Every Game of Thrones season 8 episode to be “monumental”, says John Bradley

Samwell Tarly himself can't believe what the final season holds in store

Samwell Tarly himself can’t believe what the final season holds in store

It’s not only filming season that begins this month, but hype season as well: as the cast members are given the scripts and start working on the eighth season of Game of Thrones, they can’t avoid teasing us about what we can expect from the show’s ending. This time the teaser was John Bradley, who plays Samwell Tarly on Game of Thrones.

In a new interview with HuffPost, Mr. Bradley gave his thoughts about season eight and the impressive directorial lineup that was recently revealed, composed of old favorites David Nutter (“The Rains of Castamere,” “The Dance of Dragons,” “Mother’s Mercy”) and Miguel Sapochnik (“Hardhome,” “Battle of the Bastards,” “The Winds of Winter”), and the showrunners too, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss (“Walk of Punishment,” “Two Swords.”)

“We assembled a team of directors this year who have been in charge of some of our big episodes in the past,” Bradley explained to HuffPost. “Miguel and David have done some of the standout episodes of previous seasons. Clearly every single episode of the six you’ve got left in Season 8 is gonna be monumental and needs somebody at the helm who’s done that kind of high-stakes, high-octane direction before for us.”

As for the showrunners taking charge of the last episode ever, Bradley considers it a “poetic” decision. He is convinced the series finale is “in the right hands” with Benioff and Weiss, and his reasoning is convincing: “They know everything about the show. They’ve been in charge of everything ― every key decision in all seven seasons so far has been made by David and Dan. I think they’ve done an incredible job with this series. They deserve everything they get, and they deserve the right to finish this show off in the way they see fit. I don’t think there’s anybody better qualified, so I can’t wait.”

Knights of the Vale Battle of the Bastards Season 6

And what can we expect from these last six episodes of Game of Thrones? According to Bradley, the directorial lineup promises a truly exciting ending: “I think what we used to call Episode 9 in Game of Thrones folklore — the episode when everything comes to a head and you get a lot of spectacular sequences — I think you’re gonna get six ‘Episode 9s’ this year. You can tell that because we’ve got directors who have been in charge of some of the most huge setpieces in the past doing episodes all throughout the season.”

If you want know about Bradley’s new role in the film American Satan, or (what’s perhaps more relevant to your interests) why he believes Sam didn’t really take credit for Gilly’s discovery about Rhaegar and Lyanna’s secret marriage, read the interview here.

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    1. I think what we used to call Episode 9 in Game of Thrones folklore — the episode when everything comes to a head and you get a lot of spectacular sequences — I think you’re gonna get six ‘Episode 9s’ this year. You can tell that because we’ve got directors who have been in charge of some of the most huge setpieces in the past doing episodes all throughout the season.

      I love John Bradley! Of course, this statement would mean so much more to me if someone hadn’t said exactly the same thing last year. Can anyone recall who said it last year? Last season was certainly in keeping with previous seasons, but there was only one episode that rated as high or higher than the average Episode 9, and only one more that rated at least as high as the lowest Episode 9.

      Still, with this directorial lineup and with all of the reveals that are bound to come out, I would agree that the season has the potential to be massively epic in ways we’ve never known!

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    2. The director lineup sounds amazing. I just don’t understand why they feel the need to condense it to six episodes. There has been a lot of criticism about season six although I personally enjoyed it and think some of the criticism is overblown. Having said that, it definitely felt rushed and it could have easily been the standard 10 episode season. I just fear no matter how great a lineup of directors and all the buzz about the script, the story just can’t be told from where its at now to the end in just six episodes.

