HBO could have just never released a trailer for the final season of Game of Thrones. After all, they know we are all going to watch it, even if we never saw a single frame of footage beforehand. It’s their flagship series. An unlikely phenomenon. The show that changed the way we view genre television. It’s been appointment viewing for nearly a decade.

But here we are. The Game of Thrones season 8 trailer is here and it promises death and dragons and war and armies of the undead. Winter has arrived, and so has the end of one of the greatest TV shows of all time.

Game of Thrones Season 8 Trailer

Although the past few seasons have done a fine job of cutting the enormous cast down to size (often literally, with bladed weapons), the ensemble is still huge. Going into season 8, the remaining players include the likes of Daenerys Targaryan (Emilia Clarke), Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey), Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham), Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright), Arya Stark (Maisie Williams), Greyworm (Jacob Anderson), The Hound (Rory McCann), Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner), Brienne (Gwendoline Christie), Jon Snow (Kit Harington), Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel), The Night King (Vladimir Furdik), Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbaek), Melisandre (Carice van Houten), Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen), Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen), Samwell Tarley (John Bradley), and Varys (Conleth Hill).

And yes, I know I’m missing some key names there. And yes, I’d put money on more than half of them dying, either at the hands of a White Walker or a treacherous backstab from the human enemy they didn’t see coming.

Although production on season 8 ran long and cost more than most Hollywood films, the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones will run only six episodes. However, those episodes promise to be epic in scope, culminating in a final battle that sounds like it will be as thrilling to watch as it was grueling to make. And when the smoke has cleared and the blood mopped up, someone is going to be sitting on the Iron Throne. So place your bets now.

And then get ready for the spin-off series that HBO already has rolling forward.

Game of Thrones season 8 returns on April 14, 2019. Set your DVRs, turn off Twitter, and get ready. No pop culture event from 2019 is going to generate more discussion.

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