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The latest news on TV from Business Insider

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    Ellen DeGeneres

    Whether it's movie stars or directors, everyone is flocking to TV and streaming lately to cash in. But the money has always been there for TV show hosts.

    They are the ones who are in our living rooms on a daily basis, and since the 1950s executives have shaped TV hosts — whether they be on morning shows or late night — to have a quality that makes them almost feel like they are part of our family. And that leads to big bucks.

    Variety has compiled the biggest estimated annual salaries of reality, news, and talk show hosts. There's newbies to the game like Mike Meyers, Jamie Foxx, and Megyn Kelly, and then there are the big hitters like Ryan Seacrest, Ellen DeGeneres, and Judith Sheindlin (you know here better as Judge Judy).

    Here are the top 20 paid hosts:

    Note: Some of these figures below include fees for producing and back-end compensation. 

    SEE ALSO: 34 movies you have to see this fall — including "Justice League,""It," and "Blade Runner 2049"

    Mike Myers (“The Gong Show”) - $3 million

    Jamie Foxx (“Beat Shazam”) - $ 3 million

    Alec Baldwin (“Match Game”) - $3 million

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    stranger things

    The INSIDER Summary: 

    • The creators of Netflix's "Stranger Things" are planning to end the show after four seasons.
    • They said they can't justify something bad happening to the characters on a yearly basis.
    • The "Stranger Things" kids are currently on the cover of New York Magazine. 

    The end could already be in sight for Netflix’s "Stranger Things." Just a day after season three was officially confirmed, show creators have alluded that the fourth might be its last.

    “We’re thinking it will be a four-season thing and then out,” Ross Duffer told New York Magazine. His brother Matt then spoke of the difficulty in writing the show, adding: “We just have to keep adjusting the story. Though I don’t know if we can justify something bad happening to them once a year.”

    Accordingly, the "Stranger Things" kids appeared on the cover of the issue, with each rocking a denim get-up. “We wanted to do something that had an element of elevated style, but still feels age-appropriate, so that’s how we arrived at the idea of doing a period denim look,” said the magazine’s senior photo editor Roxanne Behr.

    “It’s by these twin brothers no one’s ever heard of. And it may be the best pilot I’ve ever read”. The Duffer brothers thought they’d flamed out in Hollywood. Then they came up with Stranger Things. For a time last summer, the show was all anyone was talking about: those kids, and Eleven, and that adorably weird redheaded girl named Barb. #justiceforbarb The canny advance of Stranger Things lies in how it acknowledges the ways that, in the age of the internet, different eras collide, even as it recombines iconic sounds, images, and visual references to create a modernized version of a cultural experience that is all but lost. Tap the link in bio for our latest cover story on what the brothers had to say about the highly anticipated season 2 and what they want to work on next. 📸: @aspictures

    A post shared by New York Magazine (@nymag) on Aug 20, 2017 at 6:33pm PDT on

    The news would come as a blow to Netflix given the show’s wild success: earlier this year, it landed 18 Emmy nominations, including best drama.

    Stay posted for further information, and watch the season two trailer below.

    SEE ALSO: 'Stranger Things' star teases the 'darker themes' on season 2

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The 7 best science movies and shows on Netflix

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    Cersei Lannister Jaime game of thrones season seven finale Macall B. Polay

    Warning: Spoilers ahead for "Game of Thrones" season seven.

    The season seven finale of "Game of Thrones" is nearly upon us, and fans can't contain their excitement. The finale, titled "The Dragon and the Wolf," has a record-breaking run time of 79 minutes and 43 seconds — effectively the length of a feature film.

    HBO just dropped new photos from the finale, teasing what's in store. Let's take a look and see if we can glean any clue about what to expect.

    SEE ALSO: A crazy 'Game of Thrones' theory about Bran Stark and the Night King is spreading like wildfire

    Bran Stark, or should we say the Three-Eyed Raven, sits in candlelight.

    Sansa is still ruling as Lady of Winterfell. Will her conflict with Arya be resolved in the finale?

    Theon is back, and we know from the tease video he'll be accompanying Jon to King's Landing.

    You can read our breakdown of the trailer for "The Dragon and the Wolf" here.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    south park

    Get ready "South Park" fans. 

    Leading up to the show's season 21 premiere on September 13, Comedy Central will air an eight-day marathon of every single episode from the network's iconic show.

    The fun will start September 6, and the only time the marathon will be halted is for the airing of "The Daily Show" at its regular time.

    So get ready to relive all the most memorable moments in the show's history: Chef, Kenny's gruesome deaths every other episode for years, spoofs of Blockbuster, "Game of Thrones,""World of Warcraft," and every religion (including Scientology), its recent take on Trump, and countless other highlights.  

    If you are curious how many episodes will be in the eight days, it's 254.

    So get yourself ready (just no eating Chipotle beforehand).

    SEE ALSO: 34 movies you have to see this fall — including "Justice League,""It," and "Blade Runner 2049"

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 7 details you might have missed on season 7 episode 3 of 'Game of Thrones'

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    ellen 2015

    How does Ellen DeGeneres' salary compare to that of Stephen Colbert or Kelly Ripa?

    On August 24, Variety released numbers for the salaries of a range of television actors and personalities so you can find out.

    While Judge Judy Sheindlin has finally been dethroned as the highest-paid person on TV, the main takeaway from the new data is that women are being paid the big bucks. Six out of the 10 highest-paid reality and news hosts are female. 

    Keep reading to see how much some of the biggest names on television make.

    [TIE] 9. George Stephanopoulos: $15 million

    The "Good Morning America" host renewed his contract with ABC in 2014According to TV Guide, Stephanopoulos signed on for a five-year deal.

    [TIE] 9. Ryan Seacrest: $15 million

    Seacrest not only joined Ripa on her morning show "Live!" in May, but will also return to host "American Idol" in the fall. He's juggling both of those shows with his radio show "On Air With Ryan Seacrest."

