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Game Of Thrones: First Photo From Season 8 Unveiled

The night is dark and full of terrors, but the entertainment world is bright and full of juicy new information on the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones — starting with the first look at the closing chapter. 

Coming to us by way of the cover for the latest edition of Entertainment Weekly magazine, the first photo from Game of Thrones season 8 sees Emilia Clarke's Daenerys Targaryen cozying up to Kit Harington's Jon Snow — who isn't a bastard born in the north of Westeros to Sean Bean's Ned Stark and an anonymous woman Ned had an affair with, but is actually Aegon Targaryen, the legitimate son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen, the fallen Prince of Dragonstone. This also makes Jon the nephew of Daenerys — but since he doesn't yet know the truth behind his birth, Jon ended up taking the Mother of Dragons to bed with him in the final moments of Thrones' season 7 finale. So while it makes sense that the characters are keeping warm in one another's arms in this first-look snap, given the passionate relationship they recently struck up, there's a lot more to their embrace than meets the eye.

The photo — which shows Clarke's Dany and Harington's Jon standing in a snowy location, dressed in their winter's best — hints that the pair will continue working side by side as they travel to King's Landing and assert Dany's claim to the Westerosi throne and argue why she's the only woman fit to become the Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Lady of the Seven Kingdoms, and Protector of the Realm. 

At some point, Jon's best pal and aspiring Maester Samwell Tarly (John Bradley) and/or Jon's thought-to-be half-brother Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) will break the news to him that his mother is Lyanna Stark and his father is Rheagar Targaryen, Dany's older brother and the eldest son of King Aerys II Targaryen. There's no telling how the revelation will affect Jon's psyche, but we have a feeling that once he learns that the man he believed was his father is actually his uncle and the white-haired beauty he hopes to make his wife one day is his aunt will really do a number on him. 

Of course, there's plenty more fans have to look forward to seeing in Game of Thrones' eighth season than just the Dany-Jon dynamic. Series co-executive producer Bryan Cogman revealed that the final six episodes of the series are "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." The individual storylines merge to form "an incredibly emotional haunting bittersweet final season," Cogman told EW, that honors what A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin "set out to do — which is flipping this kind of story on its head."

And that coming-together of each piece of the Thrones puzzle is set to start straight out of the gate, as the very first episode of Thrones season 8 "opens at Winterfell with an episode that contains plenty of callbacks to the show's pilot." As EW details, the beginning of the end will see Daenerys and her army — likely with her Hand of the Queen Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) and companion Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) in tow as well — coming through the gates of Winterfell in a scene reminiscent of King Robert's procession arriving in the debut episode of Game of Thrones, "Winter Is Coming." The outlet notes that what follows Dany's arrival in Winterfell is "a thrilling and tense intermingling of characters — some of whom have never previously met, many who have messy histories — as they all prepare to face the inevitable invasion of the Army of the Dead." 

The more characters meet one another for the first time in a long time or for the first time ever, the more they butt heads — like when Jon eventually reunites with Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner), who isn't initially all that happy to learn Jon pledged his loyalty and bent the knee to Dany before sweeping her off her dainty Targaryen feet. Tensions will rise with each passing episode before reaching a boiling-over point that leads to the biggest, most brutal confrontation in Game of Thrones history: a showdown between the humans and the Army of the Dead that took 55 nights outdoors — plus several weeks on a studio set — to shoot. 

As Tyrion actor Peter Dinklage describes the upcoming fight, "It makes the Battle of the Bastards look like a theme park" — and that's saying something considering the blow-out battle between Jon Snow and his allies and Ramsay Bolton's (Iwan Rheon) clan of crazies won a record-breaking seven Emmys and has been regarded as "among the most beautifully shot [sequences] in the show's history." 

Without a shadow of a doubt, Game of Thrones fans are in for a final season of the beloved show that will grant them everything they could have hoped for — and maybe even more.