11:22am PT by Josh Wigler
'Game of Thrones' Final Season Photos: War Comes to Winterfell
The first photos from the final Game of Thrones season are here.
Jon Snow (Kit Harington), Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), and the Lannister siblings of Cersei (Lena Headey), Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) all stand revealed in their final season glory thanks to new images released by HBO, with weeks still to go before the end of Thrones begins on April 14.
Little is known about how exactly the story will wrap for the King in the North, the Dragon Queen and the rest of the heroes and villains who have waged war and forged unlikely alliances over the past several seasons, except for this: the White Walkers, much like winter, are here. The Night King and his Army of the Dead marches swiftly on Westeros, having blown through the Wall at the end of the season seven finale. Their likely first stop: Winterfell. Whatever comes next depends on the human condition, specifically whether Jon, Daenerys, Cersei and the others can get past their differences and unite over what they have in common: survival of the species.
Given how Cersei incinerated the entire Sept of Baelor simply to destroy a specific handful of enemies, however, the odds are not entirely in humanity's favor.
At the very least, battle looks certain for Winterfell. With the exception of the first look at Cersei, the photos released by HBO all look like they are set in the ancestral home of House Stark, featuring many of the people we have come to expect in such a setting: Sansa (Sophie Turner), Arya (Maisie Williams) and Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright), to name a few. Some of the unlikelier faces in attendance: Tyrion and Jaime, last seen at Winterfell in the first season of the series, as well as Daenerys, making her arrival after spending much of season seven in the south of Westeros; the first and only time she visited the North, Dany bypassed Winterfell altogether, opting instead to wage war against White Walkers north of the Wall.
What's going to happen when the audience joins the cast at Winterfell in the season eight premiere? However it shakes out, the final six episodes of Game of Thrones comes with a strong roster of talent behind the scenes, with directors including David Nutter ("The Rains of Castamere"), Miguel Sapochnik ("Battle of the Bastards"), and series creators David Benioff and Dan Weiss.
"We always knew this had to be a story that ended when it was time for it to end, and not one that got dragged out until it had worn out its welcome," Benioff and Weiss recently told The Hollywood Reporter about the process of bringing Game of Thrones in for a landing. "We knew this moment was coming, but it's still impossible to prepare yourself fully for it. We're dealing with it piecemeal as we finish up the season. We're also in a tremendous amount of denial. Six months from now, you'll probably find us both wandering down Sunset Boulevard in our Game of Thrones crew jackets, wearing headphones, muttering notes to an assistant director who isn't there."
Continue onward for more photos from the final season.
Follow THR.com/GameOfThrones for full coverage as the series marches toward its final six episodes, beginning April 14 on HBO.