Note: spoilers for Game of Thrones season 7 below.
Entertainment Weekly reported that HBO has unveiled the title and running time for the season 7 finale for Game of Thrones, and it would seem fans are in for an especially long episode this week. The episode, titled “The Dragon and the Wofl” (presumably in reference to Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen), will clock in at 79 minutes and 43 seconds long, confirming that this season’s finale will be the longest episode Game of Thrones has seen.
The preview that was released by HBO this week ahead of Sunday’s episode shows that Jon and Daenerys will make it to King’s Landing to meet with Cersei in efforts to convince her to join forces and defeat the Night King. “There’s only one war that matters,” Jon ominously says to Cersei. “And it is here.” The new footage also shows a siege by Daenery’s Dothraki and Unsullied armies on a castle, most likely Highgarden, held by Jamie Lanniser and Bronn.
One thing that has been notably absent in this season of Game of Thrones is a tragic death of a major character – one of the well-established conventions of the series. In an interview this week with Huffington Post, the director of season 7’s episode 6, “Beyond the Wall”, suggested that a major loss might occur in the season finale – and it will some how involve the Stark sisters, whose relationship has grown increasingly strained over the course of this season.
“I love the fact that these two come back, they’re both lethal, and I just wanted to give the impression [in episode 6], as much as possible, that one of them is going to die,” Taylor hinted. “But you’re not sure which one.” Taylor continued, “[Something] is coming very soon between them, and it will be violent but surprising.”
Taylor said he only wanted to suggest that one of the sisters will die, so this could simply be a means of misdirection. But Taylor’s statement certainly doesn’t sound good for the Stark sisters.
News also broke this week that season 8 of Game of Thrones will be going into production in October, with its premiere expected to fall some time in late 2018 or early 2019, meaning fans have a long wait ahead of them before seeing how HBO’s epic fantasy series ends.
The season finale of Game of Thrones airs this Sunday at 9pm EST on HBO.