Despite first airing at 2am in the UK, over one billion people around the world are thought to have watched the opening episode of Game of Thrones season eight on Sunday night. The six-episode final series, which shows on Sky Atlantic, is expected to bring an explosive end to one of the biggest shows ever made, with fan theories running rife since it last aired in 2017. With a 50-second preview trailer available for the next episode, it's set to be action-packed.
With the series opener ending with Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), the man nicknamed "Kingslayer" for murdering Aerys Targaryen, arriving in the North to fight for Daenerys' army, we can expect a fiery meeting between the two. "When I was a child my brother would tell me a bedtime story about the man who murdered our father," Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) ominously threatens Jaime. "About all the things we would do to that man."
Whether the Dragon Queen will allow Jaime to fight for her is unclear, but the trailer suggests that he is fully committed to leaving House Lannister behind as he betrays his sister/lover Cersei and reveals her plans to trick Daenerys and Jon Snow's armies. The preview shows Sansa (Sophie Turner) and Daenerys both berating the other for having trusted Cersei, leaving the threat the Mother of Dragons made to Jon of how she could treat a disrespectful Sansa hanging in the air.
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Jon Snow and Daenerys, played by Kit Harrington and Emilia Clarke
Elsewhere, Arya (Maisie Williams) could be about to cross another name off the list of people she intends to kill. "Death, it's got many faces," she is heard saying. "I look forward to seeing this one." As we see her launching attack, it can be estimated that her victim may come from the living names on her list: Cersei, The Mountain, The Hound, Beric Dondarrion, Melisandre and Ser Ilyn Payne. With many of these characters in distant lands and Arya seeming to have reconciled with The Hound, it seems that Beric is the most likely recipient of her violence.
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Winter has been coming to Westeros since the very first episode of Game of Thrones, but it looks like it's finally here. With the Night King leaving a clear message for the North's armies by hanging up the young Ned Umber in a warning symbol made of dismembered limbs, it won't be long until the battle between the living and the dead takes place. When Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) asks Tormund how long until the wights arrive, the red-headed warrior replies: "Before the sun comes up tomorrow." Setting up episode three as the battle that could see humanity wiped out, this season promises to be one that will never be forgotten.