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HBO reveals start date for Game of Thrones‘ final season

On Sunday night, HBO finally lifted the veil on a big Game of Thrones question mark. The mainline TV series, based on the George R. R. Martin novels, will begin airing its final season on April 14.

The news came at the end of a teaser ad ahead of True Detective‘s third season premiere. In good news, HBO was at least kind enough to debut brand-new footage in an otherwise vague, suggestive video. In the one-minute clip, Sansa and Arya Stark, flanked by Jon Snow, approach a series of statues with torches in hand in a Winterfell crypt. After the long, slow walk concludes, with audio clips from previous episodes (“you are a Stark; you might not have my name, but you have my blood”), the trio discovers what the statues are: versions of themselves.

Shortly after that discovery, frost overtakes the chambers, and the trio unsheathes its weapons to face an impending, icy threat, before the scene fades to black.

Should the season stick to a once-a-week schedule, its six-episode run could theoretically conclude on May 19, but that remains to be seen, as HBO has otherwise not announced the final season’s exact schedule just yet. But, just to be safe, clear your calendar—and prepare for an epic finale that reportedly took a whopping 55 days and nights to film in three separate locations.

For more on what fans should expect from this final season, Ars’ Jennifer Ouellette has this spoiler-loaded refresher for you, so that you may begin placing your bets on the survival odds of the kingdom of men. And, as a reminder, “final” is a relative term. HBO has already begun moving full steam ahead on casting for the series’ prequel TV series.

Game of Thrones season 8 teaser

Listing image by HBO

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