‘Game of Thrones’ fans get emotional seeing past and present stars at red carpet premiere

Now This/YouTube

I’m not crying, you’re crying.

The countdown is on: In 10 days, we’ll finally get to watch the first episode of Game of Thrones season 8, which will hit HBO on April 14. And as if to remind us that one of our all-time favorite shows is coming to an end, the final season’s red carpet premiere saw cast members from every season in attendance at Radio City in New York on Wednesday.

Cast members whose characters are still making a play for the Iron Throne, like Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen), Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister), Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark), and Maisie Williams (Arya Stark), were joined by actors of seasons past at the special screening of season 8’s first episode.

HBO noted in its production diary for the show how “the cast was emotional as they approached the beginning of the end after nearly a decade of Game of Thrones.” Thrones alum Pedro Pascal (Oberyn Martell) captured the mood best when he said in the post, “It’s like a high school reunion.” Clarke added, “[The night was] really exciting and wonderful, but also incredibly sad.”

The glitzy affair likewise proved to be an emotional one for fans who were either at the venue or watched it all unfold on Twitter as we did. As the noise bubbled on Twitter, fans made memes and celebrated with reaction GIFs.

Game of Thrones red carpet

Turner and Williams, who play the still-standing Stark sisters, tugged at fans’ heartstrings when they hugged it out on the red carpet. @sansacstark tweeted, “I’m not crying, you’re crying.”

Meanwhile, everyone couldn’t get enough of Pascal’s red carpet antics and reunion with Indira Varma, who played his paramour Ellaria Sand, and Hafthor Bjornsson, who portrays Gregor “the Mountain” Clegane who killed Pascal’s character in the Season 4 episode “The Mountain and the Viper.” Pascal and Varma treated fans to some PDA, while he mock-strangled Bjornsson and pressed at his own eyes to role-play Oberyn’s death.

Fans shipped the red carpet reunions of Game of Thrones lovers and real-life couple Harington and Rose Leslie (she played Ygritte, who died in season 4), as well as of Coster-Waldau and Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth), whose characters’ relationship is a fan-favorite.

Fans also relished the reunion of House Lannister and House Stark, especially with their respective patriarchs.

Dearly departed Game of Thrones stars return

People were excited to see the stars who played characters that have long passed in the show, like Jason Momoa (Khal Drogo), Charles Dance (Tywin Lannister), Sean Bean (Ned Stark), Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell), and even Jack Gleeson (who brilliantly portrayed the despicable Joffrey Baratheon), return for the premiere.

@wondrousdiana and @mischiefl0ki definitely miss Margaery. (We feel you.)

@eOhmz called Ned Stark “the best man to ever sit on the Iron Throne.” (Well, he didn’t really, but it would have been awesome.)

Seeing Kristian Nairn, the actor behind the beloved Hodor who sacrificed himself for Bran Stark (portrayed by Isaac Hempstead-Wright, also present that day) proved to be too much “too soon” for some.

Meanwhile, Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish actor Aidan Gillen’s red carpet side-eye got people thinking “he’s already plotting something, everyone exit the building,” as @kithoerington quipped.

Behind-the-scenes moments

Fans captured some light-hearted moments between the stars and their dates, the photographers, and fans, like when @lawrenstone LOL-ed because she overheard photographers call Joe Jonas “Mister Turner” while being photographed with his fiancee. (Here’s video proof.)

Later in the evening, someone also captured Turner “ditching” Jonas for Gleeson. (Of course, we all remember that their characters Sansa and Joffrey were supposed to get married, but that never happened.)

Meanwhile, @fienchen82 noted that photographers called Clarke “Khaleesi” (to jog your memory, that’s the title of the wife of the Dothraki leader Khal, which she was at the beginning of the series).

@emiliaclrvke captured Jacob Anderson (Grey Worm) high-fiving fans and called it “the purest thing ever.”

Game of Thrones red carpet memes

Seeing past and present stars on the season 8 premiere red carpet made it sink in for some: “It really is the end,” @deejayhlb tweeted. (It only kinda is.)

Yet some people are in denial about it being the end of the Game of Thrones original series.

Absentees, led by Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister) and Richard Madden (Robb Stark), were not lost on the fans who were doing a mental roll call—not to mention coming up with their own theories and memes to account for the absences.

Some have theories about Headey’s absence. (On her Instagram, she said she’s missing the premiere because she’s sick.)

The most emotional moment at the red carpet premiere capped the night: cast members taking a bow together onstage.

Now take a deep breath, sit back, and hold tight. April 14 is coming.


Need more news from beyond the Wall? Sign up here to receive our weekly Game of Thrones newsletter from in-house expert Michelle Jaworski.

Trixie Reyna

Trixie Reyna

Trixie Reyna-Benedicto is a lifestyle editor and writer based in the Philippines. Previously, she helmed Cosmopolitan Philippines’ website,, as its founding editor. She later served as editor-in-chief of lifestyle and entertainment portals for Manila-based media company TV5. Her work has appeared in several print and online publications in her country, and she contributes to Speed Magazine, DG Traveler, and Connected Women, among others. Visit her website,