    [TIE] 9. Pat Sajak: $15 million

    In 2013, Sajak told The Huffington Post that he may be nearing the end of his time hosting the game show. But his time at the wheel isn't over just yet. In 2015, Sajak renewed his contract through the 2017 - 2018 season.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Bran Stark Night King Game of Thrones

    Warning: Spoilers ahead for "Game of Thrones" season seven.

    Fan theories are a staple of the "Game of Thrones" community, but every now and again an idea sparks without a whole lot of hard evidence to back it up. The latest in this craze of hypotheticals is a theory stating that Bran Stark is really the Night King

    While it might be an interesting notion, people should probably set aside their tinfoil hats for a moment and consider the facts. First, I'll give an overview of the theory — then break down why it's nonsensical.

    Why people believe Bran is the Night King

    The traumatic scene of Hodor's death on season five seems to have sparked the theory. People believed that seeing Bran accidentally warg into past-Hodor/Wylis was meant to show us that he can change the past and inhabit the bodies of historical figures. 

    Hodor Wylis warging Game of Thrones

    From there, some people began speculating that Bran might try to prevent the coming war against the White Walkers by using his greensight and warging powers to go back in time and stop the Night King from ever being created. 

    Remember when we saw the Children of the Forest plunge a dragonglass dagger into a man's heart, turning his eyes blue? 

    Leaf and Night's King creation White Walkers Game of Thrones

    According the Night King theorists, Bran actually warged into this man in an attempt to prevent the Children of the Forest from turning him, but his plan failed. And thus, Bran became the Night King.

    People have also pointed out that Bran and the Night King wear a similar costume on the show, and their face shape is even a bit similar. This theory also claims that the reason the Night King has now had two stare-offs with Jon Snow and made no attempt to kill him is because it's really Bran who recognizes his half-brother (well, cousin). 

    There is no proof Bran can affect the past

    Here's major problem number one: According to the current canon in both the books and the show, there is no evidence that Bran can actually change the past. Known "A Song of Ice and Fire" expert and one of the moderators of the /r/asoiaf subreddit, BryndenBFish, laid out the counter-argument to this on Twitter:

    In the book series, Bran has a small "whisper" moment with Ned Stark — similar to the scene in "Game of Thrones" when Bran yells "father!" at young Ned and he turns around. 

    But there's no evidence that Ned actually heard him, and not just a rustle of the wind. They didn't have a conversation. 

    Then there's what happened with Wylis/Hodor. This appears to have been a one-off mistake — a huge lesson learned by Bran that his powers can have devastating consequences. But that event was presented as a causal time loop— that mistake had already happened, because Hodor was only Hodor because Bran was always going to accidentally warg into Wylis and force him to witness his own death while "holding the door." Bran didn't change the past, he fulfilled a pre-determined loop of events.

    Confusing, we know. But the logic there is sound.

    Bran Stark vision Game of Thrones

    INSIDER spoke with Isaac Hempstead Wright, who plays Bran, after the tragic Wylis/Hodor episode. We asked if he could explain what happened, and whether or not Bran being separated from the weirwood tree had anything to do with his accidental time-jump warging.

    "I think the whole point of Bran not having physical contact with the tree during that big sequence in episode five is it's almost like a malfunction," Hempstead Wright explained to INSIDER. "It's like when your iPhone's connected to your Mac and it [automatically opens] iTunes — then you pull it out just as it's syncing and everything goes haywire."

    Point being, that was not how his powers normally work. Hinging a theory on the assumption that Bran would be able to consciously make this choice is inherently wobbly logic.

    "Game of Thrones" likely wouldn't change a major character like Bran

    One really important thing to keep in mind is that the Night King is a show-only character. His name is derived from a legendary figure in Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire," but it's not meant to be the same person. In the books, we haven't seen any sort of leader or figurehead for the White Walkers. 

    Night King Game of Thrones season six

    So it's very unlikely that showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss would introduce the Night King in the show, and then have him actually be Bran Stark. This would significantly change Bran's storyline from the books, and we can't see them making that drastic of a shift with a main character. Especially if it meant needing to introduce complicate time travel paradox to the story. 

    What would Bran's motivations be for marching south?

    Another huge issue with this theory is the reasoning (or lack thereof) for why Bran as the Night King would be waging war on humanity. If the theory goes that he warged into the man who was turned into the Night King as an attempt to stop the war, why would he change his mind and continue the war anyways?

    Bran Stark Godswood Valyrian Steel dagger Game of Thrones

    Also, how are Bran and the Night King existing in the same time, separately? We've seen Bran warg into ravens which then saw the Night King — if Bran literally is the Night King, how is his mind present in two bodies at once? When Bran wargs, his spirit enters another body and leaves his own behind and useless — not active and walking. It just doesn't compute that present-Bran would be able to interact with future-Bran stuck inside the Night King's body after warging.

    The Night King is still very mysterious

    The reason why this theory has taken hold with so many people is simple — the Night King is an important but mysterious character. There are many gaps in our understanding of who he is, why the Children of the Forest chose him to "turn," and why he has suddenly become active again and is marching south. Martin has said that he doesn't write pure good or evil characters, so there must be an underlying motivation for the White Walkers that we just don't know yet.

    "Game of Thrones" fans are reaching for answers to questions laid out as far back as season two, when we first saw the Night King turn a baby into a White Walker. It is strange after all that we're heading into the final season of "Game of Thrones" and we still don't fully know why the final climatic battle is taking place.

    We can only hope that the series will provide answers to these questions sooner rather than later. In the meantime, read our roundup of the fan theories most likely to be true.

    SEE ALSO: A crazy 'Game of Thrones' theory about Bran Stark and the Night King is spreading like wildfire

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 6 details you might have missed on season 7 episode 6 of 'Game of Thrones'

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    Daenerys Targaryen Winter Coat Game of Thrones

    Warning: Spoilers ahead for "Game of Thrones" season seven.

