochnikDavid Benioff & D. B. WeissMay 12, 201912.48[5]
Varys wants Jon to take the Iron Throne, but Jon refuses to betray Daenerys. After learning of Varys' plot from Tyrion, Daenerys has Drogon burn Varys. Daenerys plans to incinerate King's Landing, but Tyrion conspires with Jaime to surrender the city if Jaime convinces Cersei to abdicate and secretly leave. As Jaime, Arya, and Clegane infiltrate King's Landing, Daenerys has Drogon destroy the scorpions, Iron Fleet, and the Golden Company, allowing her army to enter. The Lannister forces are overwhelmed and surrender, but an enraged Daenerys attacks the city on Drogon, indiscriminately burning soldiers and civilians. The allied army follows her lead, slaughtering all in their path, horrifying Tyrion and Jon. After entering the Red Keep, Jaime kills Euron Greyjoy, but is mortally wounded. Clegane convinces Arya to abandon killing Cersei and save herself, then engages the Mountain, who kills Qyburn. Clegane and the Mountain fight fiercely, the brothers dying together after falling into flames. Cersei and Jaime reunite and flee, but both are buried under rubble as the castle collapses. Jon calls for retreat as civilians desert a demolished King's Landing. Amid the city's destruction, Arya barely escapes alive.
736'The Iron Throne'David Benioff & D. B. WeissDavid Benioff & D. B. WeissMay 19, 2019TBD
Jon and Davos survey the destruction Daenerys wrought on King's Landing while Tyrion finds Jaime and Cersei's corpses in the ruins of the Red Keep. Daenerys makes a speech in front of Unsullied and Dothraki, declaring that she will liberate not only Westeros, but the entire world. Tyrion publicly resigns as Daenerys' Hand in protest to her rule and is arrested. Both Arya and Tyrion warn Jon that Daenerys will have him and Sansa killed and the fate of Westeros is in his hands. Jon confronts Daenerys in the throne room and stabs and kills her when he sees she's become a tyrant. Sensing Daenerys' death, Drogon melts the Iron Throne with his breath and carries Daenerys' body away. The lords of Westeros convene to decide who will be the next ruler, and Tyrion suggests that future kings be picked by the lords of Westeros rather than through lineage. He also nominates Bran to be the next king under this new system, which the rest of the lords unanimously agree to. Bran appoints Tyrion to be his Hand, allows the North to secede from the Seven Kingdoms, and says Jon is to rejoin the Night's Watch as penance for killing Daenerys. Afterwards, Grey Worm leads the Unsullied and Dothraki to Naath, Tyrion reorganizes the Small Council to rebuild King's Landing, Bran goes off to search for Drogon, Arya decides to explore the uncharted seas west of Westeros, Sansa becomes Queen in the North, and Jon heads north of the Wall with the wildlings.


Main cast

Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister) and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
(Jaime Lannister)
Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister) and Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen)
Kit Harington (Jon Snow) and Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark)
Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) and Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth)
  • Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister[6]
  • Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister[6]
  • Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister[6]
  • Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen[6]
  • Kit Harington as Jon Snow[6]
  • Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark[7]
  • Maisie Williams as Arya Stark[8]
  • Liam Cunningham as Davos Seaworth[9]
  • Nathalie Emmanuel as Missandei[10]
  • Alfie Allen as Theon Greyjoy[11]
  • John Bradley as Samwell Tarly[12]
  • Isaac Hempstead Wright as Bran Stark[13]
  • Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth[10]
  • Conleth Hill as Varys[14]
  • Rory McCann as Sandor 'The Hound' Clegane[15]
  • Jerome Flynn as Bronn[16]
  • Kristofer Hivju as Tormund Giantsbane[17]
  • Joe Dempsie as Gendry[18]
  • Jacob Anderson as Grey Worm[10]
  • Iain Glen as Jorah Mormont[19]
  • Hannah Murray as Gilly[20]
  • Carice van Houten as Melisandre[21]

Guest cast

The recurring actors listed here are those who appeared in season 8. They are listed by the region in which they first appear.