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    3. Ginevra,

      Re: “All the reveals that are bound to come out”:

      I’ve been wondering how they can squeeze in resolutions to all the lingering mysteries in six episodes. Aside from the “big-ticket” items (e.g., what’s the deal with the Lord of Light? the WW?), there are lots of loose threads and nagging questions like:
      • Whose voice did young Varys hear in the flames and what did it say?
      • Why is Arya’s VS dagger so special, and why was it depicted in the old book Sam and Gilly were reading in the Citadel?
      • Why did Rhaegar and Lyanna do nothing while a rebellion “built on a lie” erupted into a bloody civil war?
      • What’s up with Howland Reed?
      • Is there any significance to greyscale – beyond Jorah got sick, Jorah got better, but ouch!! ?
      • What’s the significance of the images in Bran’s “slide show”?

      I don’t think the showrunners would’ve wasted time making recurring references to some of these things unless there’d be a pay-off at the end.

      I guess between now and 2019, we’ll have more than enough time to make lists of questions in need of resolutions.

      “All the reveals that are bound to come out” on the show decrease the likelihood that GRRM will finish the books to about 0.001%. Once the show steals all his thunder, why would he bother writing the books?

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    4. Stoneheart:
      Have the actors read the scripts? If yes, why was there no reaction from them like last year?

      I’m sure reactions are coming… but I’m even more sure that the cast has been told to be particularly tight-lipped for this final season.

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    5. Stoneheart:
      Have the actors read the scripts? If yes, why was there no reaction from them like last year?

      I imagine there could be a handful of reasons. One may be that they’re just starting to get them now and in the next handful of days and they haven’t been interviewed yet. They may also be a bit hesitant to say much of anything after all of the leaks during S7; bitter. Perhaps they’ve been instructed to keep as quiet as possible about the new season for the time being, especially since they still have a lot of work to do and a lot of time before S8 premieres.

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    6. Ginevra,

      By biggest I don’t think he means “ratings” or whatever I think he means the scale of events. There’s no comparison between last season and any other in terms of the number of completely nuts things that occurred.

      Ep 1 – Certainly the fewest major events, but DANY GETS TO WESTEROS is a big f’ing deal by itself.
      Ep 2 – First major battle of the war with Two of Dany’s allies removed from the board.
      Ep 3 – Jon (re)unites with Dany and Tyrion! Cersei torture-murders a major villain! Battle at CR and HG! Sansa-Bran reunion!
      Ep 4 – Arya-Sansa-Bran reunion! Biggest battle in the entire series, involving a lead character on each side!
      Ep 5 – A bunch of reunions occur, Tyrion-Jaime being the biggest one but so much going on it seemed like a side note…
      Ep 6 – Jon vs. NK 2.0. Viserion dies and is turned into a wight-dragon (a somewhat fringey fan prediction for a long time!).
      Ep 7 – ALL major characters reunite in a single scene. Tyrion vs Cersei. #Boatsex. Jaime leaves Cersei. Major villain (LF) dies.

      Honestly if you look at that list last season was completely nuts.

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    7. Ten Bears,

      There’s nothing special about that Valyrian dagger. I don’t know where you got that idea from. The reason it was in that book at the Citadel is because it was a book that accounted for every known Valyrian blade… so naturally the dagger was going to be in there.

      Rhaegar and Lyanna’s relationship was secret. I don’t think they would want to tell anyone.

      Howland Reed hasn’t even been mentioned on the show. To show watchers, he’s just that guy at the Tower of the Joy. You are kidding yourself if you think he is important to the show and you are *delusional* if you think he’s going to be in Season 8.

      And if you’re talking about Bran’s season six vision when you’re refrencing that ‘slideshow’, that was just a way to show Bran absorbing the knowledge of the 3 Eyed Raven. Everything it foreshadowed has already happened — the Sept of Baelor explosion and the Night King turning Viserion into a wight (it kept flashing from the Night King converting Craster’s child to Dany and her dragons).

      You do make some valid points about greyscale and Varys though — but judging by what Mel said to Varys, I think that mystery will be resolved.

      And also, ‘what’s up with the Lord of Light?’ Are you serious, dude? GRRM himself said that he will never answer the question of which god is real. It would be a totally ridiculous cop out to confirm the existence of the Lord of Light. This is Game of Thrones, not Preacher.