    "Game of Thrones" costume designed Michele Clapton is the brilliant mind behind the series' iconic looks — and she outdid herself with a new winter coat for Daenerys Targaryen.

    As Clapton explained to INSIDER during a pre-season seven premiere interview, each piece of clothing worn by the "Game of Thrones" characters tells a story about their mindset and journey.

    "You can see in the way [Daenerys is] dressing that she's almost assuming the power, but not quite," Clapton told INSIDER. "The width of the shoulders give her strength, the chain gives her strength."

    In the latest episode, "Beyond the Wall," Daenerys' look changed drastically with a white striped faux-fur coat. Clapton told INSIDER more about this new look and how it relates to her relationship with Jon Snow.

    Daenerys Drogon Game of Thrones season 7 beyond the wall

    "I felt that there should be a definite shift in her look to reflect her decision to go to the aid of Jon and his team trapped north of the wall," Clapton said in an email. "I think it's the first time that she has really been to the aid of another individual. And let's face it, she's not going because of the Hound and the other members of the team!"

    My early sketch of the coat..

    A post shared by michele clapton (@micheleclapton) on Aug 22, 2017 at 7:21am PDT on

    After Daenerys rescued the men and Jon made it back (barely) to safety, the two heroes shared an intimate moment together. According to Clapton, Jon was likely the root of Daenerys' choice to ride north.

    "She is putting herself and her precious dragons at risk and who for? A threat? A King?" Clapton wrote. "Dany is elevating her look to that of warrior queen, with the beautiful silver dragon chain completing the look."

    Game of Thrones Daenerys dragon chain costume

    The coat was effectively her armor, meant to signal her own strength and fortitude in the face of the White Walkers.

    "She goes in feeling invincible," Clapton said. "A queen with a passion who usually gets her way, at least recently, and then she has to cope with the loss of a 'child' and the dawning of a relationship ... it's very emotional."

    To learn more about Clapton's designs for season seven, read our full interview with her about Cersei and Sansa's new looks and how Daenerys is mimicking her brother Viserys.

    SEE ALSO: 'Game of Thrones' director reveals what George R.R. Martin told him about Jon and Daenerys years ago

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 6 details you might have missed on season 7 episode 6 of 'Game of Thrones'

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    defenders elevator

    There's a lot of frustration over Netflix's secrecy surrounding the viewing numbers for its original series.

    For fans, it makes choosing what's most worthy of their time slightly more difficult to do. For the streaming company's competitors, it feels unfair that they aren't transparent as to how well or how badly its shows are doing – something the TV networks and cable companies have no choice in due to public ratings numbers.

    But some research companies are able to sidestep Netflix's secrecy. One of those companies, Parrot Analytics, analyzes ratings data (where available), social media chatter, blogging, and illegal pirating, among other factors, to figure out the viewer demand for shows. In this way, it can get a pretty good picture of how well Netflix original shows are performing.

    INSIDER teamed up with Parrot to bring to you a ranking of Netflix's shows right now. In ranking the popularity of these shows, Parrot assigned them an expressions total that reflects average daily audience demand in the US from July 24 to August 22, 2017.

    Here are the 10 most popular Netflix original TV shows, according to Parrot Analytics:

    SEE ALSO: Here's everything coming to Netflix in September

    10. "Narcos"

    The first two seasons of this historical drama covered the rise and fall of Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar.

    Average demand expressions: 5.01 million

    9. "Marvel's Iron Fist"

    Believed dead from a plane crash that also claimed his wealthy parents, Danny Rand returns to New York City all grown up, trained in martial arts, and wielding the strength of the the mystical Iron Fist.

    Average demand expressions: 5.28 million

    8. "Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later"

    "Wet Hot American Summer: 10 Years Later" features all the characters fans love from the cult movie as they return to Camp Firewood for a reunion.

    Average demand expressions: 5.53 million

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Game of Thrones truck background HBO

    The INSIDER Summary:

    • A photo of truck in the background of "Game of Thrones" went viral.
    • That screenshot is from a behind-the-scenes video for "Beyond the Wall."
    • Not the actual episode that aired on HBO. 

    This has been quite the week for shoddy "Game of Thrones" news going viral around the web. First a theory about Bran Stark being the Night King gained steam, even though it's very unlikely.

    Then people thought an old yearbook photo of George R.R. Martin had surfaced. It didn't.

    And even though it's Friday, people are still talking about a viral photo of a truck in the Sunday's "Game of Thrones" episode. Except it wasn't.

    While the Snapchat caption was funny, and it would be a great Easter egg if true, there was not a white pick-up truck sitting in the background of a deadly zombie battle. 

    The giveaway is the HBO logo in the bottom right hand corner of the screenshot. Those logos only appear on trailers or behind-the-scenes videos released through HBO Go, HBO Now, and YouTube. Plus, speaking as someone who watches episodes of "Game of Thrones" three times each, that angle of the battle was never shown in the aired episode.

    In this case, the viral photo of the truck came from a featurette called "The Frozen Lake," which was uploaded to YouTube in the days after "Beyond the Wall" aired. 

    You can watch for yourself in the clip below, starting at 9:20.

    For real comparisons between the visual effects work and the actual frozen lake battle, read our breakdown of the epic scene.

    SEE ALSO: A 'Game of Thrones' fan theory about Bran Stark is spreading like crazy — but it overlooks 3 key things

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 8 details you might have missed on season 7 episode 4 of 'Game of Thrones'

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    Advertisers and marketers spend a lot of time and money trying to figure out how to communicate with millennials. They are the first generation of so called "digital natives" and are arguably the most engaged group of consumers ever. As we can see in this chart from Statista, they also have very different media consumption habits than previous generations, and are an anomaly to advertisers desperate to reach them. 

    The old brass of advertising used to be able to broadcast a few good TV ads and be done, but as millennials slowly shift away from traditional electronic media and become more reliant on their phones they become harder to reach.  

