The HBO hit fantasy drama Game of Thrones wrapped filming for its eighth and final season this past week, and with it the rumors have begun to fly about the highly anticipated climax of the show. Filming concluded in Belfast, as one by one major cast members have been saying public goodbyes after their respective final days of filming.
Sophie Turner indulged fans desires for clues about the upcoming season in several interviews, saying Season 8 will have a “large coming together of people to fight the impending doom,” and there will be more blood and death than any other season. She also stated that she was satisfied with how truly unpredictable the climax to the story was, and that Sansa will finally be the “true leader of Winterfell,” and an “empowered lady in charge.” This suggests that she will remain the “Lady of Winterfell,” even after Jon Snow returns North with Daenerys Targaryen accompanying him. Turner called herself her own biggest critic, saying she was “cringy,” watching herself in earlier seasons. she also recently shared images of her newest tattoo, which features the dire wolf sigil of House Stark and the words “The pack survives.” Fans initially took this as a clue that House Stark might prevail in the wars against the dead and the living, but Turner shot them down, claiming the tattoo was unrelated to the outcome.
In addition, Maise Williams got a rise out of fans with her goodbye post on Instagram after filming her last scenes as Arya Stark. The caption read “goodbye belfast. goodbye arya. goodbye game of thrones. what a joy I’ve had. here’s to the adventures to come” along with the hashtags #lastwomanstanding and #barely. The hashtag that she was the “last woman standing,” made fans wonder if maybe Arya is left as the ruler of Westeros at the end of the season, especifally after Lena Headley (Cersei Lannister) commented “QUEEN” on the post.
Thor Bjornsson, who plays the infamous role of Sir Gregor Clegane, also got rumors flying after he was asked on Instagram what his favorite scene to be in was. His response was that “it happens in season 8… so I can’t speak about it.” Fans immediately took this response as a hint that the highly anticipated fight between Clegane and his brother Sandor will finally take place in season 8. The prospective match between the men known as The Mountain and The Hound respectively has been dubbed “Cleganebowl” for years, and has been awaited for by fans for multiple seasons now.
While filming, HBO has gone to great lengths to keep any spoilers about the final season under wraps. Throughout production, cast members received code names for secrecy, and multiple fake endings were filmed along with numerous dummy scenes, so that fans wouldn’t be able to confirm certain members being in scenes together. The show was even given the fake title ‘Face of Angels.’ Turner also revealed that she and the rest of the cast would only ever receive digital copies of scripts, and that they would “self-destruct” after being read, while anyone visiting the GOT set was required to put stickers on their phones so they could not take photos.
A few weeks ago, the production team finished filming what is only known as a major battle scene that took 55 nights to film. To put that in perspective, the epic “Battle of the Bastards,” and “Loot Train Ambush,” scenes each took around a month to film. After completion, those involved received a thank you letter from the showrunners.
“This is for the Night Dragons. For enduring 55 straight nights. For enduring the cold, the snow, the rain, the mud, the sheep shit of Toom and the winds of Magheramorne,” the letter read. “When tens of millions of people around the world watch this episode a year from now, they won’t know how hard you worked. They won’t care how tired you were or how tough it was to do your job in sub-freezing temperatures. They’ll just understand that they’re watching something that’s never been done before. And that’s because of you. Thank you, The Producer Types.”
Game of Thrones will now enter the long and costly post-production phase, with the final season scheduled to premiere sometime next spring. In the meantime, the show has racked up 22 Emmy nominations, tied with fellow HBO hit Westworld.