The news about the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones keeps comin’ and we keep rounding it up for your viewing pleasure, and this time it’s a preview story from TV Guide Magazine, who visited the set during filming back in 2017. Now that the article has been permitted to be released, we can glean some intriguing bits of character actions — and reactions — when the final season premieres in just over two weeks.
“It’s our biggest season by far,” David Benioff, told the magazine. “It’s only six episodes, but it was the longest [amount of time] we’ve ever shot, the biggest crew, the most extras and stuntmen. More people set on fire than ever before. It was intense.”
Writer Kate Hahn was on set during filming of the Season 8 premiere and was able to interview some of the cast members about what the final season has in store for their characters, including Jon (Kit Harington) and Daenerys (Emilia Clarke).
When they discover the truth, “she ends up in an incredibly fragile place,” Clarke said. “Jon is her only safety left.” Understandably, however, incest isn’t exactly Jon’s style, with Harington noting that “He’s not the kind of person who can [knowingly] jump in bed with a relative.”
There are lots of interesting tidbits about other characters, like Sansa, who Sophie Turner says feels “threatened” by Dany’s arrival in Winterfell. “She worked so hard to control the North and feels like Jon should be loyal. It’s frustrating to have Daenerys, who she feels is manipulating Jon, come in and take control,” she said.
And as for the much-hoped-for reunion between Jon and Arya? You might not want to get your hopes up that it will have the warm-and-fuzzies that their last interaction, in the series premiere episode, had. “They have led brutal lives since we last saw them together in the series premiere,” Harington said. “It’s changed them. Are they going to be what we want them to be?”
The article is an abbreviated version of the latest TV Guide Magazine’s cover story, which is available on newsstands now.
In a separate EW article, Bryan Cogman, longtime Thrones co-executive producer and writer, breaks down which episodes he recommends giving another go ahead of the Season 8 premiere.
I don’t want to spoil Cogman’s insights about the episodes that he chose, but he had some great reflections for each of the 21 episodes he chose, and a few interesting bits of trivia as well — for example, director Alik Sakharov purposely included an “homage to Akira Kurosawa with the flapping banners during Theon’s baptism scene” in Season 2’s “What Is Dead May Never Die.”
By season, Cogman’s must-rewatch episodes are:
Season 1: “Winter Is Coming” (E1), “The Kingsroad” (E2), “Baelor” (E9), “Fire and Blood” (E10)
Season 2: “What Is Dead May Never Die” (E3), “The Old Gods and The New” (E6), “Blackwater” (E9)
Season 3: “Walk of Punishment” (E3), “And Now His Watch is Ended” (E4), “Kissed By Fire” (E5), “The Rains of Castamere” (E9)
Season 4: “The Laws of Gods and Men” (E6), “The Mountain and The Viper” (E8), “The Children” (E10)
Season 5: “Hardhome” (E8)
Season 6: “The Door” (E5), “The Battle of the Bastards” (E9), “The Winds of Winter” (E10)
Season 7: “The Queen’s Justice” (E3), “Spoils of War” (E4), “The Dragon and The Wolf” (E7)
It’s getting down to the wire for rewatches, but we can always make time for these amazing episodes. Only 16 days to go!