    Advertisers are forced to rework their strategies for mobile applications like Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook. This is totally new territory for many of them, and experimenting can lead to some pretty epic fails. Chrysler is infamous for accidentally tweeting out the F word on its official Twitter account, and Microsoft earned big eye rolls when it tried using dubstep in an ad. On the other hand, brands like Denny's have hit the nail on the head with a Twitter account that advertises new products and promotions using humor aimed at millennials. 

    COTD thumb 8/25


    SEE ALSO: People who owned the Galaxy Note 7 are excited for the Note 8 — despite last year's battery debacle

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Mark Cuban's advice for his 20-year-old self — and millennials now

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    Arya Sansa Stark Game of Thrones season 7 Beyond the Wall

    Warning: Spoilers ahead for "Game of Thrones" season seven.

    Sansa and Arya Stark may have incredibly dark roles on "Game of Thrones" this season, but in-real-life BFFs Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams are anything but serious when they're off set.

    In a new Instagram post, Turner shared a photo of herself and Williams in costume but acting nothing like their fictional characters:

    A post shared by Sophie Turner (@sophiet) on

    "In honour of the ["Game of Thrones"] finale out tomorrow night, and of 6 mill followers on instaaaa... here's da reel roadmans of Westeros," Turner wrote in the caption.

    Turner appears to be referencing the slang term "roadman" to describe herself and Williams. Turner and Williams have been best friends for years. Turner even told INSIDER earlier this year that Williams is her "soul mate." 

    This isn't the first time "Game of Thrones" actors have given fans a peek behind the camera this season. Earlier this week Kristofer Hivju, who plays Tormund Giantsbane, uploaded a video on Instagram. The clip showed Rory McCann, aka The Hound, playing ukulele and singing a song.

    Then of course there was the iconic video Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) shared of Kit Harington (Jon Snow) pretending to be a dragon. 

    For more behind-the-scenes delights, follow these 13 "Game of Thrones" actors on Instagram and Twitter.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 8 details you might have missed on season 7 episode 4 of 'Game of Thrones'

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    Arya Stark Daenerys Targaryen season 7 costumes Game of Thrones

    Warning: Spoilers ahead for "Game of Thrones" season seven.

    One of the best parts of "Game of Thrones" season seven has been the dark new costumes nearly every character is wearing. INSIDER caught up with the HBO series' costume designer, Michele Clapton, to learn more about the new looks and what they mean for each character.

    "I love the details," Clapton told INSIDER. "Some people say, 'Well, why don't you make it more obvious,' but that's the joy of 'Game of Thrones' — you have to search things out."

    Let's take a closer look at the main character's new costumes this season.

    We first saw Daenerys Targaryen's new look in an HBO promo. Her fur-lined coat and new dragon chain were front and center.

    Ahead of the season seven premiere, HBO aired a promo starring the "Game of Thrones" cast. Each of them mimicked the iconic HBO "ahhhh" noise, hence their open mouths.

    But this was a fantastic first look at Daenerys' new Dragon Queen look. 

    "She now has this fantastic new chain we've created," Clapton told INSIDER. "I didn't want her to have a crown, I wanted her to have a chain. And she has a red sash hanging from it, which is slightly scaled and pleated as well."

    The new wide shoulders and red detailing is meant to echo her brother Viserys.

    "[Viserys] always had the big Targaryen [sigil] on his chest and now she's got the big chain with the dragon's heads on it," Clapton said.

    One thing of note was the few times Daenerys wore a silvery grey sash instead of the red.

    The first time this appeared was in "Spoils of War," the episode in which Daenerys and Jon Snow share a quiet moment in the dragonglass cave. The colors of House Stark are grey and white, so this might have been a nod towards her growing affection for Jon.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Game of Thrones season seven Daenerys Targaryen Jon Snow Helen Sloan   HBO (Photo 5) (1)

    Warning: Spoilers ahead for "Game of Thrones," including speculation of future events.

    Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow — the two heroic protagonists of HBO's epic "Game of Thrones"— went from uncertain allies to holding hands and making serious eyes at each other in Sunday's episode.

    Alan Taylor, the episode's director, told INSIDER more about what that vulnerable scene meant for Jon and Daenerys (including how she's "falling in love again") and how George R.R. Martin said the story was about these two all along.

    Taylor directed the final two episodes of the first "Game of Thrones" season, and he said Martin was a bit more open about the series back then.

    "[Martin] just sort of mentioned in passing, 'Oh well it's all about Dany and Jon Snow,'" Taylor said. "And at the time I thought, 'Really? I thought it was about Sean Bean and Robb Stark?'"

    Daenerys and Jon Snow Game of Thrones season 7 Beyond the Wall

    "But [Martin] knew from the very beginning where he was driving and now we're starting to see that come to fruition," Taylor said. "We know that it's circling tighter and tighter on Dany and Jon and their partnership is starting to form, you know, 'fire and ice.'"

    When asked if Martin had been specific about Daenerys and Jon being romantically involved, Taylor didn't elaborate.

    "I can't say much more about what [Martin] said about where we're going with Dany and Jon because that leaps ahead into the next season," Taylor said. "But to me the revelation was that, at the time, we had a hundred characters and yet he knew it's about these two."

    In Taylor's latest episode, "Beyond the Wall," Daenerys and Jon held hands as they each mourned the loss of Viserion. Jon also called Daenerys "Dany"— a nickname only used in the show by her now-dead brother Viserys

    Daenerys Targaryen Game of Thrones season 7 ship

    "In my episode we get to take a big step forward in that Jon is no longer competing with her — he was willing to bow down and recognize her as queen," Taylor said. "That's a huge step. And also they're holding hands, and the look that she gives him in that scene where she almost swoons and draws back ... it's pretty clear where this is headed, but it's not there yet."

    We'll have to wait for the season seven finale to see if this love continues heating up, or will it be tempered by the revelation of Daenerys and Jon actually being aunt and nephew?

