If you’re as pumped about the final season of “Game of Thrones” as everyone else, you’ll want to keep reading to find out when to tune in, what you can expect from each episode, and what’s to come in the not-too-distant future.
What is “Game of Thrones?”
Not that there’s anyone on Earth who hasn’t heard of “Game of Thrones,” but there is the small possibility that such a person exists. So, that being the case, we’ll explain it to you.
This television series that airs on HBO began in 2011 and is based on George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire book series. Here’s the storyline, as told by IMDb plot author Sam Gray: “In the mythical continent of Westeros, several powerful families fight for control of the Seven Kingdoms. As conflict erupts in the kingdoms of men, an ancient enemy rises once again to threaten them all. Meanwhile, the last heirs of a recently usurped dynasty plot to take back their homeland from across the Narrow Sea.”
There’s also a “Game of Thrones” video game based on the book series. It’s an Action RPG game developed by Cyanide Studios and published by Focus Home Interactive. It was released in 2012 for Playstation 3, Xbox360, and PCs. According to Cyanide Studios, “Game of Thrones” is “one great role playing game [with] two epic quests.” It’s also “one of the most complete and fascinating universes in medieval-fantasy literature,” they added. It “puts you at the core of a thrilling plot, where your fate will be guided by vengeance, allegiance and honor.”
Key features of the game include:
-Two original stories based on the universe of A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin
-Play as two different heroes across two main quests
-Develop your characters
-Learn powerful skills, including sharpening your diplomacy skills
-Participate in tactical and spectacular battles
-Complete several secondary quests
-Explore mythical locations from the saga
-Meet iconic characters
When and How You Can Watch It
If you’re in the U.S., you can watch the eighth and final season of “Game of Thrones” Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET on HBO beginning April 14, 2019. Each episode will premiere live, with the final episode airing May 19. You can also stream the episodes on the HBO Go website or app if you already pay for HBO through your TV service provider. If you’re a cord-cutter, you can also stream them on HBO Now, HBO’s subscription video-on-demand service, for $14.99 per month after a free trial period, and download them on your Apple TV or other smart TV. Another way to watch is with Amazon Prime or Hulu. If you’re a member of either service, you can add HBO to your account for $14.99 per month and stream the “Game of Thrones” episodes on Sunday nights.
If you’re in the UK, you can watch it in simulcast with the U.S. premiere at 2 a.m. beginning Monday, April 15, or you can wait until the episode airs again–a.k.a. the UK premiere–that night at 9 p.m. on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV. If you choose to wait, you’ll definitely want to stay away from social media. After all, you don’t want anyone spoiling it for you. FYI, each episode will air on Mondays in the UK.
If you live elsewhere, you’ll have to check with HBO’s frequently asked questions page to find your local HBO site.
What You Can Expect
This will be the shortest season, with just six episodes. Fortunately, each episode will be up to 80 minutes long (some of the longest-ever in HBO history) and will air back-to-back (i.e. no skipped weeks for holidays).
Here’s a breakdown of each episode length:
Episode 1: Sunday, April 14 — 54 minutes
Episode 2: Sunday, April 21 — 58 minutes
Episode 3: Sunday, April 28 — 60 minutes
Episode 4: Sunday, May 5 — 1 hour, 18 minutes
Episode 5: Sunday, May 12 — 1 hour, 20 minutes
Episode 6: Sunday, May 19 — 1 hour, 20 minutes
For additional information, you can watch the Season 8 trailer on YouTube or on HBO.com.
This isn’t the end. According to Harper’s Bazaar, HBO is working on a “Game of Thrones” prequel series based on George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire book series. Rumored to be called “The Long Night,” production on the prequel will likely start this summer, but the show probably won’t air until at least 2020. “If we do a pilot and series, nothing is going to air on HBO until at least a year after the final season. We’re not doing a final season and then, ‘Following it at 11 p.m. … ,'” HBO’s Casey Bloys recently told The Hollywood Reporter, according to Harper’s Bazaar.
By the way, there’s talk of four more spin-offs. They haven’t gotten the green light yet, so we’ll just have to wait and see. But, here’s what we do know:
-Screenwriter Max Borenstein, known for his work on “Kong: Skull Island” and an upcoming Godzilla movie, is working with HBO on prequel #2–or at least an idea for it.
-Brian Helgeland, who won the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for “L.A. Confidential” (and, the same year, the Razzie for The Postman’s screenplay), is working on an idea for a third prequel.
-Carly Wray, a writer for “The Leftovers” and “Mad Men,” and George R. R. Martin, the man behind the book series that spawned the “Games of Thrones” television series, are working together on an idea for a fourth prequel.
-According to Harper’s Bazaar, Entertainment Weekly reported that Martin and Bryan Cogman, a co-executive producer and prolific writer on “Game of Thrones,” are working together on a fifth prequel. Martin reportedly hinted around about a fifth prequel series last May, but he did not mention Cogman’s name at the time. “He’s a really terrific addition,” Martin wrote on his LiveJournal, according to Harper’s Bazaar. “A great guy and a fine writer, and aside from me and maybe Elio and Linda, I don’t know anyone who knows and loves Westeros as well as he does.”
David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the creators of the HBO “Game of Thrones” series, have said they are not going to get too involved in the prequels. They’ll just stay on as executive producers instead.
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