The year 2018 will go down as The Year Without Game of Thrones. But 2019 will be harder, as that will be the year that the final six episodes air and fans across the world will be forced to say goodbye to Westeros and everyone there they love. The show is working hard to draw a veil around Game Of Thrones Season 8 spoilers as best it can, but with filming only about halfway finished, and lots of on-location filming work going on, it's been hard to keep things under wraps. Especially when some of what they are filming is huge.
Current the show is working in a few different locations. Actors have been spotted up in Iceland, which has traditionally stood in for the Lands of Always Winter, beyond the Wall. There's a team down in Dubrovnik in Croatia, which is typically used for the streets of King's Landing. They've been readying areas for filming, and actors have been spotted, though there are no scenes happening quite yet. But the biggest news has been out of Northern Ireland, and the area of Moneyglass, which is used for Winterfell and the lands in the North.
Please be advised: Spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 8 and speculation on what they mean follow.
So far, the biggest news out of filming this season has been that there is a replica of the streets of King's Landing being built inside the walls of Titanic Studios. Rumor has it this replica is for pyrotechnic use, since the production can't very well go around burning parts of Dubrovnik to the ground. Some rumors suggest the capital city will burn in Dragonfire, while others think Cersei will set all the wildfire she can muster ablaze rather than surrender to the Night King or Daenerys. Some even go so far as to say it will be a combination of the two.
But spoilers out of Moneyglass have revealed that King's Landing isn't the only one having issues with fire. And no, we don't think it's because Jon Snow didn't bring back batteries for the smoke detectors from the Dragonstone mall, or that the Stark family crock-pot switch was faulty.
Over the weekend, video emerged that showed Winterfell on fire, and rumors ran rampant that HBO had burnt the set (which has been used for season upon season) to the ground.
So, what happened? Obviously, there's a huge battle at Winterfell. We've guessed something like this was coming. Jon Snow had an idea to make Winterfell his center of operations back in Season 5, that's why he wanted to take it away from Ramsay Bolton. With the Army of the Dead taking down a section of the Wall in the Season 7 finale and heading south, it would make sense that Winterfell would be the scene of a clash between the living and the dead.
It would also make sense that things would not go the way we want, since we know that the Army of the Dead will then proceed further south towards King's Landing since that is burning as well. A defeat and retreat at Winterfell sending everyone running south to King's Landing would totally fit into a scenario where Cersei started readying wildfire, rather than allow her enemies shelter.
All that being said, a few tweets have claimed that Winterfell was not fully razed to the ground. Apparently, parts of the set are still standing, and are still being used for filming this week.
As we know, Game of Thrones doesn't film in chronological order, but by location. So, it would make sense that they would film everything that happens in Winterfell before the battle, do a controlled burn to take it down to a "destroyed point," and then use what was left the next morning to film, say, epilogue scenes that happen in the finale where the Starks return to rebuild.
Any way you slice it, the final six episodes are going to contain as much fire as they do ice. Game of Thrones Season 8 will air on HBO sometime in 2019.