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Game over: America's favorite show returns for final season

The widely popular HBO series, “Game of Thrones,” is returning this year for its eighth and final season. Set to premiere on HBO on April 14 at 9 p.m., a little less than two years since the last season aired. With the recent release of two teasers ("Dragonstone" and "Crypts of Winterfell") and two years to spare, fans have already spent time speculating what will happen. Here are four important things to keep in mind for "GoT’s" eighth season. For those behind in the series, read at your own risk.

  1. Dragonstone

The "Dragonstone" teaser shows the Painted Table at Dragonstone being encased in fire and ice. The ice represents the White Walkers and the Wight army coming from the North. The fire could represent Daenerys Targaryen, Jon Snow and their armies coming from the South. The fact that the ice encases the dire wolf, the sigil of the Starks, indicates that the White Walkers will take over Winterfell and continue south. The fire in turn covers a lion, the sigil of the Lannisters. In the last episode of season seven, Cersei Lannister promised to fight alongside Jon and Daenerys, but she reneges and reveals to her brother that while Jon and Daenerys are up North fighting, she’ll be taking back her cities. The fire encasing the lion could indicate that Cersei either gets overthrown, killed or decides to join forces with Daenerys to fight the dead. 

  1. Crypts of Winterfell

In this teaser, Jon, Arya Stark and Sansa Stark are seen walking through the crypts of Winterfell while ice slowly creeps through the halls. The three of them meet up in front of their own statues in the crypts, hinting at the fact that they might die in the upcoming season. But, many fans speculate that because Jon’s statue looks like an older version of him, he’ll die in the distant future. Something to note is Brandon Stark’s absence. This could mean that he’ll outlive his siblings, but many fans also believe that the feather which freezes over is his, tying into a larger theory about Brandon being the Night King.

  1. The Valonqar

Back in season five, Maggy, a witch who uses blood magic to read people’s futures, prophesied that Cersei will marry the king, become queen, have three children and watch them die. All of that came true, but in the books, Maggy also predicts that Cersei will die by the hands of the “valonqar,” which means “little brother” in High Valyrian. One of two important things to note is that the show doesn’t always stay true to the books. Many characters look different in the show than how they’re described in the books so this theory could be completely naught. The second is that Cersei has two younger brothers, Jaime and Tyrion. If Jaime is the one to kill her, then the betrayal will be all the more juicy.

  1. The Prince That Was Promised and Azor Ahai

Azor Ahai and The Prince That Was Promised are similar in that people believe that they’ll be the one to end the long night, but it’s still debatable if they’re the same person. The main contenders for these roles are Jon and Daenerys, as both fulfill many of the character traits tied to the prophecies. Something to note is that Azor Ahai isn’t addressed in the show while the Prince That Was Promised is. Additionally, “prince” doesn’t necessarily mean that the savior must be a man because in ancient Valyrian, “prince” doesn’t have a gender. If Azor Ahai translates into the show and needs to create the sword Lightbringer, which helps end the long night, then it will require a sacrifice similar to the what the original Azor Ahai did, which was kill his wife.

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