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HBO’s Game of Thrones episode 3 preview looks ahead to the Battle of Winterfell

The stage is set, the players are in position, and the second episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones ensured that many of the show’s key figures have tied up loose ends before they head into battle with the army of The Night King.

The Battle of Winterfell is nearly upon us, and HBO is keeping anticipation high with a brief preview of the upcoming third episode of Game of Thrones.

Most of the major characters playing a role in the impending battle are glimpsed — or heard — in the short video, which is accompanied by the ominous title “The Dead are already here.” Everyone expects some fan-favorite characters to meet their ends in the climactic battle, but exactly who will still be standing when the dust settles remains one of the series’ most closely guarded secrets.

The premiere of Game of Thrones‘ eighth and final season on April 14 was one of the premium cable network’s most-watched episodes of any series — both legally and illegally, according to reports on how much the episode was pirated online. That high viewership reportedly continued with this weekend’s second episode, and the upcoming third episode isn’t expected to bring that trend to an end. (Although it might do exactly that to certain characters’ story arcs.)

After making fans wait nearly two years for the show’s final season, Game of Thrones is wrapping up its eight-year run with a final, six-episode season that pits the surviving characters against the armies of The Night King, a terrifying figure with the power to reanimate the dead and bend their wills to his own.

Although the show’s series finale will air in May, that won’t be the end of the saga inspired by author George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy novels. A Game of Thrones prequel series is currently in the works with Kingsman: The Secret Service and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children screenwriter Jane Goldman attached as head writer and showrunner, with Martin himself also involved. The still-untitled series will be set thousands of years before the events of Game of Thrones and feature two-time Oscar nominee Naomi Watts in a lead role.

Episode 3 of Game of Thrones season 8 will air Sunday, April 21, on HBO at 9 p.m. ET.

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