- Warning: Spoilers ahead for HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”
- “Game of Thrones” season eight features a new version of the show’s iconic opening credits.
- In addition to the major overhaul we saw on episode one this season, each week there are small new details being added.
- For Sunday’s series finale, the small map in the Red Keep foreshadowed the coming independence of the North with a big crack through outline of Westeros.
- Visit INSIDER.com for more stories.
Starting on the premiere of “Game of Thrones” season eight, HBO’s iconic opening credits sequence got a major makeover with new animation of the main castles in Westeros. But in addition to those obvious thematic changes, it appears as though each week will bring small tweaks to the format.
Keep reading for a look at all the changes made to the “Game of Thrones” season eight credits (so far).
For seven seasons, the “astrolabe” bands told the story of major historical events in “Game of Thrones” history.
Starting with Aegon Targaryen’s conquest of the Seven Kingdoms, and going to Robert’s Rebellion and then the War of the Five Kings, the credits used to highlight three events that were precursors to the current fight against the Army of the Dead.
Now the first major event shown is the Night King taking down the Wall.
The old credits showed everything in chronological order, but now it’s working backwards.
You can see a row of the Army of the Dead in the lower right corner and ravens flying off from the top left side. Those likely represent Bran’s ravens and also the brothers of the Night’s Watch.
The Night King used the undead-Viserion to bring down part of the Wall on the seventh season finale.
The destruction of the Wall, which has stood for thousands of years, is one of the biggest catastrophes Westeros has ever seen.
The next event shown is the Red Wedding.
On this band, a dead wolf (Lady Catelyn) hangs from the towers of the Twins (House Frey’s castle) while a Flayed Man (House Bolton) holds up another wolf’s head (King Robb Stark).
To the left, a lion (Tywin Lannister) holds a fish in its jaws (House Tully).
In case you need a brutal reminder, Robb was beheaded after his death.
The Freys sewed his direwolf’s head onto Robb’s body and paraded it through the castle grounds.
The last event comes from the first season finale: The birth of Daenerys Targaryen’s dragons.
On this band, we see the red comet and three small dragons flying next to a large dragon (which represents Daenerys herself, Mother of Dragons).
The birth of Dany’s dragons marked a resurgence of magic in the world of “Game of Thrones.”
Though the White Walkers had already begun their march south and other inklings of magical events were present, it was the miraculous birth of dragons that really pushed the world into new history-making territory.
For the premiere episode of season eight, the credits showed the Army of the Dead creeping towards Last Hearth.
Last Hearth is the castle of House Umber. By the end of the episode, we learned the Night King’s army had reached the castle and killed all within.
On episode two, the blue tiles were now entirely swarming Last Hearth.
The credits are tracking the movement of the Army of the Dead using those blue tiles. Next week, we can expect to see them right outside the gates of Winterfell.
This is how Winterfell looked on the first episode of season eight:
We saw the House Stark castle overview with the main keep and godswood.
By episode two, new defences were shown around the castle.
As Queen Daenerys, Jon Snow, and their armies prepared for the coming battle, the credits reflected updates made to the castle grounds. We now see the trenches built on each border of Winterfell.
At the start of episode three, the Army of the Dead was right outside of Winterfell.
Just as predicted, the blue tiles crept all the way up to the grounds of House Stark’s beloved castle by the beginning of the third episode, “The Long Night.”
The Winterfell crypts were also changed slightly for episode three’s opening.
For the first two episodes, as seen above, the sweeping shot of the crypts showed flickering torches lining the hallway.
On episode three’s shot, the torches start going out at the end of the hallway.
This was an early signal that the Army of the Dead would inflict its horror on the people inside the crypts, too.
You can see the torches going out in the crypts in the small GIF below:
The fourth episode showed Winterfell’s post-battle destruction and the swath of funeral pyres.
In the top corner, near where the Army of the Dead was marked before, little burning funeral pyres dot the landscape.
The main tower of Winterfell is also visibly damaged in this version of the credits.
The interior of Winterfell showed piles of rubble, too.
The main hall of Winterfell was left in shambles for episode four’s opening credits, even though once the episode began all seemed well inside for the celebratory feast.
The fifth episode brought a change to King’s Landing for the first time.
Above you can see what the gates to King’s Landing looked like for the first four episodes of this season.
At the start of “The Bells,” Cersei’s “scorpion” crossbows popped up on the top ramparts.
These dragon-slaying devices appeared on the intro for “The Bells,” but Daenerys destroyed them all. We were ready to see pure destruction in the King’s Landing for the finale’s opening credits.
For the sixth and final episode of the series, we saw the devastation of King’s Landing.
As anticipated, the gates of King’s Landing were in ruins for the opening credits of the series finale, “The Iron Throne.”
The entryway to the Red Keep was also shown in disarray before the camera swept to the interior shots of the castle.
The little map of Westeros inside the Red Keep had a big crack across it.
This was the most important detail in the new opening credits for “The Iron Throne.”
We later saw Tyrion walking in that very room, and the broken map splits almost precisely where the North is marked.
This was an in-episode foreshadowing of Sansa Stark’s coronation as Queen in the North and the future of that kingdom being independent once more.
When the credits moved into Cersei’s spiral staircase, you can see how chunks of the architecture are missing.
This was a result of Daenerys Targaryen’s attack on the Red Keep. We saw the erosion of the staircase in particular during Sandor and Gregor Clegane’s fight to the death, aka Cleganebowl.
Here’s what the underground dragon skull dungeon looked like for earlier episodes:
Tyrion told Jaime to escape from King’s Landing with Cersei by using this passageway, but they were crushed by the falling rubble.
On Sunday’s finale episode, one of the dragon skulls was crumbled.
This was less destruction than we had anticipated for this room.
And last but not least, the episode’s title object itself: The Iron Throne.
The above sight of the Iron Throne, intact and with the lion of House Lannister stationed above it, was how the Red Keep appeared for the first five episodes of this final “Game of Thrones” season.
But in the end, Queen Cersei’s reign came to an end, and the Iron Throne itself was destroyed.
After Daenerys Targaryen’s death at the hands of Jon Snow, Drogon melted the Iron Throne into a puddle and flew off with his mother’s body. Bran Stark was named King of the Six Kingdoms, took a new raven’s sigil for himself, and his sister Sansa claimed the North’s independence.
For more “Game of Thrones” insights like these from INSIDER’s Kim Renfro, preorder “The Unofficial Guide to ‘Game of Thrones'” now.
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