Have you ever wondered why the Stark family home is called Winterfell? It's one of those names introduced at the very beginning of the series when viewers are still trying to remember which Stark kid is which. No one ever stops to ask why this is the name given to the castle. But names have meanings. King's Landing is where Aegon landed. Dragonstone is where dragons were born and raised. Is Winterfell where winter falls? Or will Winterfell fall in Game Of Thrones Season 8 in the face of winter?
The fact is, the Game of Thrones marketing machine has a bit of a problem in promoting the final season. There is very little anyone can say about what's to come that a rabid fandom won't instantly rip to pieces like a pack of direwolves.
So far, what everyone seems to agree is worth talking about is the primary battle set piece occurring in Season 8 Episode 3. This is partly because bits of the fight were picked up (albeit not very well) by the paparazzi while filming was happening, and a stray Instagram post or two revealed a few of the details ahead of time, mainly that the battle occurs at Winterfell. It's a record-breaking sequence apparently, and the production spent loads of resources on it. It makes sense this is what is being hyped.
But what goes down in this battle? Who wins? Well, the show doesn't end right afterward, so this suggests things don't go well. In fact, the heroes may lose in a Massacre at Hardhome Part 2.
How can fans be so sure? It's the *when* in the episode count that this battle is supposed to happen which has given fans pause over the outcome.
In describing the battle scene, James Hibbard, who visited the set during filming, said the following in his most recent podcast:
It’s shaping up to be what probably almost certainly is the longest consecutive battle sequence in cinema history. They’ve looked to try and find other ones out there, like [the one in] The Two Towers, in The Lords of the Rings, which is about 40 minutes, and in the movie 13 Assassins, which was also around 40 minutes. This is going to be longer than 40 minutes. It’s pretty nuts.
There are only six installments in the final series. This battle reportedly happens in Episode 3. This means there are still three episodes to go after it's over, all of which are longer than an hour, and the last of which is rumored to be as long as a feature film. Hibbard is talking about a battle at Winterfell that runs a full hour's worth of episode... and does not resolve the conflict.
There was, from set pieces seen at Titanic Studios, a second battle also filmed, one centered in King's Landing, which, logic dictates, must happen after this record-breaking sequence. If fans have the chronology right, the Battle of King's Landing is the last stand. The trailer above also suggests this.
But if Jon Snow and company fall back to the south and stand their ground a second time at King's Landing, does this mean Winterfell falls? How many will die if it does?
Game of Thrones Season 8 premieres in April of 2019.