Kit Harington has promised the final season of Game Of Thrones will be “bigger than any other season – by a long way”.
The star, who has played hero Jon Snow since the first episode in 2011, says being a part of the epic show has been “a rollercoaster” for the whole cast.
With just hours to go until fans get to see the first episode of season eight – after a wait of almost two years – there is much speculation about how the hugely successful TV show will end.
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Will Jon Snow and his new queen Daenerys Targaryen rule the Seven Kingdoms together? Will Cersei Lannister reign? Or will producers live up to their reputation of killing off fan favourites and let the Night King triumph over everyone?
Speaking at the season eight premiere in Belfast, where much of the show was filmed, Harington was giving nothing away about the final battle for Westeros.
However, he promised a series like no other before – which is no mean feat when you’re talking about the show that brought us Battle of the Bastards and Hardhome.
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“We went big, on spectacle and scale and ambition,” Harington told Sky News.
“We went bigger than any other season by a long way. What you get to see is all of your characters’ stories hopefully being served correctly and right and you get to see the culmination of nine years under the blanket of one amazing spectacle.”
Harington said he had been experiencing “every emotion” after finishing filming and now getting ready to finally say goodbye.
“It’s everything from pride to joy to fear,” he said. “I mean, the whole thing was a rollercoaster – and the ending is just as much of a rollercoaster.”
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Harington said the show, which is the most awarded series in Emmys history, with 38 wins, would leave a number of legacies.
“I think it will have changed the genre of fantasy massively; in how it’s viewed, in the respect people give it, in how people feel they can do things on TV within fantasy,” he said.
“I also think the thing I’m proud of most is that we wrote stories for complex characters and complex female characters, and that’s what I think will be a lasting legacy.”
Other stars at the premiere also said they were proud of what the show has achieved.
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Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark and has grown up on the show, having started filming when she was 14, said: “I think the legacy is going to be the show that pushed boundaries, the show that went as far with their imagination as possible – and actually succeeded.”
Liam Cunningham, who plays Davos Seaworth, said: “It feels bigger than all of us. The star of Game Of Thrones is Game Of Thrones and it’s an extraordinary thing to be a part of. It will probably be on my gravestone, but I’m not complaining about that.”
Cunningham said it felt surreal to finally be saying goodbye.
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“It’s kind of a bittersweet thing,” he said. “It’s tough to say goodbye but there’s also a sense of accomplishment – that you’d made it without breaking a leg, or getting sacked or killed.
“[The last season] is epic, absolutely epic. I ain’t telling you what happens – but it’s epic.”
He said the series had “raised the bar” for television.
“Now it’s up to the next boys and girls to come along and shame us and make something magnificent.”
It’s going to be a tough act to follow.
:: The final series of Game Of Thrones airs on Sky Atlantic on 15 April at 2am and 9pm.
:: Want to recap on the story so far? All episodes of Game Of Thrones from series 1-7 are now available to watch on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV.