Fans of the HBO smash series Game of Thrones have been waiting quite a long time for new episodes as the series has been on hiatus since the summer of 2017. We’ve known for quite some time that the series will return for its final run of episodes this spring, and now we know exactly when.
HBO released a teaser for Game of Thrones on Sunday night, ahead of the premiere of the new season of True Detective, featuring three of the living Stark siblings doing battle with unseen foes in the depths of Winterfell, before it’s hinted that the White Walkers have arrived in the North’s castle. Then, we learn that Game of Thrones will, in fact, return on HBO on Sunday, April 14.
The teaser also debuts a new hashtag for the series, #ForTheThrone.
In the new clip, which represents our first extended look at the final season, we see Jon Snow, Arya Stark, and Sansa Stark walking through Winterfell one by one, with Jon swinging his famous sword.
They pass statues of their late father Ned Stark and their aunt Lyanna Stark, who it was revealed last season was actually Jon Snow’s mother. Then, the three Starks come upon what appear to be statues of themselves. At that moment, the ground begins to freeze and turn white, indicating that the evil White Walkers have arrived at Winterfell.
Whether this is an actual scene in the new season or merely a symbolic teaser is unclear.
When Game of Thrones last aired over a year ago, the White Walkers had breached The Wall that had protected the kingdom of Westeros for the entire series and for centuries before that. This indicated that the battle, hinted at for the entirety of the series up to that point, is finally on its way. In addition, Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen have coupled up and also headed north along with their alliance to once again confront the White Walkers.
The questions remaining in the series include who will live, who will die, what form the final battle will take, and of course, who will end the series atop the Iron Throne. The series’ eighth and final season will also take on a new format: It will have only six episodes, but they will be longer than those in previous seasons, each lasting over an hour.
If HBO airs each of the six episodes one a week and skips no weeks, the series finale will air on Sunday, May 19.