Game of Thrones: first glimpse of epic finale revealed in new trailer

A new Game of Thrones trailer has provided the first tantalising glimpse at footage of the show’s eighth and final season.

“I know death. He’s got many faces. I look forward to seeing this one,” Arya Stark says at the trailer’s outset, before it goes on to show the rest of the fantasy drama’s remaining major players, including Tyrion and Cersei Lannister, Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen and her loyal dragons.

Also hinted at is the climactic battle between the living and the White Walkers, led by the menacing Night’s King. “Our enemy doesn’t tire, doesn’t stop, doesn’t feel,” Snow warns ominously.

The final season will consist of six feature-length episodes, including one that will feature the battle for Winterfell, which is believed to be the longest and most expensive consecutive battle sequence ever committed to film.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the show’s creators and crew discussed how difficult the sequence was to make, with Maisie Williams, who plays Arya, saying it prompted moments “where you’re just broken as a human and just want to cry,” and Ian Glen, who plays Jorah Mormont, claiming that it was “the most unpleasant experience I’ve had on Thrones”.

The drama’s showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss said that they hoped viewers would enjoy the way they had ended the series, but said they were prepared for some viewers to “hate” its conclusion.

“There is no version where everybody says, ‘I have to admit, I agree with every other person on the planet that this is the perfect way to do this’”, Weiss said. “That’s an impossible reality that doesn’t exist. I’m hoping for the Breaking Bad [finale] argument where it’s like, ‘Is that an A or an A+?’”

One figure who won’t be appearing in the final season is George RR Martin. The fantasy author said that he had been invited to Belfast to film a scene for the show, but is too busy finishing The Winds of Winter, the sixth book in his Song of Ice and Fire series, which forms the basis of Game of Thrones. “I didn’t think just for the sake of a cameo I could take the time to return to Belfast,” Martin said.

Game of Thrones’ eighth season begins on 14 April and concludes on 19 May.