It’s been a long time since the penultimate season of Game of Thrones came to an end - zombie dragon and all- but we're still not quite sure we're ready for what's to come.
With just hours to go until the final season starts, HBO have released more and more tantalising - if not terrifying - teasers, trailers and pictures; scenes from an apocalyptic Winterfell, Sansa offering her home to the Mother of Dragons, the arrival of the Golden Company, et al.
One unconditional guarantee is the absolute spectacle that awaits us. With a handful of feature-length episodes on the other side of the season premiere, it's safe to say these episodes (which reportedly feature the most complex sequences ever filmed for television) will be the best of the monumental show's best.
This season’s final episode will be the last ever installment of the popular fantasy drama, and show runners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are under a lot of pressure to wrap things up in a way that does the iconic show justice.
Both have opened up about the high stakes. “From the beginning, we’ve talked about how the show would end,” Benioff told Entertainment Weekly.
“A good story isn’t a good story if you have a bad ending. Of course we worry. It’s also part of the fun of any show that people love arguing about it.”
Benioff went on to discuss the conclusion of The Sopranos in 2007, when the screen surprisingly cut to black. “I think that was the best of all possible endings for that show,” he argued, “but a lot of people hated it. I’ve gotten into a lot of arguments with people about why that was a great ending, but people felt legitimately cheated and that’s their right to feel that way, just as it’s my right to feel like they’re idiots.”
His comments suggest that Game of Thrones may plump for a similarly divisive finale. Weiss also wants the show’s conclusion to be a climactic talking point, although he’s keen that it shouldn’t be a question of whether the finale is good or bad. He explained: “I’m hoping we get the Breaking Bad [finale] argument where it’s like, ‘Is that an A or an A+?’ I want that to be the argument.”
Asked where he'll be when the final episode airs, Benioff said he plans to be "very drunk and very far from the internet".