Game of Thrones

“Game of Thrones” Season 8 will air Sunday nights at 9 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on HBO.

While in the real world, winter seems to be almost gone, for fans of the hit HBO series “Game of Thrones,” winter is very soon coming. With the show’s eighth and final season set to air on Sunday, April 14, fans are anxiously waiting to see how their favorite characters will fare as a dark and evil winter befalls the people of Westeros.

Every episode throughout the past seven seasons of “Game of Thrones” have been so convoluted that it would be impossible to neatly sum up everything in one article. If you’re late to “Game of Thrones” or simply want a refresher on everything that’s happened so far, here five things you must know going into “Game of Thrones” final season, spoilers ahead. 

1. First things first, be prepared to watch films, not episodes.

Obviously, the show’s final season has to be bigger and better than all the rest. Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss knew the bar would be extremely high for the last season, given all the insanity that has already ensued during the show’s run. While the first and second episodes of the series final season will be just shy of an hour, the last four episodes end around the 80-minute mark, carving out plenty of time for bloody battles, intense conversations and answers to the questions every fan wants to know

2. It's probably going to be bloodier than ever before.

Anyone who has seen the show knows “Game of Thrones” definitely isn't afraid to get gory. Obviously, death is expected in Season 8 — the real question is who will die and how. It's likely one of the scenes with the most deaths will be the impending battle against the White Walkers. The battle took the cast and crew 55 nights of outdoor shooting to film and cuts between multiple characters perspectives. According to Peter Dinklage who plays Tyrion Lannister, everyone's favorite imp, the White Walker battle makes Season 6's famous “Battle of the Bastards,” which only took 25 days to shoot, look like “a theme park.”

3. There are a lot of prophecies yet to be fulfilled, like Cersei’s...

If you’ve ever gone back and re-watched “Game of Thrones,” you know that the writing is crafted to intertwine past and present plots on the show. There are two main prophecies that have been decreed but not yet fulfilled. Back in Season 5, a young Cersei was shown visiting a fortune-telling witch in the forest. The witch told her while she would be queen, she would be dethroned by someone younger and more beautiful. This ultimately played a role in Cersei’s epic demolition of the Sept and then queen Margaery Tyrell in Season 6, but there are still many young women, like Daenerys, Arya and Sansa who may be able to dethrone Cersei once and for all. The witch also told Cersei that in the end “the valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you.” Since “valonqar” means little brother in High Valyrian, one of the Lannister boys will bring down their sister. While the clear choice is Tyrion, who has always been hated by his sister, Jaime still has a shot too. One thing is for sure, whoever does kills Cersei will likely be a hero to fans everywhere.

4. ... and the "The Prince That Was Promised” prophecy.

It seems that no character on “Game of Thrones” can exist without having some deep and dark backstory as to why they are the way they are. Earlier in the show, the red witch, Melisandre, retold a prophecy:

"There will come a day after a long summer when the stars bleed and the cold breath of darkness falls heavy on the world," Melisandre, said. "In this dread hour, a warrior shall draw from the fire a burning sword. And that sword shall be Lightbringer, the Red Sword of Heroes, and he who clasps it shall be Azor Ahai come again, and the darkness shall flee before him.”

For many seasons, it was believed that Jon Snow would be the fulfiller of this prophecy. However, a strong case for Daenerys has also been made. Following Season 7, perhaps the most interesting theory is the promised prince will be Jon and Daenerys’ love child, who is inferred to exist.

5. There’s a playlist that reveals the show’s end.

As if showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss haven't teased fans long enough, they’ve released a Spotify playlist in which they claim to have hidden the shows ending in. The playlist, titled “Game of Thrones: The End is Coming” has 52 songs, some of which are blatant references to the show like “Seven Nation Army,” “Dire Wolf” and “Queen.” While other songs seem more obscure and will have the minds of fan’s rapidly spinning as they try to piece together what it could all mean: is Tyrion the “Gold Lion?” Who ends in “Power? And what does “The Sick Bed of Cuchulainn,” even mean?

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