We've come a long way since we were first introduced to Game of Thrones and the warring houses of Westeros eight years ago. Heck, we've come a long way since the beginning of this season, just six short weeks ago. Many of our favorite characters are dead, some of the living characters are no longer our favorites, and now our watch is ended.
The eighth and final season of HBO's Game of Thrones has come to an end, and before we bid farewell to Westeros (at least until the prequel), allow us to gather every recap, review, ranking, explainer, and fan theory you could ever want or need, all in one place.
You can find our complete Game of Thrones final season coverage below.
Game of Thrones: The Last Watch Documentary
If the Game of Thrones finale left you wishing for more time in Westeros with the characters you've grown to love, you can join us down the rabbit hole of what would happen if Game of Thrones had a Season 9. And HBO offered the next-best thing with its post-finale documentary about the making of the final season. The Last Watch proved to be a treasure trove of cool tidbits about the cast and crew, complete with behind-the-scenes footage that will have you reaching for the tissues. Here are the biggest revelations in The Last Watch.
Episode 6: 'The Iron Throne'
The final episode of the series, aptly titled "The Iron Throne," saw Daenerys' brief reign over the ashes come to a tragic end at the hands of her lover (and nephew), Jon Snow. Is it the death she deserved? Critics are divided. Is Daenerys actually alive, as some fans are theorizing? Probably not. But a lot of people lived! Bran won the Iron Throne... well, sort of. Here are five times the show hinted Bran would be king. Tyrion convinced the lords and ladies of Westeros (including new thirst icon Robin Arryn) to appoint their monarchs instead of waiting to see who inherits the crown. Sansa was crowned Queen in the (independent) North, and her coronation dress paid tribute to a dearly departed character on the show. However, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez think Sansa should have been queen of the whole shebang. Drogon puzzlingly decided not to avenge Dany's death by killing Jon and flew off instead — but where did Drogon go? Meanwhile, Jon returned to the Night's Watch and eventually ventured north with the Free Folk, and here's why his fate makes sense. And the real hero of Game of Thrones, Ghost the dire wolf, is a very happy boy indeed.
Feeling nostalgic? We broke down the callbacks in the series finale, which broke a major record for HBO. The final episode also had us thinking about another major franchise; here's how Game of Thrones botched its ending by ignoring the lessons of the MCU. Those small-council selections didn't help either. And just for fun, one editor who only watched the final season weighed in on the ending.
Fans responded to the long-awaited and much-debated finale the way fans do — with hilarious memes. And adding fuel to the fire was another technical blunder in the wake of #StarbucksGate: This time, a water bottle was left on set.
Game of Thrones cast members, including Emilia Clarke, Sophie Turner, and John Bradley, responded to the finale by posting nostalgic behind-the-scenes photos and sharing emotional goodbyes. Clarke also confessed that she was shocked by Dany's fate — and that she's still on Team Targaryen. Plus, here's why you probably shouldn't hold your breath for an Arya Stark spin-off right now, or any spin-off set in future Westeros. But here's what we know about the Game of Thrones prequel series that is happening. And if you want more from the characters you already know and love — and possibly a different ending — George R.R. Martin says the final two books in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring, are definitely still coming. In the meantime, we're speculating about what would happen next if Game of Thrones had a Season 9.
Stay tuned for more GoT coverage, including about the upcoming Game of Thrones documentary, The Last Watch, set to air on HBO next Sunday. And in the meantime, find out where "The Iron Throne" falls in our ranking of every episode, and relieve the events of the finale in our Episode 6 photo gallery, our ridiculous Dolls of Thrones recap video, and our very cheeky photo recap.
