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Westeros

The countdown is officially on for the final season of HBO's hit show Game of Thrones. 

The fantasy franchise, which is based on the George R. R. Martin book series, has fans in a FRENZY awaiting the return of their favourite (and most likely doomed) characters.

The season eight cast list how now been leaked by HBO and there's a very noticeable key player missing from episode one, according to metro.co.uk.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The broadcaster unveiled which of our token loved ones wil be popping up on April 14, as Westeros comes together (let us pray) to fight The Night King.

They may have to sit tight, as Vladimir Furdik, AKA The Night King and leader of the white walkers, is ABSENT from the season eight premiere, but don't relax yet.

It's been almost two long years since the season seven finale, and there are just six episodes left to go until we see who sits on the Iron Throne. There will be plenty of action, with the Night King or not.

Season seven saw the army of the dead blasting the wall down with their new phantom ice dragon (RIP), so we're surprised that the Night King seemingly has no feature at all in episode one.

Furdik mentioned in an interview that the biggest battle television has ever seen will begin two episodes later, so his screen time is more than secure.

He spoke to Hungarian website Sorozat Wiki and let the GOT cat out of the bag:

"In the third part of the last season, there is a battle that the creators intend to be the biggest in television history. Almost the full episode will be about the battle, it will take about an hour."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The GOT cast list has since been deleted, but two surprising faces are returning to bring joy to many fans; Tobias Menzies and Lino Facioli, as Edmure Tully and Robin Arryn. Menzies is about to star as Prince Philip in The Crown.

Entertainment Weekly somehow managed to watch filming one of the key scenes, and confirmed that some very unexpected old names are in the mix;

There are characters in the finale that I did not expect, I gradually begin to piece together what has happened in Westeros over the previous five episodes and try not to look like I’m freaking out."

Game of Thrones returns to HBO and Sky Atlantic on April 14, get ready for the most drama you'll see in our lifetime.

Feature image: Polygon

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Death is pretty much a given when it comes to Game of Thrones; whether it's the Red Wedding (RIP my heart), the Battle of the Bastards or just any kind of royal gathering, you're guaranteed to see bloodshed.

That being said, the upcoming and much-anticipated final season of the show will be pivotal when it comes to character killing, because the last one standing LITERALLY wins Game of Thrones.

*deep breathes* We're going to need a stiff drink to handle the tension and grieving which series eight will inevitably bring…

mothers day drinking GIF by Game of Thrones

A new study published in the Injury Epidemiology journal tries to decipher the likelihood of characters meeting their bloody end, and has recorded data on 330 Game of Thrones personalities.

The data takes circumstances such as religious beliefs and social status into account based off each episode of the HBO smash hit show.

'What influences the chances of a character death?' we hear you ask. Author of the study, Reidar Lysad (he sounds like a character himself…) has said;

"The risk of death is high among characters in Game of Thrones.

By the end of the seventh season, more than half of the characters had died – 186 out of the 330 characters we included in this study – with violent deaths being the most common by far.!

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Apparently, switching allegiance makes you a lot more likely to survive in the show, but sticking to your morals and principles increases the chance that you'll reach the end.

Probably because it's always the sneaky snakes who can con their way into staying alive… 

Women and 'highborns' are also more likely to continue with their lives, rather than poor, male characters. 

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Which means… Queen of Westeros and General Nutjob Cersei Lannister might end up being the last gal standing. *gasps* but her prophecy??

Jaime Lannister, Jon Snow and Tyrion Lannister all have higher chances of survival because of their tendency to switch sides, and their high status.

One in seven characters actually died within the first hour of their introduction, and the fastest end to a character was just 11 SECONDS. Good God, no one is safe.

The regular character is alive for roughly 29 hours, and only two deaths were from natural causes.

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In Westeros, anything goes. They could all die, TBF, and the throne will be left icy and barren.

The outcome of the show is always unpredictable, and aims to be different than the expected.

As the saying goes; “When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die”.

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Let the countdown begin, megafans.

Game of Thrones will OFFICIALLY air its eight and final season in April 2019. The HBO phenomenon aired its seventh season in August 2017, so there will have been an almost two-year gap.

For the feverous fanbase, that's 20 months too long…

Season eight will also run for six episodes, which is one episode fewer season seven, but never fear because each episode will run for as long as ninety minutes.

Imagine the tension… we can barely handle 60 minutes of such high-paced tension and pure visual spectacle. 90 minutes could have us fainting multiple times from sheer SHOOKETH-ness.

By premiering the April date, this allows Game of Thrones to remain eligible for the 2019 Emmys. The last season swept up nine awards, including Outstanding Drama Series, a major deal in the realm of television.

The HBO announcement came in the form of a new video broadcasting the launch of a final season campaign entitled  #ForTheThrone.

The video is as powerful as you might imagine considering the show is famed for its gruesome battles, dramatic deaths and revenge in every form.

(*SPOILERS INCOMING*)

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Some of the most violent highlights from across the seven seasons are included in the clip, including the infamous Red Wedding (we STILL AREN'T OVER THIS) and the King's Landing wildfire attack.

The end of the seventh season left Westeros on the brink of its deadliest war yet, in case you have miraculously forgotten. The finale was one of the most watched TV episodes in history, and we can still hear the gasps.

Fan favourites such as Jon Snow (Kit Harington), Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) and other prominent characters within the fantasy canon must learn to throw aside their differences in order to fight a common enemy: the Army of the Dead, led by the vicious Night King. 

The Army of the Dead have already begun marching after destroying the wall and taking control of a dragon, turning it to ice. WE WERE WAILING.

So you know, casual saving the world from massive bloodshed and death kinda vibe. The usual.

come at me bring it GIF by Game of Thrones

"Every battle. Every betrayal. Every risk. Every fight. Every sacrifice. Every death. All for the Throne."

Save the date, people. It's gonna be emotional.

Feature image: Refinery29.com

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