Game of Thrones returned to HBO last night with the first episode of its final season. It also returned with a brand new opening sequence. While keeping in the style of the opening of previous seasons, the new opening abandons the birds-eye-view of Westeros to go inside significant locations like Winterfell and the Red Keep. The change in the opening may be the result of the show itself going narrower and deeper in its final six episodes. You can watch the new opening sequence above.
Game of Thrones is based on the A Song of Ice and Fire series of fantasy novels by George RR Martin. The television adaptation will come to its conclusion before the source material. The most recent novel in the series, A Dance with Dragons, released eight years ago, a month after the premiere of Game of Thrones. There are still two books left — The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring — for Martin to complete his epic. Some fans worry that Game of Thrones will spoil the finale of the fantasy saga, but Martin has said the two will come to different conclusions.
"I’ve been so slow with these books," Martin told Rolling Stone. "The major points of the ending will be things I told them five or six years ago. But there may also be changes, and there’ll be a lot added."
Co-showrunner DB Weiss told Entertainment Weekly about the privilege fo adapting the series, saying, "If you’re going to spend 10 years working on one show, you better really love the people you work with because you’re spending a sh**load of time away from your family and friends. You always put everything into it. So to spend time on a show that people respond to all over the world, it’s incredibly gratifying. You have these characters you love and you can come up with ideas for them, and a few months later these incredible actors will be saying those things. That’s such a rare gift."
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who plays Jaime Lannister on the series, supported appreciates Weiss and co-showrunner David Benioff willingness to end the series rather than drag it out past its natural endpoint. "That D. B. Weiss and David Benioff stuck to their guns and said, ‘This is the story we wanna tell; we’re not gonna extend this’—because I’m sure HBO would have loved another couple years of this show. There’s an audience for it, for sure," Coster-Waldau said. "But I think everyone who watches the show will appreciate that it’s finished—that it was one story from episode 1 to episode 83, and we told it."
Game of Thrones returns to HBO for its final season on April 14th.
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