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    8. JS: I just don’t understand why they feel the need to condense it to six episodes.

      I realize it’s just speculation based on a person’s quote far in advance of filming, but if the final season averages ~80 minutes an episodes we’d be getting eight full hours more, or what equates to roughly nine episodes of the earlier seasons average of 53-54 minutes per. I don’t know why they would/will choose to do longer episodes rather than just more regular length episodes other than possibly the desire for them to feel more epic, as well as the ability to have long sequences without using up most of the episode.

        Quote  Reply

    9. Ten Bears:
      Ginevra,

      Re: “All the reveals that are bound to come out”:

      I’ve been wondering how they can squeeze in resolutions to all the lingering mysteries in six episodes. Aside from the “big-ticket” items (e.g., what’s the deal with the Lord of Light? the WW?), there are lots of loose threads and nagging questions like:
      • Whose voice did young Varys hear in the flames and what did it say?
      • Why is Arya’s VS dagger so special, and why was it depicted in the old book Sam and Gilly were reading in the Citadel?
      • Why did Rhaegar and Lyanna do nothing while a rebellion “built on a lie” erupted into a bloody civil war?
      • What’s up with Howland Reed?
      • Is there any significance to greyscale – beyond Jorah got sick, Jorah got better, but ouch!! ?
      • What’s the significance of the images in Bran’s “slide show”?

      I don’t think the showrunners would’ve wasted time making recurring references to some of these things unless there’d be a pay-off at the end.

      I guess between now and 2019, we’ll have more than enough time to make lists of questions in need of resolutions.

      “All the reveals that are bound to come out”on the show decrease the likelihood that GRRM will finish the books to about 0.001%.Once the show steals all his thunder, why would he bother writing the books?

      Wouldn’t it be funny if, after making fun of Lost’s loose strings, GoT left many of these threads untied? I am absolutely certain that there will be many unanswered questions, but perhaps we will get answers to most of your list and surely we’ll get more answers than Lost – although I personally never minded the mysteries left unanswered. I love mystery for the sake of mystery, but I may be an odd duck.

      I’m not sure we’ll get any more Howland Reed, although I personally would love, love, love to see the Knight of the Laughing Tree. Sadly, the most appropriate time for her appearance was in the finale of this past season.

      The books will answer more than the show, for sure, if we do get the books. I pray we do. They should let me be George’s taskmaster and timekeeper. Whip out the whip. Lay down the law. A chapter each moon keeps guts from being strewn and brings books to us soon.

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    10. QueenofThrones:
      Ginevra,

      By biggest I don’t think he means “ratings” or whatever I think he means the scale of events.There’s no comparison between last season and any other in terms of the number of completely nuts things that occurred.

      Ep 1 – Certainly the fewest major events, but DANY GETS TO WESTEROS is a big f’ing deal by itself.
      Ep 2 – First major battle of the war with Two of Dany’s allies removed from the board.
      Ep 3 – Jon (re)unites with Dany and Tyrion!Cersei torture-murders a major villain!Battle at CR and HG!Sansa-Bran reunion!
      Ep 4 – Arya-Sansa-Bran reunion!Biggest battle in the entire series, involving a lead character on each side!
      Ep 5 – A bunch of reunions occur, Tyrion-Jaime being the biggest one but so much going on it seemed like a side note…
      Ep 6 – Jon vs. NK 2.0.Viserion dies and is turned into a wight-dragon (a somewhat fringey fan prediction for a long time!).
      Ep 7 – ALL major characters reunite in a single scene.Tyrion vs Cersei. #Boatsex.Jaime leaves Cersei.Major villain (LF) dies.

      Honestly if you look at that list last season was completely nuts.

      That’s a great point, QoT. I tend to think likability, but there are more measurements than that. And it is true that Season 6 cannot be beaten in terms of unions and reunions – so epic and huge! I’m personally more fond of the events from Season 4, but I can see how many and perhaps even most might consider this season’s events the more epic.

