The eighth and final season of Game of Thrones will premiere on HBO in April 2019, but the series finale won’t be the last time the hit show’s cast is brought together. A Game of Thrones reunion special was filmed that involves at least a few long-gone cast members from the show’s early seasons.
According to Entertainment Weekly, the special was filmed in Belfast, Ireland, in early 2018, with Conan O’ Brien serving as host of the event. Season 1 actor Sean Bean, who portrayed Ned Stark, participated in the special and is the only confirmed cast member at this point — although other actors from the show’s early seasons were seen around Belfast during that time, too.
Surprisingly, the special isn’t expected to air on HBO, and will instead be made available on a Game of Thrones box set that will offer the entire eight seasons of the series in one collection. At this point, it’s unknown how soon after the show’s conclusion the box set will start appearing on shelves.
Given the massive body count the series has recorded over seven seasons, the pool of cast members likely to return for a reunion special is fairly large. Both heroes and villains in the series have met with unexpected — and often gruesome — deaths, regardless of how popular the characters (or how high-profile the actors playing the characters) have been. Jason Momoa, who will appear in the superhero movie Aquaman in December, has made multiple visits to the show’s Belfast set over the years, and is another likely candidate to return for a reunion event.
Although the exact premiere date for Game of Thrones season 8 is unknown at this point beyond the general April 2019 window, it’s been confirmed that the series’ final arc will be comprised of six episodes. With author George R.R. Martin still working on the next installment of the novels that inspired the show, the final season will include a significant amount of original material not found in Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, as well as some content Martin had planned to include in the saga’s final chapter and revealed to the showrunners.