The second the clock struck twelve, surging us into 2019, we all had one thing on our minds – it’s finally a Game of Thrones year. It didn’t take long before we got our first little taster of what was in store as HBO’s CEO said the final season of ‘Game of Thrones’ feels like ‘6 movies.’ CEO Richard Pepler also said “They knew the bar was high. They’ve exceeded the bar,” Plepler said, adding that he was “in awe” after having seen each of the episodes twice. So, our hopes were high from that moment on.
But then, Kit Harington (Jon Snow) came out and said that he was way over the final season by the end. Saying, “The last season of Thrones seemed to be designed to break us. Everyone was broken at the end,” he said. “I don’t know if we were crying because we were sad it was ending or if we were crying because it was so f—ing tiring. We were sleep deprived.” Which, should have been a slight indicator of what the rest of us were in for.
— Game of Thrones (@GameOfThrones) January 14, 2019
After noticing that there was one key character missing, Bran Stark, fans began theorising about where he was – as well as who he was. In fact, there are a whole bunch of fan theories that were both wild and pretty on-point.
In February, HBO graced us with a handful of promotional stills, which we dived right into to analyse. Honestly, half the fun of this season was the guessing game that came before it.
And in some of the coolest promotional posters of all time, HBO revealed 20 new character posters for the final season via Twitter — seemingly unveiling the main Iron Throne contenders heading into Season 8’s epic battle.
The world went absolutely riot in April when Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) dropped what appeared to be a huge spoiler, claiming that Arya died in the second episode. Thankfully it turned out to be an April Fool’s prank, but it didn’t stop us having a good old panic.
Season 8 premiered worldwide on April 14, kicked off by the Mother of Dragons herself who shared an adorable Instagram post featuring Drogon. The post read: “Me and my baby (dragon) (Drogon) just very excited for you all to see #season8gameofthrones which if I’m not mistaken begins….now,” she captioned the post, which shows Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen cuddling up to what will eventually be rendered as her beloved Drogon. The excitement was REAL, although we weren’t super impressed by the first episode and gave it quite a beating on social media.
But we came to watch and watch we did. According to HBO, a staggering 17.4 million viewers across cable, HBO Go, and HBO Now tuned into the Game of Thrones: Season 8 premiere on Sunday — surpassing Thrones’ previous ratings record from the finale of Season 7, which brought in 16.9 million viewers in July 2017.
One thing season 7 left us (im)patiently waiting for was Jon Snow finding out about the real family-tie he shared with his, now lover, Daenerys. And, writers gave us a treat by giving Samwell Tarley the honour of telling him in episode 1, so that was fun. Honestly, the reunions between the characters were probably the best bits throughout the whole season – for the most part.
But, we hoped for the best anyway.
Without going into too much detail about the contents of season 8, in case you’ve been on a different planet and haven’t managed to watch it. But, it’s safe to say there were some major mixed reactions with a lot of unanswered questions. In fact, even critics had a hard time finding positive things to say about it. We, for one, thought it was actually rather perfect.
Although Game of Thrones is now just a faint memory that we will one day tell our (old enough) kids about, it will remain one of the most impactful TV shows of our generation. From Ned Stark’s untimely demise, to one of the worst weddings of all time and on to THAT Arya/Night King moment, the show bent and moulded the boundaries of television – making it 2019’s (and the 7 years before it) most talked-about show.