        Quote  Reply

    11. Clob: I realize it’s just speculation based on a person’s quote far in advance of filming, but if the final season averages ~80 minutes an episodes we’d be getting eight full hours more, or what equates to roughly nine episodes of the earlier seasons average of 53-54 minutes per.I don’t know why they would/will choose to do longer episodes rather than just more regular length episodes other than possibly the desire for them to feel more epic, as well as the ability to have long sequences without using up most of the episode.

      Yeah, I am thinking there are going to be major battle sequences that they’d love to intersperse with dramatic tension. I wonder if there aren’t four to six big events that made them want to do the magic six episodes they’d been planning for so long.

        Quote  Reply

    12. QueenofThrones:
      Ginevra,

      By biggest I don’t think he means “ratings” or whatever I think he means the scale of events.There’s no comparison between last season and any other in terms of the number of completely nuts things that occurred.

      Ep 1 – Certainly the fewest major events, but DANY GETS TO WESTEROS is a big f’ing deal by itself.
      Ep 2 – First major battle of the war with Two of Dany’s allies removed from the board.
      Ep 3 – Jon (re)unites with Dany and Tyrion!Cersei torture-murders a major villain!Battle at CR and HG!Sansa-Bran reunion!
      Ep 4 – Arya-Sansa-Bran reunion!Biggest battle in the entire series, involving a lead character on each side!
      Ep 5 – A bunch of reunions occur, Tyrion-Jaime being the biggest one but so much going on it seemed like a side note…
      Ep 6 – Jon vs. NK 2.0.Viserion dies and is turned into a wight-dragon (a somewhat fringey fan prediction for a long time!).
      Ep 7 – ALL major characters reunite in a single scene.Tyrion vs Cersei. #Boatsex.Jaime leaves Cersei.Major villain (LF) dies.

      Honestly if you look at that list last season was completely nuts.

      Season 7 was really epic. Whether it delivered or not is very subjective and it certainly fell short for some. But as you rightfully point out, the actual events were mind boggling. Interestingly a lot of the criticism of the season was that it was too much in too short a time.

        Quote  Reply

    13. Ten Bears,

      If that is the kind of thing you’re looking for in season eight (and The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring), especially definite answers to the metaphysical, fantastic elements of the series, I’m sure you will be disappointed. Characters may come to certain conclusions about R’hllor, the Prince That Was Promised, the resurgence of magic and all that, but I very much doubt GRRM or D&D will give us any “objective” revelation about them. None of that has ever been framed as a mystery the story is looking to solve.

      Now, will we get to know more about Varys’ terrible experience with magic before he dies? Maybe; Kinvara hinted at the possibility…. but maybe she was just fucking with him. Mysticism is kind of essential to religion; you can’t just reveal everything. Will Arya’s dagger be anything more than a Valyrian dagger? Maybe… but there is no need for that to be the case. Will we see more of Rhaegar and Lyanna, their experiences, and their motivations? We very well could, but after “The Dragon and the Wolf” cleared up the important bits, there’s no mystery to solve, there’s no plot reason to return to them, unless the writers want to explore their relationship for the hell of it… which I’d love, but it’s not necessary. As for Howland Reed, he’s been mentioned twice in passing in the TV show, so let’s not pretend he’s a hanging plot thread for anyone but the book readers (I’m sure he’ll turn up in the books.) Finally, the significance of Bran’s visions is self-explanatory. He sees crucial moments. They kinda explain themselves, don’t they? The only possible mystery is the dragon over King’s Landing, which could be from the future… but it could easily be a past event.

        Quote  Reply

    14. Im dumbfounded by the insistent implication Sam stole Gilleys thunder.

      She didnt know what she was reading. She saw a word she didnt understand and asked Sam what it meant. She didnt know who Rheagar was or that there was anything relevant to it. Heck Sam didn’t even think anything of it either.

      Only when Bran tells Sam about Jon is there any click.

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    15. LF’s dagger’s main role was to be used against Bran and then himself for ironic justice. It serves no big purpose aside from that. Maybe it’ll kill some undead but thats about it.