In the North

  • Richard Dormer as Beric Dondarrion[11]
  • Ben Crompton as Eddison Tollett[22]
  • Daniel Portman as Podrick Payne[23]
  • Rupert Vansittart as Yohn Royce[10]
  • Bella Ramsey as Lyanna Mormont[17]
  • Megan Parkinson as Alys Karstark
  • Richard Rycroft as Maester Wolkan
  • Harry Grasby as Ned Umber
  • Staz Nair as Qhono[17]
  • Vladimir Furdik as the Night King[24]

In King's Landing

  • Pilou Asbæk as Euron Greyjoy[25]
  • Anton Lesser as Qyburn[26]
  • Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson as Gregor Clegane[27]
  • Gemma Whelan as Yara Greyjoy[28]
  • Marc Rissmann as Harry Strickland[29]
  • Tobias Menzies as Edmure Tully[30]
  • Lino Facioli as Robin Arryn[30]



HBO announced the eighth and final season of the fantasydrama television series Game of Thrones in July 2016.[31][32] Like the previous season, it largely consists of original content not found in George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series.[33] As Benioff had verified in March 2015, the creators have talked with Martin about the end of the series, and they 'know where things are heading'. He explained that the ends of both the television and the book series would unavoidably be thematically similar, although Martin could still make some changes to surprise the readers.[34] When asked about why the television series is coming to an end, he said, 'this is where the story ends'.[35]


Series creators, and executive producers David Benioff and D. B. Weiss serve as showrunners for the eighth season. The directors for the eighth season were announced in September 2017. Miguel Sapochnik, who previously directed 'The Gift' and 'Hardhome' in the fifth season, as well as 'Battle of the Bastards' and 'The Winds of Winter' in the sixth season, returned to direct two episodes. David Nutter, who had directed two episodes each in the second, third, and fifth seasons, including 'The Rains of Castamere' and 'Mother's Mercy', directed three episodes for the eighth season. The final episode of the series was directed by Benioff and Weiss, who have previously co-directed two episodes, taking credit for one episode each.[36]

At the series' South by Southwest panel on March 12, 2017, Benioff and Weiss announced the writers for the series to be Dave Hill (episode 1) and Bryan Cogman (episode 2). The showrunners divided up the screenplay for the remaining four episodes amongst themselves.[37]


Writing for the eighth season started with a 140-page outline. Benioff said that the divvying up process and who should write what section became more difficult because 'this would be the last time that we would be doing this'.[38]


In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, HBO programming president Casey Bloys said that instead of the series finale being a feature film, the final season would be 'six one-hour movies' on television. He continued, 'The show has proven that TV is every bit as impressive and in many cases more so, than film. What they're doing is monumental'.[39] Filming officially began on October 23, 2017[40] and concluded in July 2018.[41] Many exterior scenes were filmed in Northern Ireland, and a few in Dubrovnik, Croatia; Paint Hall Studios in Belfast were used for interior filming.[42]


The eighth season saw the return of Tobias Menzies as Edmure Tully and Lino Facioli as Robin Arryn in the final episode, neither of whom appeared in the seventh season.[30]Marc Rissmann was cast as Harry Strickland, the commander of the Golden Company.[29]


Co-creators David Benioff and D. B. Weiss have said that the seventh and eighth seasons would likely comprise fewer episodes, saying that after the sixth season, they were 'down to our final 13 episodes after this season. We're heading into the final lap'.[43][44] Benioff and Weiss said that they were unable to produce 10 episodes in the series' usual 12 to 14-month timeframe, as Weiss explained, 'It's crossing out of a television schedule into more of a mid-range movie schedule'.[43] HBO confirmed in July 2016, that the seventh season would consist of seven episodes and would premiere later than usual in mid-2017 because of the later filming schedule.[45] Benioff and Weiss later confirmed that the eighth season would consist of six episodes, and would premiere later than usual for the same reason.[46]

Benioff and Weiss said about the end of the series: 'From the beginning we've wanted to tell a 70-hour movie. It will turn out to be a 73-hour movie, but it's stayed relatively the same of having the beginning, middle and now we're coming to the end. It would have been really tough if we lost any core cast members along the way, I'm very happy we've kept everyone and we get to finish it the way we want to'.[46] The first two episodes are, respectively, 54 and 58 minutes long, while the final four episodes of the series are all more than an hour in length—episode three is 82 minutes (making it the longest episode of the series), episodes four and five are each 78 minutes,[47] and the final episode is 80 minutes.[48]

A two-hour documentary, Game of Thrones: The Last Watch, which documents the making of the eighth season, is due to air on May 26, the week after the series finale.[49]


Ramin Djawadi returned as the series' composer for the eighth season.[50] On April 28, 2019, a single 9-minute track from the score titled 'The Night King' was released for purchase.[51] It is taken from the climax of the third episode of the season, 'The Long Night', which aired on the same day.



