Production for Game of Thrones Season 8 has worked triple time over the past year to keep spoilers for the final six episodes under wraps. Fans know almost nothing of what’s to come, other than a battle of such size and scale as to blow viewers’ minds. But though there are still months to go before the premiere, this week, fans got a small hint of where the show picks up for the final season. These details about Game Of Thrones Season 8 opening scene suggest, like Season 7, the show will be doing massive callbacks to the first season.
Last summer, when Season 7 aired the penultimate episode, fans were startled how many Easter Eggs and callbacks there were embedded within the hour referencing “Baelor,” the penultimate episode of Season 1. This was the episode which put the show on the map when it killed off Ned Stark to the shock of audiences around the world.
The opening episode of Season 8 will also reference the very first season of the show, but according to reports, it reaches back even further, all the way back to the pilot episode, which aired all the way back on April 17, 2011, introducing the world to Westeros and Winterfell.
According to Entertainment Weekly, the season begins the way the pilot did, with a procession headed by the ruler of the Seven Kingdoms arriving at Winterfell to meet the Stark clan.
At some point HBO will release a proper final-season trailer revealing more. Until then, here’s some basic setup we can tell you: Season 8 opens at Winterfell with an episode that contains plenty of callbacks to the show’s pilot. Instead of King Robert’s procession arriving, it’s Daenerys and her army. What follows is a thrilling and tense intermingling of characters — some of whom have never previously met, many who have messy histories — as they all prepare to face the inevitable invasion of the Army of the Dead.
Let’s make this abundantly clear. Sansa, Arya, and Bran will be the Starks lined up to greet the Queen. She will arrive with dragons and Dothraki instead of Lannisters and Gold Cloaks. But the protocols will basically be the same.
Sansa will stand stoically, calculating how she can spin to the Northern Lords that the “King In The North” bent the knee to a Targaryen. She will also find herself face to face with Tyrion, her ex-husband, for the first time since she left him holding the bag on Littlefinger and Olenna’s scheme.
This is the Sansa’s look from the first footage HBO dropped a couple of months ago. It looks like she has some bad news for Jon or she is not pleased with Daenerys arriving at Winterfell.
Arya will see Jon for the first time in ages. This will at least be a joyous moment. It will be interesting how she reacts to meeting Lannisters like Tyrion and Jaime for the first time as an adult.
Then there’s Bran, who will have to figure out how not to randomly make people uncomfortable by telling them the weir tree net just downloaded their entire Wikipedia entries into his brain. It’s probably safe to assume he’ll fail.
The writer and co-executive producer, Bryan Cogman also explains how the finale season is like. He explains:
“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…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.”
Game of Thrones doesn’t arrive until 2019 on HBO, so until then, fans will just have to write their own fanfic for how this scene plays out.