    For more insights from Taylor, including his thoughts on a fan theory about Longclaw, read our full interview here.

    SEE ALSO: Every 'Game of Thrones' romantic relationship, ranked from worst to best

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How 'Game of Thrones' filmed the epic battle beyond the wall

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    Daenerys Targaryen beach Game of Thrones season 7

    The INSIDER Summary:

    • "Game of Thrones" season seven came to an end on Sunday.
    • The eighth and final season won't air on HBO until at least next summer.
    • But it may even be as late as 2019.
    • The final season could contain six episodes of "feature film" length.

    As the penultimate season of "Game of Thrones" comes to a close, fans are already looking ahead at the epic series' true conclusion. But we still don't know exactly when to expect the eighth and final season.

    Entertainment Weekly's James Hibberd spoke with HBO's programming president, Casey Bloys, about the final season and showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. Hibberd asked about the timeline for the final "Game of Thrones" season.

    Here's that excerpt from the EW interview:

    Hibberd: So as of now, the final season could air in 2018 and/or in 2019 depending on [Weiss and Benioff's] needs?
    Bloys: Yeah. They have to write the episodes and figure out the production schedule. We'll have a better sense of that once they get further into the writing.

    Jon Snow Beyond the Wall Game of Thrones

    For its first six seasons, "Game of Thrones" consistently aired in the spring of each year. 2017 was the first year the show returned during the summer instead. This was due to production being pushed back to accommodate the "winter" needs for outdoor filming.

    While we don't know for certain, it's safe to assume filming will once again be timed with the winter months. As of August 20, Watchers on the Wall reported that preproduction for "Game of Thrones" was starting in Northern Ireland.

    Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who plays Jaime Lannister, also said in an interview that he thought filming for season eight would start in October of this year.

    The silver lining is that the final season is sure to be epic. "Game of Thrones" sound designer Paula Fairfield broke important news at the first annual Con of Thrones. According to Fairfield, the final season may consist of six movie-length episodes.

    The season-seven finale, "The Dragon and the Wolf," was 79 minutes, 43 seconds (HBO specified the exact length in a press release). The idea of having six finale-worthy episodes is exciting, but we should all be prepared for a long wait ahead. Night gathers, and now our watch begins.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 6 details you might have missed on the season 7 finale of 'Game of Thrones'

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    Littlefinger death scene game of thrones

    Warning: Spoilers of "Game of Thrones" season seven, episode seven "The Dragon and the Wolf."

    And just like that, one of the biggest bad guys in "Game of Thrones" is now dead.

    After a frustrating season in Winterfell, the season seven finale of "Game of Thrones" delivered the death that fans have been yearning for since season one — the demise of Lord Petyr Baelish, aka Littlefinger.

    While some fans may have thought that Sansa was going to turn on her sister Arya, it was Lord Baelish who got his final comeuppance.

    "You stand accused of murder, you stand accused of treason, how do you answer these charges ... Lord Baelish?" Sansa asked. She went on to talk about all of Littlefinger's crimes — he murdered Lysa Arryn, their aunt; he conspired to murder Jon Arryn, Lysa's husband; he started the conflict between the Lannisters and the Starks; his treachery lead to Ned Stark's death; and so much more.

    Littlefinger death scene game of thrones

    Littlefinger death scene game of thrones

    "[You] turn family against family, turn sister against sister," Sansa said. And then Arya executed Littlefinger with a swift cut to the throat, with the catspaw dagger that it turned out had originally belonged to him.

    And fans went wild.

    It was a much needed scene in Winterfell to end the season, especially because the show had stumbled after reuniting Bran, Arya, and Sana Stark under one roof.

    The writers had to straddle reacquainting the Stark kids with one another and bringing them all up to speed with who (and what) they've become since season one while also moving the story forward.

    The problem was there was so much for them to catch up on. Bran Stark is now the Three-Eyed Raven, Arya is essentially a Faceless Man who revels in killing her enemies, and Sansa is the Lady of Winterfell standing in for King in the North Jon Snow.

    That's a lot for anyone to take in.

    Bran Stark Godswood Valyrian Steel dagger Game of Thrones

    Arya Sansa Winterfell Starks Game of Thrones

    sansa stark

    It lead to the storyline slowing down dramatically. Fans already knew that Bran was the Three-Eyed Raven and could see anything during any time period in Westeros, but he had to prove it to his sisters. We watched Arya don the face of Walder Frey and murder the men of House Frey at the very beginning of season seven, but Sansa had to learn for herself what her sister is capable of.

    Meanwhile Sansa needed to fill in Bran and Arya that not only is she the Lady of Winterfell, but she's also the reason Battle of the Bastards was won in the first place.

    It just felt like a lot of rambling backtracking that wasn't moving the storyline forward.

    Worst of all, when these revelations did occur, it seemed lazy. Bran told Sansa he knows Ramsay Bolton raped her, and she just walked away. After Arya confronts Sansa about the note she was forced to send to Robb back in season one, Sansa just flat-out says she's the reason the Lords of the Vale helped the Starks take back Winterfell. And Sansa finding Arya's faces lead to one of the most confusing and bizarre scenes in season seven between the sisters.

    But Littlefinger's sudden death at the hands of Arya Stark finally moved the plot along. The entire season it seemed as though Arya and Sansa had been manipulated by Littlefinger. But the Stark siblings finally figured it out and turned the tables on the master schemer — something he obviously didn't see coming.

    Littlefinger death scene game of thrones

    A few things still don't make sense. Did Arya and Sansa know the whole time Littlefinger was playing them? What about Bran, did he finally let them know? And how did Petyr Baelish, one of the greatest players in the game of thrones, let his guard down and not realize the tables were turning on him?

    All these questions will be left to the final season of "Game of Thrones." But if season seven was any indication, maybe we're better off moving forward and never addressing it again.

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    Jon Snow Drogon dragon Game of Thrones season 7

    Warning: Spoilers ahead for the "Game of Thrones" season seven finale.

