Game of Thrones has been an absolute revelation since it first hit television screens in 2011, and has gradually become one of the most-watched series of all time. Aside from the addictive HBO series, the franchise has spanned into other merchandise, games, and will lead to a number of spinoff shows. After a whole year with no White Walker-based action and none of their characteristic ice-crackling language, viewers could be treated to a slightly early release date for season eight. It’s time to start speculating on how this incredible story could reach its conclusion.
New Details Emerge
Game of Thrones seasons have typically aired in the final week of April each year, but season seven dropped slightly later in June. It was previously expected that the final season could follow on from its preceding one with the later release date, but reports suggest it will hit screens in April or possibly even sooner. According to Entertainment Weekly, showrunners David Benioff and D.B Weiss want the show to be eligible for the 2019 Emmy Awards. For this to happen, the season will have to have aired in its entirety by the end of May next year. It has been confirmed that the season will be six episodes long, so that means the latest it could be released is April 21.
While the season may be the shortest yet at six installments, it is likely that each of these will be much longer than the traditional hour-length episodes. According to HBO boss Casey Bloys the episodes will be feature length (between 60 and 120 minutes) and have bigger action scenes than ever before. Very few plot details have emerged, but Sansa Stark actress Sophie Turner has said that the ending to the series will be divisive.
Can Game of Thrones Get Even Bigger?
As the series has gone on, the viewing figures for Game of Thrones have increased massively each year. The first season of the George RR. Martin adaptation attracted an average of 2.5 million viewers per episode. By 2015, the fourth season of the show averaged 18.6 million, making it the most watched HBO series of all time. But even those numbers pale in comparison to last season’s average of 31 million viewers per episode.
This impressive rise in viewer numbers is partly down to the critical response to the series, which has consistently garnered scores of above 90 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. However, a lot of the success could also be attributed to the way the franchise has spanned other platforms and attracted viewers in this way. The franchise has broken into the board game industry with a board game set in Westeros which has even released an expansion called Mother of Dragons. The casino gaming scene has gotten the same treatment thanks to developer Microgaming, whose Game of Thrones slot can be found at online casinos such as Betway alongside other themed slots and table games. There are also mobile offerings including Game of Thrones: Conquest from Warner Bros International Enterprises for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, not to mention the endless array of merchandise in the form of mugs, clothing, jewelry and more for sale on various websites such as Thrones Room. The franchise has become unavoidable and inescapable, and this has led to curious people wanting to find out what all the fuss is about.
The final season of Game of Thrones is expected to attract the highest viewing figures ever, and this audience will then be likely to move on to the next spinoff series when the fantasy epic concludes. It would be fair to assume that Westeros-based games, merchandise and series will be around for many years to come once we consider the huge fan base it has.
How Could the HBO Series End?
Because the series has moved away from the book series, A Song of Ice and Fire, and changed so much in the process, it is hard for anyone to predict what will end up happening. The series and the books may not even conclude in the same way now, while author Martin has already expressed his dismay with a lot of the decisions the showrunners have made. To keep the ending secret and stop any plot details emerging, Turner says that the crew shot a number of alternative endings.
Sean Bean has hinted that there will only be one Stark remaining at the end, and he expects that to be Arya. There will be deaths of major characters, that’s for certain, and Data Robot has tried to crunch the numbers to determine who’s most likely to bite the bullet – or sword. According to the site, Daenerys Targaryen has an 83.77 percent chance of dying. This is surprising seeing as many believed it would be her who ends up on the Iron Throne.
It is now only a few months until the long-awaited final season of Game of Thrones. Winter is coming, and it could bring the most amazing six episodes of television ever created.