Every summer, Game of Thrones fans eagerly anticipate their annual return to Westeros, but this year is different. While we might have been treated to the show every summer since 2011, there will be no season in 2018 ahead of the show’s glorious and no doubt bloody finale.
As a result, fans are contenting themselves with wondering exactly how the medieval fantasy drama will be brought to a close next year.
To see how things might go down, check out this fan-made trailer for season eight:
After all, the stakes at the end of last year’s season were high. The previously warring Seven Kingdoms of Westeros had put their differences to one side (with the exception, of course, of Cerci Lannister) after Jon Snow revealed to them that the real war was not against each other, but rather the living and the dead. And with one of Dany’s dragons now in tow, the Night King was looking pretty unstoppable.
So far, the most convincing evidence about what will go down in the final season has come from leaked photographs of the Game of Thrones set – one of which showed the kingdom of Winterfell in flames, suggesting that one of its most iconic locations was going to get destroyed.
“Big night of filming for #GOT8 tonight 26/1 at the Winterfell Set Moneyglass N.Ireland 200+ extras in a big battle scene,” wrote Twitter user Oakleaf Photography alongside a series of pictures. “This was awesome to see tonight.”
Commenting on what this might mean, another Twitter user, Martuka, wrote, “Thanks for sharing. Obviously, the King of the Night and his army are visiting that place… #GOT #GameOfThrones.”
But putting leaked photographs of the set to one side, now Hannah Murray, who stars as Gilly, has opened up about what’s going to happen in the finale, and if her words are anything to go by, fans of the show are going to be in for a very emotional and traumatic ride.
“I knew to expect the unexpected,” she explained of filming the final season.
“Anything that felt too obvious to me I knew was not going to be what happened.”
“So there were certain things where I was like, ‘Well, it can’t be that but I don’t know what it is going to be,'” she continued.
“It’s not like a fairytale happy ending by any means at all, and I think it’s a really wonderful final season.”
“I’m really excited for people to get to see it.”
While discussing the final season, the actress also took the opportunity to drop a few hints about what was going to happen to Gilly herself, explaining that it’s been a great experience to see how strong she has grown throughout the course of the show.
“Her beginnings are so harrowing and so awful,” Hannah told fan site Winter Is Coming.
“And we’ve watched her get given things and we’ve watched her grow and we’ve watched her gain in strength.”
“If anything, she’s become softer and warmer as time’s gone on.”
However, these are not the only hints about what is going to happen in next year’s series. It’s also highly likely that the Dothraki will be making an appearance.
This was revealed when Lessans Riding Stables shared pictures on Instagram, showing that they were housing some of the actors who play fighters in the show, but they have subsequently been deleted.
“What an exciting week we’ve had transforming the yard into a film set. Try explaining to a Dothraki warrior that, even though the sun is blazing, Winter is Coming,” one post read.
Another post showed pictures of fighters on horses.
Needless to say, the fact that they have been deleted suggests that they do provide a very big hint about what’s about to go down, and obviously, the show’s producers want to keep as much of it under wraps as possible.
Even juicer still, it was revealed that the Dothraki were being filmed where the Battle of the Bastards was shot.
Could they be about to join the fight against the Night King? Sadly, we will have to wait with bated breath until next year to find out.