        Quote  Reply

    16. Stoneheart:
      Have the actors read the scripts? If yes, why was there no reaction from them like last year?

      I’d like to see more pictures of Game of Thrones actors posing with fans in Belfast Ireland getting ready to start filming season 8… the season 8 script reactions will be predictable…

      I hope HBO posts a pre season 8 getting ready video showing the cover page of the first season 8 episode script just like HBO did for season 7.

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    17. Sam clearly says to Bran that he transcribed the Septon’s diary. So I take that to mean that he had already read and transcribed the diary before he left the book on the table for Gilly to read. That’s why he was so annoyed with Gilly because she was repeating a bunch of facts that he already knew and did not think were important. At that time he had no reason to believe that the secret wedding had anything to do with Jon.

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    18. I think in a previous post, it was noted that the actors would be receiving their Season 8 scripts in October. I just wonder if D&D will distribute hard copies to prevent any potential leaks from hackers. Maybe they’ll take even more precautions this time around.

      Also on a completely different note, I took an embarrassing amount of time looking at those horses in the Knights of the Vale picture above. The horse in the front is what triggered my interest ’cause it looks like every embarrassing picture we’ve ever took. Like his eyes are closed and the brown horse to the right looks like he’s photobombing. Honestly the white horse on the left should have been front & center. Majestic AF.

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    19. The only way I can see them ending this in six episodes is if the others win. The survivors of Westeros retreat across the sea to fight another day.

        Quote  Reply

    20. Wall Builder,

      Even more reason for people to quit complaining. Sam had already seen all of that and she was simply rereading it. She didn’t discover anything.

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    21. Very sad to see what happens to what could`ve been the best tv series of all times.
      The last seasons were just beyond a joke, nice to watch visualy but without any backthought. (except the ice dragon, that looked like a 5 year old did the cgi)
      And it gets worse and worse.
      Why couldn`t those greedy guys just wait until Martin has finished the writing, and why instead they invent the most insanly idiotic story ever?
      I guess with “Lost” they started a tradition of making a great series and ruin in it the last seasons – so they just stick to that tradition now.
      Shame, real shame.

        Quote  Reply

    22. Plunder:
      Why couldn`t those greedy guys just wait until Martin has finished the writing

      Because that would be completely impractical. Besides, they’re not being greedy. They’re simply creating a tv show using the rights that they paid for.

        Quote  Reply

    23. Dark Sister,

      Rotfl I couldn’t help but scroll up to see for myself and yes you’re right the photobombing is strong with that 1.
      That horse on the left is fuckin gorgeous
      There we have it … that must be Rhollr
      Which makes me wonder …. is Rhollr even human … is Rhollr even male or female
      What if Rhollr was simply a giant Ruby with strange power
      Stone has power … obsidian
      Rhollr is a giant Obsidian

        Quote  Reply

    24. firstone: I’d like to see more pictures of Game of Thrones actors posing with fans in Belfast Ireland…

      I’d like to see pictures of Game of Thrones fans in Belfast photobombing the cast with cardboard cutouts of Ghost.

        Quote  Reply

    25. Luka Nieto,

      ” If that is the kind of thing you’re looking for in season eight (and The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring), especially definite answers to the metaphysical, fantastic elements of the series, I’m sure you will be disappointed.”
      _______________________
      ☹️ (me, disappointed, in 2019)

      On second thought, though, I do agree that the Rhaegar & Lyanna story is probably all wrapped up after the revelations in S7. Likewise, Bran’s visions + Sam’s discoveries in historical records likely covered whatever Howland Reed could’ve contributed to filling in the blanks about the events at the Tower of Joy.

      I am still clinging to the belief that embedded within the 67 hours of GoT are enough clues to provide “definite answers to the metaphysical. fantastic elements of the series” – except for the Lord of Light stuff.

