HBO has released the first Game of Thrones Season 8 trailer, offering our first look at footage from the final season of the most popular series in the pay cable network’s history. There is plenty to speculate on, but what we do know for certain is that Season 8 will consist of a mere 6 episodes, however, they will all be extended in length. Directors for these episodes include: Miguel Sapochnik, who directed the iconic “Hardhome” and “Battle of the Bastards” episodes as well as “The Winds of Winter”; David Nutter, who directed the episodes “The Rains of Castamere” and the final two Season 5 episodes “The Dance of Dragons” and “Mother’s Mercy”; and Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, who have only technically directed one episode previously, the Season 4 premiere “Two Swords”.
Recently, co-executive producer Bryan Cogman said that the final season “is 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. 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.”
While it’s tough to say how much of the footage shown in the teaser is from an episode and what is just a hype package—I can’t imagine a scenario where the Stark children find surprise statues of themselves—one thing is clear: The long winter that Ned Stark warned about all the way back in the first episode has finally arrived at Winterfell’s walls. This short trailer is very effective at hammering home the long-suffering history of the Starks, as those still left alive and/or able to walk hear the ghosts of their family’s past whispering in their ears, the voices of Ned, Catelyn, and Lyanna. Which only makes that frozen feather all the more terrifying; we’ve been building eight years to this clash, and it’s apparently going to make the Battle of the Bastards “look like a theme park.”
Check out the Game of Thrones Season 8 premiere date reveal below. The series will return for one last ride April 14.