Nonsense Is Coming
We created a low-budget weekly Game of Thrones recap with dolls, because we don't have that HBO money. Prepare for the most ridiculous thing you'll watch all week:
Season 7 recap: The Starks reunite, and an Ice Dragon is coming
Episode 1: Sansa Goes Mean Girls on Dany
Episode 2: Dany Isn't Here for Jon's Secrets
Episode 3: Arya Is About That Thug Life
Episode 4: Brienne Learns a Harsh Dating Lesson
Episode 5: Snitches Get Stitches
Episode 6: Water Bottle Culprit Revealed
We also called on the Lord of Light (OK, so it was actually just Senior Editor Tim Surette) to resurrect our extremely silly Game of Thrones photo recaps:
Episode 1: Weird Bran Stole the Game of Thrones Premiere
Episode 2: Arya Gets It on Despite Having Zero Game
Episode 3: People Could Have Died Better, To Be Honest
Episode 4: Drunk With Power and Just Plain Drunk
Episode 5: Give Drogon a Spin-Off Already
Episode 6: Is This Really How We're Picking Kings Now?
Every Episode, Ranked
Here's every episode of Game of Thrones, ranked from worst to best and updated every week.
Episode 5: 'The Bells'
In one of the show's most brutal episodes ever, Daenerys and her army attacked King's Landing, and kept attacking well after the city surrendered in Episode 5, "The Bells." Turns out the Last War was more of a massacre, and Daenerys Targaryen, breaker of chains, is a Mad Queen like her father. And nobody can deny we all showed up for it; the episode set a huge ratings record for HBO. Fans may disagree with our take that Game of Thrones didn't come close to earning Dany's Mad Queen arc (or that Game of Thrones is setting up for a finale as bad as the ending of How I Met Your Mother), but one thing we all can agree on: Dany's descent into madness happened way too fast. You can read the Game of Thrones creator's explanation for Daenerys committing genocide, but it might not make you feel better. And here's where "The Bells" fell in our giant ranking of every episode.
If you were left reeling after Daenerys' massacre, you weren't alone; even some Game of Thrones stars have shared some less-than-cheerful feelings about the final season. Some cast members, including Grey Worm actor (and R&B singer) Jacob Anderson and Bran Stark himself, Isaac Hempstead-Wright, weighed in on a fan petition with over a million signatures calling on HBO to remake Season 8 with better writers. Spoiler: The actors are not amused. (And neither is Riverdale actress Lili Reinhart.) Of course, not everyone responded to Season 8's twists and turns by signing a petition; plenty of folks on the internet channeled their energy into making memes, and we've rounded up the funniest.
While we couldn't count all the casualties in King's Landing, we ranked the major deaths in Season 8 from most to least satisfying. (We're also keeping a tally of all the major deaths in the entire series.) Not least of these are Jaime and Cersei Lannister, whose deaths in each other's arms left a certain prophecy unfulfilled. And speaking of Cersei, why didn't she use wildfire to fight Daenerys' army? Plus, one of the major deaths almost didn't happen. Find out which dead GoT character was originally supposed to live.
Next episode is the last one, and the trailer for the Game of Thrones finale shows Dany standing before what's left of her conquered kingdom. At this point, Vegas is betting heavily on Bran Stark to win the Iron Throne, and that's not a bad thing: Bran just might be the best person to rule the Seven Kingdoms. Who's the wrong person to rule? That would be the former cleverest man alive, Tyrion Lannister. Regardless of who wins, there are bound to be plenty of loose ends and obscure questions that remain unanswered. But don't expect a trailer for the upcoming prequel series to answer any questions; HBO isn't airing a prequel trailer with the finale. But there is a cool trailer for the upcoming Game of Thrones documentary, The Last Watch, which shows Kit Harington crying during the Season 8 table read. That is set to air on HBO a week after the finale.
In the meantime, you can relive all the action from "The Bells" in our gallery of photos from Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 5, but we don't blame you if you'd rather pretend none of this ever happened.
Episode 4: 'The Last of the Starks'
We all knew Episode 4 would involve some waiting around and marching toward King's Landing, but in classic Game of Thrones style, the show managed to kill off two more characters. And folks, if we're being honest, we felt these losses much more deeply than those who fell at the Battle of Winterfell (though we are curious about what Daenerys whispered to Jorah at his funeral). Here are all the major deaths so far — there are over 100! And here's Nathalie Emmanuel's goodbye message to her co-stars.
