In Depth

Game of Thrones season 7 recap: get ready ahead of season 8 premiere

As fans get within touching distance of the eighth and final season, here’s what has happened so far in Westeros

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It has been nearly two years since the last episode of Game of Thrones aired, but with Season eight finally set to premiere in less than a week fans have gone into meltdown.

Despite endless speculation, very little is known about what will happen during the final six-part season, and who will ultimately end up on the Iron Throne.

HBO executives who attended a script read-through of the six episodes last year promised that the eighth season will not disappoint fans, Variety reports.

“It was amazing,” said Francesca Orsi, the network’s senior vice president of drama. “By the very end, everyone looked down and looked up and tears were in their eyes.”

“None of the cast had received the scripts prior, and one by one they started to fall down to their deaths,” she said, adding that showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss received a 15-minute standing ovation.

In the UK season eight will premiere at 2am on Sunday 15 April on Sky Atlantic as it is simulcast with the US. 

“It being Sunday, you’d be better off going to bed at a normal time, staying well clear of Twitter (and any mad friends who, armed with Pro Plus and RedBull, barely slept a wink), and waiting for Monday evening, when the episode runs again at 9pm,” says The Daily Telegraph.

So you are right up to date, The Week has complied a refresher of what happened in season seven. Fasten your seatbelts...

Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen are the new power couple

In season seven there was a lot of converging plotlines and characters in preparation for the finale. This was very much the case with Daenerys (Emilia Clarke), who finally arrived in Westeros to wage war against the Lannisters. By her side, in an unlikely alliance, was Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) intent on utilising Daenerys and her dragons in his battle against the White Walkers.

The end of the season saw the pair consummate their flirtation - despite the fact that she is likely his aunty - and the King in the North officially pledge himself to the Mother of Dragons.

Jon Snow’s heritage was one of the final twists of season seven when we found out that Rhaegar Targaryen, his father, and Lyanna Stark, his mother, were legally bonded. No longer a bastard, Snow is therefore heir to the Iron Throne, putting him on a collision course with Daenerys.

The Night King cometh

Season seven also saw the ever-threatening Night King fulfil his pledge to tear down The Wall. Harnessing the fiery power of Viserion, the resurrected zombie dragon, the Night King has cleared the major obstacle stopping his undead army sweeping into Westeros.

But this season also saw Jon Snow discover that when you kill a White Walker, you also kill all the wights it has made. “This is a huge new rule, and changes everything we know about the war to come,” says Vanity Fair.

Now, “instead of a fight against a massive army, it becomes a fight to kill the Night King - the man who made all the White Walkers and wights who serve him”, the magazine adds.

Littlefinger’s demise

The story arc of Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) in season seven had perhaps the biggest highs and lows of all. The arch manipulator seemed to have things under control at Winterfell but the rug was finally pulled from under his feet when Sansa (Sophie Turner) sprung a surprise trial on him. His dastardly plotting was revealed – from the slaying of Lord Arryn and Aunt Lysa to the betrayal of Ned Stark. The all-seeing Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright), proved to be the undoing of Littlefinger and it was simply up to Arya (Maisie Williams) to carry out the beheading.

But has the machievellian Littlefinger done too much damage already for things to ever be right between Arya and Sansa? Only time with tell.

Winter is finally here

After years of warnings, snow has begun to fall in King’s Landing, which means winter has finally reached the capital. This also signifies the growing strength and proximity of the Night King’s army. Cersei Lannister (Lena Headley) has been good at holding onto power until now, but without her brother-lover Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) controlling her armies, it seems the city may be unprepared for winter.

Indeed Jaime, the most morally ambivalent Lannister, who started the series by pushing a child out of a window, has fled his toxic, incestuous relationship, presumably to help Jon Snow fight the White Walkers.

Samwell the author

The internet has been awash with theories that Samwell Tarly (John Bradley) may write the histories that become Game of Thrones. When he entered the library of the Citadel in season six, eagle-eyed viewers noticed that he was standing directly beneath an astrolobe identical to the one seen in the show’s title sequence.

Upon hearing Archmaester Marwyn’s unimaginative title for his planned history of Westeros in season seven, Samwell Tarly suggested “something a bit more poetic”.

Given that the George R.R. Martin novels on which the show is based all have very poetic titles - beginning with A Song of Fire and Ice - fans wondered if Samwell will ultimately be revealed as the in-universe author of the chronicles.

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