'Game of Thrones' Season 8 Premiere Spoilers: It Ends Like It Begins

Entertainment Weekly went behind the scenes of Game of Thrones Season 8, mostly to capture the reactions of the landmark HBO fantasy series' cast and crew to its coming conclusion. But between details about the tight security, Kit Harington crying, "drone killer" guns and Emilia Clarke's on-set codename ("Eldiss"), there's also some new information about what Westeros will look like when Game of Thrones Season 8 premieres. We now know that the end of Game of Thrones, its final six episodes, opens just like the show began.

Season 8's premiere opens with Daenerys and her army arriving at Winterfell, an intentional mirror of the very first episode of Game of Thrones, which opens with King Robert's procession arriving in the North. The set-up calls back to the show's pilot in other ways too, as characters who have never met and long-awaited reunions makes tense the preparations against the invading army of the Night's King, who tore down The Wall protecting the kingdoms of Westeros at the end of Season 7.

Particularly tense is the relationship between Jon Snow, Daenerys and Sansa, incensed that her adopted brother (not that she knows that…) has pledged loyalty to the Mother of Dragons.

"It's all about all of these disparate characters coming together to face a common enemy, dealing with their own past, and defining the person they want to be in the face of certain death," co-executive producer Bryan Cogman told EW.

Are we talking "actual certain death" certain death or more, like, Star Wars "never tell me the odds" certain death? Expect a substantial dose of the former, though a description of the season finale suggests some surprises among who survives Game of Thrones through to its end.

"Several actors are performing, and I'm stunned: There are characters in the finale that I did not expect," James Hibberd writes. "I gradually begin to piece together what happened in Westeros over the previous five episodes and try not to look like I'm freaking out."

Followed immediately by a quote from actor Joe Dempsie, it's hard not to read Hibberd's anecdote as hinting at Gendry's presence at the end. Perhaps all of our heroes (and Cersei) will go down fighting, leaving only a Baratheon bastard as the last one standing to occupy the Iron Throne?

While showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are directing the finale, "Battle of the Bastards" director Miguel Sapochnik will tackle a full, episode-long battle preceding it —the battle between the living and the dead, inevitable since the very first episode . It's expected to be the longest sustained action sequence ever made.

"It's brutal," Dinklage said to EW. "It makes the Battle of the Bastards look like a theme park."

'Game of Thrones' Season 8 Premiere Spoilers: It Ends Like It Begins | Culture