      I did kind of want to know if the Lord of Light is a malicious superbeing who induces his or her followers to burn people; a benevolent deity with resurrection powers trying to help mankind save itself; a practical joker who likes sending cryptic visual riddles in flames and laughs at the way silly humans interpret them; or something else entirely.
      Or maybe you’re right and the show will leave us as confounded as Beric and Sandor in S7e1:

      Beric: I don’t understand our Lord.

      Sandor: If he’s so all-powerful, why doesn’t he just tell you what the fuck he wants?

      As for looking for resolutions in “The Winds of Winter” and “A Dream of Spring”: I have not read any of the books yet, and do not believe the last two will ever be published. I don’t see how GRRM can muster the enthusiasm to write what amounts to a novelization of a TV series. And he should not have to.

        Quote  Reply

    26. Luka Nieto:
      Ten Bears,

      Finally, the significance of Bran’s visions is self-explanatory. He sees crucial moments. They kinda explain themselves, don’t they? The only possible mystery is the dragon over King’s Landing, which could be from the future… but it could easily be a past event.

      Its unusual to see a ‘flash scene’ from Bran visions which doesn’t appear in a later episode or in an earlier one? e.g. He witnessed Ned’s execution, the aftermath of the Red Wedding and the barrels of wildfire exploding under the Sept. Also as we saw he witnessed events which happened in the past such such as young Ned fighting Ser Arthur Dayne at the ToJ and also Jaime killing the Mad King. However, no episode so far has shown a dragon flying over KL?

      Another possibility re the dragon flying over KL was that Bran saw in his vision the arrival of Dany at the dragon pit for the meeting in S707? Without re-watching that scene, I can’t recall if the dragon was carrying a rider, but as we know both Drogon (with Dany) and Rhaegal went to that meeting and then after dropping off Dany, Drogon flew off accompanied by Rhaegal.

      A fact that later Cersei mentioned to Jaime saying she thought Dany had three dragons and where was the third? His reply being that perhaps it was guarding the ships in the harbor. He had no idea at the time that Viserion was killed by the NK, re-animated and now ridden by him!

      Just my idea unless we see that scene for real in S8?

        Quote  Reply

    27. Black Raven,

      The showrunners once said that the images in Bran’s “slide show” were specifically selected to convey some significant information (or something like that).

      I am hoping that jump-cut flashbacks to past events are more than just a “Previously On” reminder.

        Quote  Reply

    28. Wow I was expecting in my head one set-up episode two big action heavy episodes and two heavy drama episodes (finale and another where everyone realises Jon is heir to the throne). It’s funny that we are around a year away from S8 airing yet I’m already getting excited reading little snippets like this.

        Quote  Reply

    29. Clob: I imagine there could be a handful of reasons.One may be that they’re just starting to get them now and in the next handful of days and they haven’t been interviewed yet.They may also be a bit hesitant to say much of anything after all of the leaks during S7; bitter.Perhaps they’ve been instructed to keep as quiet as possible about the new season for the time being, especially since they still have a lot of work to do and a lot of time before S8 premieres.

      Apparently the lead actors get them around 6 weeks before filming starts so I’d be surprised if they all haven’t read them now and probably the secondary characters too although with filming running from October to June it’s possible some haven’t received them yet if they are not filming for a while.

        Quote  Reply

    30. Plunder:
      Very sad to see what happens to what could`ve been the best tv series of all times.
      The last seasons were just beyond a joke, nice to watch visualy but without any backthought. (except the ice dragon, that looked like a 5 year old did the cgi)
      And it gets worse and worse.
      Why couldn`t those greedy guys just wait until Martin has finished the writing, and why instead they invent the most insanly idiotic story ever?
      I guess with “Lost” they started a tradition of making a great series and ruin in it the last seasons – so they just stick to that tradition now.
      Shame, real shame.

      Are you trolling? The show runners have the outline for the whole story from GRRM, all the key characters arcs and twists. They are not making the story up and have said consistently they are heading towards the same ending. Sure some of the detail will differ and a few of the minor characters will have different fates but this is clearly coming from GRRM.

        Quote  Reply

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