• Entertainment

Everything the Cast of Game of Thrones Has Said About Season 8

10 minute read
Updated: | Originally published: ;

The Game of Thrones cast is known for being extremely tight-lipped about what’s to come in the show, especially now that there’s just months to go until Game of Thrones season 8. And after that, it’s over forever.

However, some of the stars of the beloved HBO drama have occasionally offered hints about what fans can expect when the final six episodes air in 2019. And to help you keep track of those clues, we’ve rounded them all up in one place.

From Emilia Clarke agonizing over Daenerys’ last scene to Peter Dinklage discussing the importance of that cryptic Tyrion moment from the season 7 finale, here’s everything the cast of Game of Thrones has said about season 8.

Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen)

Emilia Clarke in Game of Thrones
Emilia Clarke in Game of ThronesHBO

It’s going to be dark:

“It f—ed me up,” Clarke told Vanity Fair of Daenerys’ final scene in an interview that was published in May. “Knowing that is going to be a lasting flavor in someone’s mouth of what Daenerys is . . .”

With some bright spots:

Clarke also told Vanity Fair that she would be sharing the screen for the first time with Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams, a.k.a. the Stark sisters.

Everything was ramped up a notch:

“[Camera] checks take longer, costumes are a bit better, hair and makeup a bit sharper—every choice, every conversation, every attitude, has this air of ‘this is it,’” Clarke told Entertainment Weekly of shooting season 8. “Everything feels more intense.”

Even to the point of tears:

Clarke told the Press Association that after shedding “loads of tears” while reciting her last lines as Daenerys Targaryen, she turned to a glass of wine to try to soothe the pain of filming her final Game of Thrones scene. “That was the moment I realized that alcohol can also be a depressant,” she said. “I was kind of nursing a glass of wine going, ‘I don’t know why I’m not getting any happier from this.’”

Kit Harington (Jon Snow)

Helen Sloan—HBO

Filming was intense:

“It’s relentless; scenes that would have been a one-day shoot five years ago are now a five-day shoot,” Harington told EW. “They want to get it right, they want to shoot everything every single way so they have options.”

And boundaries will be broken:

“They spent an increasing amount of money on less episodes, so it’s gonna be much bigger in scale, the CGI…We’re trying new things, experimenting with new camera techniques. I think we’re trying to break boundaries and push past boundaries in these final two seasons,” Harington told the Huffington Post leading up to season 7. “You have to live up to the hype that’s surrounded the show and the worst thing would be to end without really pushing and trying new things. Even if it’s a failure, at least trying to go out with a bang.”

Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark)


There will be blood:

“This season is bloodier than ever. It’s full of betrayal, full of war, full of danger,” Turner told 1883 Magazine.That’s all I can say without giving too much away.”

But there’s hope for the pack:

After it was revealed that Turner had gotten a tattoo of House Stark’s direwolf sigil above the words, “The pack survives,” some fans ran with a comment that she had made at the 2017 Emmys. “With Thrones, we were like, if we make it all the way through, hopefully we could all get a matching wolf but we don’t know if we’re going to make it,” she told E! on the red carpet.

Or maybe not:

During a June appearance on The Late Late Show With James Corden, Turner addressed the theories surrounding her new ink. “It’s just a quote from last season,” she told Corden. “Everyone figures that the pack really does survive, but it’s just a moral that I like to live by.”

Littlefinger may be missed:

“It’s going to be tricky for [Sansa], because at the end of last season, she felt that she had everything set up. She had her family back together. They were in control of the North again,” she told Variety in December. “This season, there’s a new threat, and all of a sudden she finds herself somewhat back in the deep end. And without Littlefinger, it’s a test for her of whether she can get through it. It’s a big challenge for her, without this master manipulator having her back. This season is more a passionate fight for her than a political, manipulative kind of fight.”

Tempers will flare:

“I can tell you that there’s definitely a coming together of people,” Turner said in a December video interview with Gold Derby. “Everyone is coming together to fight the impending doom. There’s a lot of tension between these little groups, battling for what they think is right. It’s Game of Thrones, so it’s going to be bloodier and more death and more emotionally torturous than all the years before.”

And Sansa will finally find herself:

“She kind of takes ownership over who she is and what she stands for,” Turner told IGN in a September interview. “Over the course of the series she’s been completely unaware of what she wants, where she wants to be, who she really is, and at the end of this season, I feel she is the most self-assured character in the show.”

But the finale will likely divide fans:

“Who knows if it will be satisfying for the fans,” she told IGN. “I think a lot of fans will be disappointed and a lot of fans will be over the moon, I think. I think it will be really interesting to see people’s reactions, but for me reading the script it was just like heartbreaking to read at the very final page of the script it just says, ‘End of Game of Thrones.’ That was really emotional.”