The season premiered on April 14, 2019.[52]


On December 6, 2018, HBO released the first official teaser trailer for the eighth season.[53] A second teaser trailer was released on January 13, 2019, which announced the premiere date as April 14, 2019. The trailer was directed by David Nutter.[54] HBO released a promotional advertisement with Bud Light on February 3, 2019, during Super Bowl LIII.[55] Later, first-look photos of several main characters were released on February 6, 2019.[56] On February 28, posters of many of the main characters sitting upon the Iron Throne were released.[25] The official full trailer was released on March 5, 2019.[26]

Illegal distribution

The season premiere was reportedly pirated by nearly 55 million people within the first 24 hours of release. Design doll crack. Of these numbers, 9.5 million downloads came from India, 5.2 million came from China, and 4 million came from the U.S.[57] On April 21, 2019, it was reported that the second episode of the season was illegally leaked online hours before it aired due to being streamed early on Amazon Prime Germany.[58] On May 5, 2019, it was reported that the fourth episode of the season was leaked online, with footage from the episode circulating on social media.[59]


Critical response

The season has polarized critics and audience alike. Review aggregatorRotten Tomatoes calculated a 71% approval from 503 reviews and scored an average rating of 7.76/10. It is the lowest-rated season of the series on the website.[60] On Metacritic, the eighth season premiere garnered a score of 74 out of 100 based on 12 reviews, indicating 'generally favorable reviews'.[61]

While the first two episodes were met with mostly positive feedback, 'The Long Night' received criticism for its handling and resolution of the White Walker storyline, while the episodes 'The Last of the Starks' and 'The Bells' were disparaged for their rushed pacing, writing, and deviation from critical character development, with the former being described as 'anticlimactic' and 'a huge letdown'.[62][63][64][65][66] 'The Bells' is the worst-reviewed episode of the entire series, with a Rotten Tomatoes approval of 47%.[62][67]

Game of Thrones (season 8): Critical reception by episode
  • Season 8 (2019): Percentage of positive reviews tracked by the website Rotten Tomatoes[60]

David Sims of The Atlantic wrote that the final season 'has been the same story over and over again: a lot of tin-eared writing trying to justify some of the most drastic story developments imaginable, as quickly as possible. As usual, the actors did their best with what was on the page'.[68] Kelly Lawler of USA Today wrote that for a series about 'tragedy and injustice', its show became 'unrecognizable' because its finale was instead 'hacky', 'cliched' and 'pandering'; the show 'didn't gracefully swerve into another lane, it careened off a cliff.'[69]


See also: Game of Thrones § Viewer numbers
No.TitleAir dateRating
DVR viewers
Total viewers
1'Winterfell'April 14, 20195.011.76[1][70]
2'A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms'April 21, 20194.410.29[2]1.33.585.713.89[71]
3'The Long Night'April 28, 20195.312.02[3]TBDTBDTBDTBD
4'The Last of the Starks'May 5, 20195.111.80[4]TBDTBDTBDTBD
5'The Bells'May 12, 20195.412.48[5]TBDTBDTBDTBD

Audience response

CBS News has described several plot points that fans are dissatisfied with: the character arcs of Daenerys and Jaime; the manner of death for Jaime, Missandei, Rhaegal, and the Night King; the Battle of Winterfell being literally too dark; Sansa attributing her strong character to being raped; the 'basic existence of Euron Greyjoy'; and 'Jon's treatment of Ghost'.[72]


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External links

  • Game of Thrones – official US site
  • Game of Thrones – official UK site
  • List of Game of Thrones episodes on IMDb
  • List of Game of Thrones episodes at
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