The premiere of the eighth and concluding season of HBO’s fantasy series Game of Thrones in New York City on Wednesday was a fittingly star-studded farewell.

The red carpet was graced by major actors from the show, including Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen), Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) and Maisie Williams (Arya Stark).

The concluding season, which will be premiered on April 14 (April 15 India time on Star World and Hotstar), will see the fan favourites go head-to-head for the Iron Throne one last time, while also waging war with the White Walkers and the ice dragon Viserion. A replica of the Iron Throne at the entrance of Radio City Music Hall was served as a reminder of what is to come in the much-awaited series finale.

Also in attendance were the actors who play deceased characters on the show, including Jack Gleeson (Joffrey Baratheon), Jason Momoa (Khal Drogo), Pedro Pascal (The Red Viper) and Sean Bean (Eddard Stark).

Joe Jonas posed with Jack Gleeson and his his fiancee, Sophie Turner. Jack Gleeson played Joffrey Baratheon, who was briefly married to Turner’s Sansa in the show, before his death by poisoning. “I thought this dude was dead,” Jonas tweeted.

Among the highlights were the striking portraits of the major cast members. Clarke, Harington, his wife Rose Leslie (who played Ygritte in the show), Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth) and Dinklage were some of stars who were snapped at the venue.

The event was also marked by a few unlikely reunions. An impressed fan posted a version of the 10-year challenge for Harington, Turner and Williams.

Another fan rooted for a potential new friendship in the show.

The cast and crew could barely contain their excitement at the premiere. “Every single character is coming to a point in their journey where it is make or break,” Clarke said with a nervous laugh in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “This is bonkers. I feel great, and weird, and strange,” the actress added to the publication.

Williams, who plays one of the Starks, stuck up for her television sibling: “Sansa is the most incredible character. The world would be a better place with Sansa Stark on the Iron Throne.”

The premiere was also attended by the show’s executive producer and author George RR Martin. The series, which has been created by David Benioff and DB Weiss and is based on Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels, has overtaken the fictional universe of the books. The writer is in the process of completing the sixth novel in the series, The Winds of Winter. The novel has been in the making for eight years.

“It’s been an incredible ride,” Martin told Entertainment Weekly in an interview. “And almost all of it has been great. Obviously, I wished I finished these books sooner so the show hadn’t gotten ahead of me. I never anticipated that.”

While the no-spoiler rule was in play at the event, Entertainment Weekly journalist Jibberd assured that the final season was “deeply satisfying.”

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