Deaths weren't the only tragedies to mourn in "The Last of the Starks." Gwendoline Christie "was very upset" about Jaime's big decision in the episode, TV Guide editors were upset with the episode's many out-of-character moments, and fans weren't pleased with how Jon did Ghost dirty, despite the director's explanation for the choice. Some famous faces also spoke out about the show's continual mistreatment of its female characters in light of Missandei's fate and Sansa's comments to Sandor Clegane about the abuse she's survived.
In the wake of Daenerys' latest moves, we took a look at whether Dany or Cersei is the true Mad Queen. Fans have a theory about a possible Jon-Dany pregnancy, and other fans are predicting she'll have dragon babies instead.
In lighter news, here are all of the celebrity cameos so far from Season 8 — and here's a cameo from a Starbucks cup (which has now been removed), because it's clown hour in Winterfell. And even though the odds for a happy (or even satisfying) ending to the series are looking pretty grim, our ridiculous photo recap of "The Last of the Starks" and even more ridiculous low-budget video recap will get you laughing anyway.
Episode 3: 'The Long Night'
The Battle of Winterfell is over. In Episode 3: "The Long Night," Arya killed the Night King, winning the Great War for the living. Check out this hilarious photo recap of everything that went down. But the victory did not come without cost — many died, including some of our favorite characters. Here's who lived and died in the Battle of Winterfell, and here's a running list of everyone who's died so far in Game of Thrones.
In the wake of that battle, we broke down why Arya Stark is officially the Buffy Summers of Game of Thrones. Plus, we paid a special tribute to one of the battle's youngest fighters and looked at why Lyanna Mormont's big moment was a nod to the fans — but also discussed how the Battle of Winterfell proved Game of Thrones has lost its nerve. We also crowned a winner in an unofficial faceoff against Avengers: Endgame, the other pop culture behemoth released this weekend.
Now that the Night King is defeated, we're looking ahead to predict what comes next in the final three episodes. Want more theories? We also dug into what Melisandre's prophecy could mean for Arya. (Here's everyone who's still on Arya's kill list.)
And to get you excited about what's next, here's the Game of Thrones Episode 4 trailer that shows Cersei ready to defend her throne, Daenerys continuing her conquest, and the dragon Rhaegal very much alive.
In the meantime, relive the action with all the photos from Episode 3: "The Long Night," learn all about the episode's celebrity cameos, and find out where the latest installment falls in our ranking of every single episode of Game of Thrones.
Episode 2: 'A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms'
Episode 2, aptly titled "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms," saw even more of our favorite characters joining the army for the living, holed up in Winterfell before the impending battle with the Night King's army of the dead. Here's what went down, here's a ridiculous photo recap version of what went down, and here's why it may just be the best episode of Game of Thrones ever.
Arise, Brienne fans — we celebrated Brienne of Tarth, the last good thing about Game of Thrones, after that eventful episode.
For the strategists, we broke down three theories on why the crypts could be key to the coming battle for Winterfell, and we figured out which characters are most likely to die fighting the White Walkers. And if any of these fine folks join the Night King's team, we'll be gutted. But all hope isn't lost — here are 10 long-gone characters we're waiting to appear in the final season, including a direwolf.
A new weapon was forged in "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms," and a fabled piece of Valyrian steel changed hands. Here's a handy cheat sheet to all of the weapons at play in Game of Thrones Season 8 — and who wields them.
We explained what "Jenny's Song," which Podrick sang in episode 2, could mean for our characters.
And after the events of the premiere and the foreshadowing in Episode 2, we got into a big debate about whether or not Game of Thrones should stop brutally killing kids on the show.
You can relive every moment of the second episode of the season with this photo gallery.
And enjoy the best GIFs of the episode (and the season) here.
Episode 1: 'Winterfell'
We reviewed the Season 8 premiere — which finally remembered how to balance drama with humor.