    The epic seventh season of "Game of Thrones" came to a close with a hugely significant penultimate scene. Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen made love for the first time while Bran took viewers into important flashbacks of Jon's parents.

    Tucked among the wedding between Prince Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark was a surprising reveal: Jon Snow's real name is Aegon Targaryen.

    But this is confusing for some fans. Rhaegar already had two children at the time of Jon's conception, and he had named one of them Aegon already.

    Lyanna Stark Ned bed of blood Game of Thrones Tower of Joy

    Did Rhaegar name both of his sons Aegon?

    This reveal means, at least for the show's canon, that Prince Rhaegar named his two sons both Aegon.

    Before marrying Lyanna and getting her pregnant with baby Jon, Rhaegar was married to Elia Martell. They had two children, a girl named Rhaenys and a baby boy named Aegon. But, as Gilly and Sam learned earlier on season seven, Rhaegar had his marriage to Elia annulled and wed Lyanna instead.

    Rhaegar and Lyanna's elopement triggered Robert's Rebellion, a war which ended with Rhaegar's and the Mad King Aerys' death. After Rhaegar was killed in battle, Elia, Rhaenys, and Aegon were all murdered with Tywin Lannister sacked King's Landing.

    Worth noting is that George R.R. Martin introduced a character in the last book published, "A Dance with Dragons," who claimed to be Aegon Targaryen — Rhaegar's first son. Many people doubt that this character is really the same baby allegedly murdered by Tywin's men (more specifically, by Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane). But that's a story for another time.

    This means the two most popular fan theories were wrong

    After the season six finale, fans began heavily speculating over Jon's real name. Lyanna Stark clearly whispered a name to Ned, but the audio completely cut out. Between lip reading and context clues, fans believed they had the answer: Jaehaerys. Redditor sparkedavisjr had a particularly convincing write up on this theory back in 2016.

    Jaehaerys was the name of two other Targaryen Kings, and people drew comparisons between Jon and these ancestors. But now we know it's definitely not Jaehaerys.

    The other popular guess was Aemon — the name of the maester and Jon's advisor at Castle Black.

    Aemon Targaryen and Sam Game of Thrones Helen Sloan HBO

    This would have made sense for two reasons. One, Prince Rhaegar spoke directly with Maester Aemon about the Prince That Was Promised prophecy, and clearly trusted in him. It would make sense for Rhaegar to name his son after Aemon. 

    Then there is an important piece of possible foreshadowing in the books. George R.R. Martin writes that Jon and Robb used to play with swords and pretend to be knights, and Jon would choose the name of Aemon the Dragonknight. Since Martin loves throwing clever clues about future plotlines, people thought this might be a hint at Jon's real name.

    But after all the speculating, the show revealed Jon's name was truly Aegon. In terms of Targaryen lineage, this name is also fitting. The first Aegon Targaryen conquered Westeros and brought the Seven Kingdoms under his rule. There were many King Aegons after him.

    Why Jon's real name doesn't even matter

    Technically we don't know if Rhaegar specifically chose the name Aegon. It's possible Lyanna picked it herself. After all, Rhaegar died before the first Aegon was killed, and Lyanna outlived them all. 

    But more importantly than where the name came from is the question of where it will take Jon.

    An enormous part of Jon identity has always been rooted in the notion that he was a bastard. A Snow, not a Stark. We can't see Jon taking on any name other than Jon Snow. His name and the baggage he learned to deal with as a result of it is too important to his identity and character. 

    Ser Davos had a possibly telling line about this earlier in season seven on "Spoils of War." When Missandei calls Jon "Lord Snow," Davos tries to correct her.

    Jon Snow Davos Game of Thrones season 7

    "King Snow, isn't it?" he said. "No that doesn't sound right. King Jon?"

    "It doesn't matter," Jon replied.

    This is true — it doesn't really matter. Jon Snow will always be Jon Snow to fans, book readers, and all the in-universe characters. He's built his reputation as a leader and trustworthy ruler under the name Jon Snow. He's been Lord Commander of the Night's Watch and now King in the North, all despite his false bastard identity. 

    The power Jon commands comes not from his Targaryen lineage but from his honor, compassion, and sense of self — all qualities instilled in him by Ned Stark. Rhaegar may be his true father, and Aegon may be his true name, but Jon Snow is a son of the north. Nothing Bran sees in his weirwood visions can change that. 

    For more on Prince Rhaegar and the possibly prophetic motivations behind marrying Lyanna, read our in-depth look at his early years and life.

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    NOW WATCH: 6 details you might have missed on the season 7 finale of 'Game of Thrones'

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    Jon Snow Daenerys Targaryen Game of Thrones finale dragonpit

    Warning: Spoilers ahead for the "Game of Thrones" season-seven finale.

    Fire and ice finally merged, in more ways than one, on the "Game of Thrones" season-seven finale. Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen made love on a boat as viewers at home were treated to Bran's flashbacks revealing Jon's true parentage.

    Jon is the son of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen (Daenerys' oldest brother) and Lyanna Stark, making Daenerys Jon's aunt. And new lover.

    But Jon and Daenerys have no clue about their shared blood. Instead they have accidentally fallen in love with each other, and their relationship has now been consummated on the show.

    Daenerys Targaryen bed game of thrones

    Showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff explained this bombshell in the postepisode featurette.

    "Just as we're seeing these two people come together, we're hearing the information that will inevitably (if not tear them apart) cause them real problems in their relationship," Weiss said. "And she's his aunt."

    "It complicates everything on a political level and on a personal level," Benioff said. "And it just takes everything that could have been so neat and sort of perfect for Jon and Dany and it really muddies the waters."

    Fans are more torn than ever about their relationship

    Though Targaryens have long practiced incest as part of their culture as a way to keep bloodlines pure, some fans are still not used to the idea.

    But others were cheering, happy to finally see Jon and Daenerys find love again after each losing a cherished partner.

