Game of Thrones season 8 is so close to its April 14 premiere that we can already feel winter's cold embrace - but if you want to go in completely unspoiled, you may want to steer clear of social media for a bit. At the final season's red carpet premiere in New York City last night, lucky fans and cast members past and present got to bear witness to season 8's first episode - including the redone intro.
Spoilers ahead, as Carice van Houten (who plays Melisandre) recorded some of the opening sequence for her Instagram, which has now resurfaced on Reddit and somehow still hasn't been taken down by an HBO hit squad.
You can watch the sneak peek for yourself by following the link above, but the first thing you'll notice is that the style is very different to the Game of Thrones intro we've come to know and love. Why would the showrunners decide to change the style of the show's intro so drastically for season 8? Well, it is the final season so maybe they wanted something a bit special...
The snow-covered game board where all the miniature castles lavishly materialize, signifies that winter is indeed here for season 8's climactic finish. That city we can see a glimpse of straight away is Last Hearth, the seat of House Umber in the northern regions, indicating that it'll play a significant role in the new season.
You can see tiles of the board flipping to look like ice spreading southward, though the ice seems to wrap around Last Hearth; commenters in the Reddit thread have theorized that this could have some significance to the plot, and wondered if the ice will continue creeping across the map in the intro as the season plays out.
To an outsider, it might seem like 15 seconds of intro wouldn't mean much, but longtime Game of Thrones fans know the evolution of Game of Thrones' title sequence has always conveyed much about the sweeping scope and power shifts throughout the show's long journey. You can see the full intro for yourself when the first episode of Game of Thrones season 8 airs on April 14, which is one of the few season 8 episodes with a runtime that clocks in under an hour.
In case you need to catch up on everything that's happened so far, here's the ultimate Game of Thrones recap.