With less than two months until the final season premieres on April 14, HBO has dropped 20 official character posters for Games of Thrones season eight. Not only could the posters basically involve ever major character still alive and kicking on the show, but they hold potential clues about the final season. Thankfully, these posters do not disappoint. The network revealed the striking new images via Twitter on Thursday morning, further increasing every fan’s burning desire for April to arrive.
So, what is there to unpack from these posters? We’ll start with the obvious: They appear to show the main contenders for the crown, each posing powerfully on the Iron Throne. Going into season eight, we already know that an epic battle will be waged, so the posters play up the fact that, among those “who remain in the realm,” one will eventually emerge as the ultimate victor. The tagline for the official Twitter Moment attached to the release of the posters coyly reads, “Who will claim the Iron Throne once and for all?” While the posters themselves emit a sort of gravitas, each of the characters received their own custom emoji as part of the Moment — and, well, they’re pretty darn cute for characters who are such bloodthirsty badasses.
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Another interesting point to make with the posters is how much they mirror the ad campaign from all the way back in season one, which featured Ned Stark seated upon the Iron Throne. This is especially noticeable when you look at Jon Snow’s pose in his final season character poster, which is different from the other character poses. Is this a nod to the fact that the final season will parallel the first in many ways? Is it HBO’s sly way of telling us that Jon Snow will be the one to end up on the throne? It seems like a worthwhile bet.
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In addition to the familiar styling of the posters, they also feature the kind of pithy, cryptic quotes fans have come to expect from series author George R. R. Martin, which is featured in the aforementioned Twitter Moment. Jon Snow’s quote reads, “We know no King, but the King in the North”; Daenerys Targaryen’s quote says, “My reign has just begun”; Cersei Lannister’s is suggestive, saying “Long may she reign”; Jaime Lannister has the rather hubris-filled “There are no men like me. Only me”; and finally, there’s Tyrion Lannister’s strong quote: “Never forget who you are. The rest of the world will not.”
Suffice it to say, these posters are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to figuring out who will sit on the throne by the end of Game of Thrones. Practically every character left on the series received the poster treatment, so you have plenty to feast your eyes on for the next few weeks. Game of Thrones returns to HBO for its final season on April 14.