    Why this story can't have a happy ending

    This is "Game of Thrones," so clearly Jon and Daenerys are not being set up to live happily ever after in Westeros. The first hiccup in their new relationship will most likely be the revelation that Daenerys is Jon's aunt. Though it probably wouldn't bother Daenerys too much, Jon is far less likely to be unfazed by the news.

    Even though Jon's blood has Targaryen in it, he was raised in the north by Ned Stark. The concept of intermarrying siblings, cousins, or aunts and nephews is likely to give him pause. And who knows — maybe Daenerys will hate it also.

    But more important, the revelation of Jon's true parentage means he is above Daenerys in the line of succession.

    Game of Thrones season seven Daenerys Targaryen Jon Snow Helen Sloan   HBO (Photo 5) (1)

    Daenerys has a very strong reliance on her claim to the Iron Throne. Sure, it's not her entire reason for wanting to be Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, but it was the driving factor behind her initial sense of self. After her brother Viserys died, she truly believed that the Iron Throne was her birth right. How will she feel when she learns Jon Snow is really the next in line?

    A possible Daenerys pregnancy on the horizon

    The sixth episode of season seven, "Beyond the Wall," was very heavy-handed with exposition about Daenerys not having a successor and being unable to bear children. When Jon tried to give Jorah his Valyrian sword, Jorah also mentioned the idea of Jon's future children.

    All of these moments combined might have been foreshadowing a possible Jon-and-Daenerys pregnancy.

    Jon Daenerys Game of Thrones finale season seven

    Daenerys believes she is infertile after the blood-magic witch Mirri Maz Duur cursed her on the first season. You can read the full explanation of this "prophecy" and what it means for Daenerys here. Jon specifically called her out on this belief in the season-seven finale.

    What if that's all in Daenerys' head? What if she's not infertile at all, and her and Jon start having sex more frequently? Could she become pregnant? This is all speculation for now, but something to keep a pin in as we look ahead to the final season.

    The Azor Ahai prophecy may doom one of them

    Finally, their union may be destined to end in tragedy. The legendary Azor Ahai, also called the Prince That Was Promised, has been prophesied to return. All signs point to Jon or Daenerys being this hero — or it may be their combined characteristics that can prevent the Long Night from falling once again.

    But in the original tale of Azor Ahai, the hero sacrifices his wife, Nissa Nissa, to create the one weapon that will defeat the coming darkness. We broke down this aspect of the prophecy in our Prince That Was Promised overview.

    Daenerys Targaryen Game of Thrones season 7 finale

    What if Jon or Daenerys has to kill the other? That could be the final marker of the prophecy and confirm just Jon or Daenerys as our main hero. This would also fit in with George R.R. Martin's idea of a bittersweet ending and the fact that almost no true love has ever ended in happiness on the show.

    We'll have to wait until the eighth and final season to learn more. If you're still confused about how Jon Snow fits into the Targaryen family tree, read our breakdown of his relationship to Daenerys here.

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    NOW WATCH: 6 details you might have missed on the season 7 finale of 'Game of Thrones'

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    Daenerys Targaryen Dragonpit serious Game of Thrones season 7

    Warning: Spoilers ahead for the "Game of Thrones" season seven finale: "The Dragon and the Wolf."

    The seventh season of "Game of Thrones" came to a devastating close Sunday night with the long-predicted destruction of the Wall. But before fans were treated to the epic blue flames of an undead dragon, there were several small but significant moments tucked throughout the episode. 

    Keep reading for a look at the nine details you might have overlooked in the season seven finale.

    While trying to win Cersei's trust, Jon Snow warned her that the real enemy wouldn't negotiate.

    While speaking of the Night King and his army, Jon assured Cersei that they were dealing with "a general you can't negotiate with."

    He meant that literally. According to the "Game of Thrones" showrunners, the Night King will never speak.

    After the season six finale, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss said the Night King wouldn't have any lines on the show.

    "We don't think of the Night King as a villain as much as Death [...] In some ways, it's appropriate he doesn't speak," Benioff and Weiss told Deadline in 2016. "What's Death going to say? Anything would diminish him. He's just a force of destruction. I don't think we've ever been tempted to write dialogue for the Night King. Anything he said would be anticlimactic."

    Later in the dragonpit, Daenerys said a phrase in High Valyrian we last heard on season three.

    "A dragon is not a slave," Daenerys told Jon, first in High Valyrian and then again in the Common Tongue.

    This was part of the epic moment when Daenerys bought the Unsullied in Astapor, back on the third season.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Lyanna Stark Ned Jon Snow Tower of Joy Game of Thrones

    Warning: Spoilers ahead for the "Game of Thrones" season seven finale.

    "Game of Thrones" finally confirmed beyond a doubt that Prince Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark were Jon Snow's parents. Not only that, but they were married in a secret ceremony — making Jon the legitimate heir to the Targaryen dynasty.

    Both Rhaegar and Lyanna are very mysterious figures both on "Game of Thrones" and in George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" novels. We've already dove deep into Prince Rhaegar's life and motivations (read about that here), and now let's take a closer look at Lyanna Stark. 

    Lyanna Stark's early life and reputation

    Lyanna was the only daughter of Lord Rickard and Lyarra Stark. She was one of four children — Brandon was the oldest, then came Eddard (Ned), then Lyanna, and finally Benjen. 

    In the books, this generation of Stark children are described as having different wolf personalities. Lyanna is the "she-wolf" while Brandon is the "wild wolf." Ned was the "quiet wolf," while Benjen is the "pup."

    We saw young Ned, Benjen, and Lyanna in one of Bran's season six greenseeing visions:

    Benjen Ned and Lyanna Stark Game of Thrones season 6

    Lyanna is often compared to Arya Stark in the books. In one chapter from Martin's first "A Song of Ice and Fire" novel, "A Game of Thrones," Ned tells Arya that she is similar to Lyanna after he discovers her sword, Needle.

