Although Game of Thrones doesn’t return for its eighth and final season until 2019, leaving more than a year between new episodes, fans can find some comfort in social media posts from the cast. Or can they? The stars of this HBO megahit are throwing the tiniest granules of information out without context, leaving us more confused and anxious than ever about what’s to come.
The latest news from Westeros comes from the Mother of Dragons herself. Emilia Clarke, aka Daenerys Targaryen, shared a selfie on Instagram on Sunday with a caption that leaves us with more than a few questions.
“Hopped on a boat to an island to say goodbye to the land that has been my home away from home for almost a decade,” Clarke wrote. “It’s been a trip … thank you for the life I never dreamed I’d be able to live and the family I’ll never stop missing.” She tagged the official Game of Thrones Instagram account and ended her caption with a broken-heart emoji and the hashtag “#lastseasonitis.”
We know Clarke and her castmates have been hard at work filming the final season of Game of Thrones. Clarke’s costar, Kit Harington, reportedly cried when he read the final script, while Clarke’s other costar, Sophie Turner, may or may not have spoiled the finale with her new tattoo. Clarke told Vanity Fair in May that she has already filmed Daenerys’ final on-screen moments.
“It fucked me up,” Clarke told VF. “Knowing that is going to be a lasting flavor in someone’s mouth of what Daenerys is…”
Um, OK. That’s actually pretty ominous. At the time of the interview, Game of Thrones was still filming and there was (and is) a ton of post-production work to complete before the final season airs next year.
HBO has budgeted approximately $15 million per episode, according to Indiewire, which we think points to an especially epic final season. The high fantasy series is known for its incredible special effects and its high-flying CGI dragons; after the last seven seasons, season eight has a lot to live up to — especially because at the end, the Iron Throne is supposed to boast a new ruler.
So, does Clarke’s Instagram post mean that the series has wrapped filming? What island is she referencing? Bustle reports that the show frequently shoots in Iceland, Croatia, Northern Ireland and Malta — though it utilizes some locations more than others. Since filming is pretty top-secret, we’re not exactly sure which location Clarke is referring to in her post (except that it’s definitely not Croatia, the only reported shooting location that’s not an island or part of one). Her words do seem to suggest that, at least for her part, Game of Thrones is a wrap.
As the year continues, we’ll likely see more from cast members who are finishing their runs on this iconic series. We’re not quite ready to say goodbye, but mostly, we just want to know who lives and who dies. Will Daenerys make it until the end? Clarke isn’t telling us, so we’ll have to wait until 2019 to find out.