Here's a quick (and spoiler-ridden!) recap in case you need the highlights to keep up with your coworkers on slack, and a very ridiculous photo recap if you're in the mood to poke fun at the melodrama. Meanwhile, if you need a quick video recap because reading is hard and/or takes too long, we've got that too.
Kit Harington said filming his big dragon-riding scene left him feeling a bit, ahem, crushed.
About Jon Snow... there's reason to be concerned about his battle-planning skills, given his less-than-stellar track record.
What is stellar, however, is everyone's fashion game so far. Project Runway alum and costume expert Nick Verreos examines the costumes in the premiere — and breaks down what they can tell us about the future of our favorite characters.
Meanwhile, the Night King gave us more clues to decipher... how about that symbol?
Just in case all of that wasn't enough, relive the spectacle of the premiere in this gallery.
We've Looked Into the Flames
Since we can't consult R'hllor, we turned to a psychic, a mathematician, and a superfan to predict what's going to happen in the final season of Game of Thrones.
That big reveal in the season premiere has us wondering if a betrayal is coming. Here's our deep-dive theory (with spoilers from the Season 8 premiere!) on what that revelation could tell us about the show's endgame.
These are the seven most popular GoT fan theories — and two that actually came true.
We also made some predictions of our own: Here's how it's all going to end.
The Royal Family
Game of Thrones has turned its stars into household names.
Maisie Williams, Sophie Turner, Kit Harington, Peter Dinklage, Emilia Clarke, Lena Headey, and the rest of the GOT cast walked the red carpet for the Season 8 premiere.
Here's what the Game of Thrones stars look like in real life, when they're not donning their Westeros garb, and here's how they've grown up since the show debuted all the way back in 2011.
The stars gushed about the show's final season — and dropped a few hints, as well.
And find out what's next for the Game of Thrones actors and actresses we've grown to love.
All Men Must Die
All men must die, but that doesn't mean they have to stay dead in the world of Game of Thrones. Here's every GoT character who's died so far — and a few who came back.
Arya's kill list is shrinking, but she's not finished yet. Who's on Arya's list and why?
Westeros is a dangerous place. Find out how you would die.
The North Remembers
It's worth remembering that Game of Thrones didn't start out as a Big Deal. TV critic Maureen Ryan revisits the very first episode:
"Cast your mind back, way back. To a time when a handful of TV networks — none of them streaming — unquestionably ruled the TV landscape. To a time when looking at Twitter did not make you want to set rage fires every day. Back when the number of Supernatural seasons was in the single digits and Broad City hadn't even premiered. Bless the old gods, we were all so young back then." Keep reading...
A Song of Sex and Violence
Game of Thrones excels in its portrayals of friendships, frenemies, and fights, but romantic relationships... not so much. The fact is, Game of Thrones has often had a limited, predictable, and depressing view of sex, which far too often has involved sexual violence. Keep reading...
We Drink and We Know Things
A Game of Thrones watch party is hardly an occasion where a bucket of wings and some bargain cola will cut it. Out of respect for this series' epic, movie-level production and the fact that GoT will leave us forever (until that prequel drops, anyway), your Game of Thrones Season 8 premiere shindig will require all the creativity and dedication you've got. So TV Guide partnered with the expert mixologists at Ever Bar, a hip hangout inside Hollywood's Everly Hotel to whip up some Game of Thrones-inspired cocktails in honor of House Stark, House Lannister, and House Targaryen.
You Know Nothing, Jon Snow
... or do you? Test your Game of Thrones cred with some of the hardest trivia quizzes in the Seven Kingdoms.
Even the North can't remember these Game of Thrones pilot characters. Can you?
You remember these iconic GOT characters who died, but do you remember who killed them?
Shut Up and Take Our Lannister Gold
Game of Thrones may be ending, but Game of Thrones merch is forever. Here are 20 GOT-themed products worth parting with your hard-earned cash.
And Now Our Watch Is Ended
Mourning the end of Game of Thrones? Can't get enough Westeros? Here's everything to know about the upcoming Game of Thrones prequel.