As previously reported, the final batch of six episodes will contain plenty of callbacks to the show’s debut 2011 season as Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) and Jon Snow (Kit Harington) arrive at Winterfell where Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) and Arya ready the North for war against The Night King.
GAME OF THRONES Season 8 premieres same time as the U.S. this April 15, Monday at 9am, with a same day encore at 10pm, exclusively on HBO (Astro Ch 411 / 431 HD). The series will also be available on HBO On Demand (via Astro Go). New episodes will premiere every Monday at the same time.
Q. What has it been like saying goodbye to the show that has made your careers?
ST:There were multiple dinners with the friends we have made over the last season.
MW:The dinners are still happening.
ST:It’s still happening and when we’re at the premiere again, there’ll be plenty more. You can’t just do one dinner and one party to end it. It’s a long process for us to wean ourselves off Game of Thrones!
MW:Definitely. We’re all so close.
ST:Normally everyone’s tired of each other. We haven’t had any fallouts.
MW:It’s actually just been really lovely. For Sophie and I it was our first gig, really exciting but the established actors have always, always been really lovely. It will be interesting to see how we stay in touch.
ST:I think we will though. No doubt in my mind. Especially the people who started out together: you, Kit, Alfie, Emilia. All of us will definitely stay in touch forever.
Q. When you got the scripts for this final season, did they come in some sort of self-destructing box?
ST:It was a self-destructing app. It all goes away after 24 hours or something like that.
MW: I’d only got to episode three and then I couldn’t see them anymore! I’m emailing Sophie going, “Help me!” Do you remember after Christmas when we were on the Christmas break, they all deleted then I was trying to do work over Christmas and…
ST:…you couldn’t! All the secrecy is something you have to come to terms with.
MW:We’re usually pretty good. There’ve been some photos that we’ve posted that are a little spoilery but it’s not terrible things. It’s not like an episode being leaked out. But the more things get leaked, it makes us more nervous for sure.
ST:Even down to, I remember having a little braid in my hair and the hair and makeup team would be like, “You cannot leave with that braid in your hair. We have to take it out.” Because people will read into it and find some spoilers with just a braid. It’s crazy.
MW:The fans they just are so hungry for the show. They’ve been waiting so long.
Q. What was the group read through of the whole final series like?
ST:Everyone was there. It was very emotional. We’ve had read-throughs before but not everyone showed up. This time…
MW:…everyone was there. Producers, heads of department. They were all there and it was very emotional.
ST:Yes. Kit was reading it for the first time at the read-through. That was funny. You could just hear him in every scene him let out a gasp.
Q. When you look back on the series how has it changed?
ST:The scene that changed how I saw the show was first season episode nine, Ned’s death and it was just like, “It’s not going to be that kind of show. It’s going to be thiskind of show.” For my character, the scene where she kills Ramsay was like, “That’s Sansa.” What about you?
MW:I just think in these final seasons all of the women have started to really come into their own. One, that’s been not very predictable. Two, it just makes a lot of sense. When you read into the show and you read into their storylines and how people have been playing the game, the five women on top have really deserved to be there. That was something that we’d hoped for but the fact that the show’s really going that way is just so powerful, unlike lots of other shows.
Q. What was your wrap day like, when you finished altogether?
MW:I just said a few things about how the industry has been really difficult but coming back to the show has always been worth it and that everyone was like a family to us. Everyone was pretty emotional by that point, having watched everyone wrap. That was like, “I’m going to keep it brief. You’ve heard a lot.”
ST:My final scene was after a long stretch – we were shooting this scene in Spain. Everyone else could have an ice vest except for me because my costume is so tight. I was just begging for them to call wrap. Then they called it and they made this speech and I just burst into tears and I was like inconsolable for hours and hours and hours after. I was just a wreck.
The Final Season begins April 14 on HBO. Can’t wait to watch it!