Maisie Williams (Arya Stark)

Helen Sloan—HBO

Goodbyes are hard:

Williams sparked some fan speculation over Arya’s fate when she included the hashtag #lastwomanstanding in the caption of a commemorative photo of her red-spattered white sneakers on Instagram. “Goodbye Belfast. Goodbye Arya. Goodbye Game of Thrones,” she wrote in the caption. “What a joy I’ve had. Here’s to the adventures to come.”

Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister)

Macall B. Polay—HBO

Timing is everything:

“It’s bittersweet when it’s time to move on with everything. It’s always the sad part of our business, because you get pockets of great people for short amounts of time and then you have to move on and it’s always heartbreaking. Especially when you’ve spent more than a couple months with people,” Dinklage told Variety in a January interview. “But yeah, it’s time. And story-wise, not just for all our lives. I think if they went any further it would start to…it’s the perfect timing to end it. Sometimes shows stay on a little too long.”

And love is complicated:

“It’s complicated…” Dinklage told Entertainment Weekly of Tyrion’s thoughts on Jon and Dany. “A lot of the time with Tyrion, it’s professional and personal. Obviously, he has feelings for Daenerys. He loves her—or thinks he does. She’s awe-inspiring. He’s questioning that because he doesn’t have a good track record for falling in love. There’s jealousy wrapped up in there. And he loves Jon Snow, too. They’re the two people he has the most in common with, in a way—they’re both outsiders in their own families who have refused to follow the path their family has taken, and hopefully for the better. He’s wondering how smart of a move [Jon and Dany getting romantically involved is], because passion and politics don’t mix well. He knows the two of them getting together could be very dangerous.”

But the battles are as epic as ever:

When Dinklage was asked at the September premiere of his movie I Think We’re Alone Now if Thrones will top “Battle of the Bastards,” he had a definitive answer. “Oh my god, and then some,” he said. “You are in for it. Truly.”

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister)

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in Game of Thrones
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in Game of ThronesMacall B. Polay—HBO

Everything is bigger and better than ever:

“They just couldn’t have done a better job on ending our story. We’ve worked harder than ever before,” Coster-Waldau told Variety in June. “We spent twice as much shooting these six episodes than we did on two full seasons before. No expense has been spared. We’ve gone all in.”

Jon Bradley (Samwell Tarly)

Helen Sloan—HBO

Characters will step outside their comfort zones:

“These characters are so detailed and so rich, you can feel that you’ve got a pretty good handle on your character. You can predict how your character will react in any given circumstance, but when you place these characters in a new environment, it’s always putting them under a microscope, and you constantly have to reexamine your character,” Bradley told TV Guide in December. “Each of the characters this year is placed in a completely alien environment at some point in the season that they’ve never been placed in before. The thrill is seeing how they react to it and how they respond…This season, I think, more than any other is stretching these characters.”

And the Citadel may have a major role to play:

When Sam finally made it inside the Citadel’s library in the season 6 finale, he was greeted with the sight of chandeliers that closely resembled the gyroscope from the show’s opening credits. Bradley later told the The Hollywood Reporter that he believes the similarity may hint at how the series will end.

“One theory is that what we’re seeing now and how we’re experiencing Game of Thrones is Sam telling the story of Game of Thrones,” he said. “If you take the logic of the story now, the story of Westeros and the story of the battle for the Iron Throne, it would be a book in that library.”

David Benioff (Showrunner)

HBO's Official 2018 Emmy After Party - Inside
D.B. Weiss (L) and David Benioff attend HBO's Official 2018 Emmy After Party on September 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for HBO

The wait is long but for good reason:

After Game of Thrones took home the award for Outstanding Drama Series at the 2018 Emmys, showrunner David Benioff weighed in on the lengthy hiatus between the show’s seventh and eighth seasons. “The final season is taking a long time because it’s the biggest thing we’ve done,” he said, according to Deadline. “It’s quite extraordinary what the crew and the actors created. The last season is far beyond what we attempted before. It is taking a f—ing long time—and I hope it will be worth it.”

Bryan Cogman (Co-executive producer)

Producer Bryan Cogman attends HBO's Official 2016 Emmy After Party at The Plaza at the Pacific Design Center on September 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.
Producer Bryan Cogman attends HBO's Official 2016 Emmy After Party at The Plaza at the Pacific Design Center on September 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

The end will be bittersweet:

“It’s about all of these disparate characters coming together to face a common enemy, dealing with their own past, and defining the person they want to be in the face of certain death,” Cogman told EW. “It’s an incredibly emotional haunting bittersweet final season and I think it honors very much what [author George R.R. Martin] set out to do—which is flipping this kind of story on its head.”

More Must-Reads From TIME

Write to Megan McCluskey at megan.mccluskey@time.com