    "You have a wildness in you, child. 'The wolf blood,' my father used to call it. Lyanna had a touch of it, and my brother Brandon more than a touch. It brought them both to an early grave."

    Arya heard sadness in his voice; he did not often speak of this father, or of the brother and sister who had died before she was born. "Lyanna might have carried a sword, if my lord father had allowed it. You remind me of her sometimes. You even look like her."

    "Lyanna was beautiful," Arya said, startled. Everybody said so. It was not a thing that was ever said of Arya. 

    "She was," Eddard Stark agreed. "Beautiful and willful and dead before her time."

    Arya and Ned Stark Talking Game of Thrones

    Lyanna was also known for being a talented horseback rider. Again in the books, Arya is told she resembles Lyanna by a man named Harwin. He was the son of Winterfell's "master of horse," and so knew both Lyanna and Arya well.

    "You ride like a northman, milady," Harwin tells Arya. "Your aunt was the same. Lady Lyanna."

    In that same season six flashback to young Lyanna and her siblings, Bran sees Lyanna ride a horse into the courtyard. Her brothers chastised her for showing off.

    Lyanna Stark horse Game of Thrones season 6

    Lyanna, again just like Arya, is described as tomboyish but still beautiful. Arya is often described as having a long face with brown hair and grey eyes, so it's possibly Lyanna had similar qualities.

    In his historical fiction, "A World of Ice and Fire," Martin wrote that Lyanna was "by all accounts a wild and boyish young thing."

    Lyanna's engagement to Robert Baratheon

    Ned and Lyanna's father, Lord Rickard agreed to marry Lyanna to Robert Baratheon when they were in their late teen years. In the books, Ned thinks back to the night Lyanna was told the news:

    "Robert will never keep to one bed," Lyanna had told him at Winterfell, on the night long ago when their father had promised her hand to the young lord of Storm's End. "I hear he has gotten a child on some girl in the Vale." 

    Ned had held the babe in his arms; he could scarcely deny her, nor would he lie to his sister, but he had assured her that what Robert did before their betrothal was of no matter, that he was a good man and true who would love her with all his heart.

    Lyanna had only smiled. "Love is sweet, dearest Ned, but it cannot change a man's nature."

    In Ned's memory, Lyanna was not excited nor hopeful about the prospect of her marriage to Robert. Instead she is wary of his reputation for bedding different women.

    Robert Baratheon Game of Thrones Season one

    Robert, on the the other hand, only has fond memories of Lyanna and his passionate love for her. In the early chapters of the books and in the pilot of "Game of Thrones," Robert laments over her death. Even more than 10 years later, Robert still mourns Lyanna's death and seeks vengeance against the Targaryens.

    On the show, Robert and Cersei discuss Lyanna and how she was the reason their marriage could never have worked. On their wedding night, Robert came to bed stinking of wine and whispered "Lyanna" into Cersei's ear. Robert confesses that all these years later he only thinks of his feelings for her.

    "Do you want to know the horrible truth? I can't even remember what she looked like," Robert told Cersei. "All I know is that she was the one thing I ever wanted. Someone took her from me and seven kingdoms couldn't fill the hole she left behind."

    All of this points to Robert being out of touch with the real Lyanna, and instead fixating on an idealization of his future bride. Ned calls out Robert on this misunderstanding of Lyanna in the books.

    "You never knew Lyanna as I did, Robert," Ned tells him. "You saw her beauty, but not the iron underneath."

    Lyanna's marriage to Rhaegar and her early death

    From the season seven finale, we know now that Lyanna eventually ran away and married Prince Rhaegar Targaryen instead. Lyanna's wild "wolf" qualities may have contributed to this rash decision, but there's still so much we don't know. To learn more about Rhaegar and why Lyanna might have fallen in love with him, read our explainer on the fateful Tourney of Harrenhal.

    What matters is Robert believed Rhaegar kidnapped Lyanna against her will, and this was the main motivating factor behind his rebellion against the Targaryens. 

    Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark Game of Thrones

    Robert killed Rhaegar during the ensuing war, but he never saw Lyanna again. Instead Ned was the one who found Lyanna in Dorne, at a place called the Tower of Joy. She had just given birth to Jon (whose real name is Aegon, but more on that here). 

    Lyanna was dying, likely as a result of childbirth complications, and she made Ned promise her that he would keep her baby safe. Baby Jon needed protection from Robert's wrath, and from anyone threatened by the true heir to the Iron Throne and Targaryen dynasty.

    Ned and Lyanna Stark Game of Thrones Tower of Joy season 6

    So Ned Stark raised Jon Snow as his own bastard, and the secret of his "wolf" and "dragon" parentage lay dormant — until now. Will people rally around him as the true heir to the Seven Kingdoms when they learn about his Targaryen heritage?

    What will Daenerys think of her new lover when she learns the truth? And all this is assuming both Jon and Daenerys will learn about Rhaegar and Lyanna's secret love. Plus, what if the Night King's armies decimate the realm before it even matters? 

    "Game of Thrones" fans will need to wait until the eighth and final season (which might not arrive until 2019) to learn what this means for Jon's future.

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    NOW WATCH: 6 details you might have missed on the season 7 finale of 'Game of Thrones'

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    Jon Snow Daenerys Tagaryen Game of Thrones finale boat

    Warning: Spoilers ahead for "Game of Thrones" season seven finale.

    "Game of Thrones" presented what might have been the series' most awkward sex scene to date on the season seven finale. As Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen finally gave into their lusts, Bran Stark narrated the love-making with exposition about how Daenerys is actually Jon's aunt.

    The cherry on top came when Tyrion Lannister lurked in the dark hallway outside, listening to Daenerys and Jon have sex for no apparent reason. 

    Tyrion Lannister Game of Thrones season 7 boat

    So what exactly was going through his mind? Why did he look so concerned? 

    Some fans worry Tyrion is in love with Daenerys

    Ahead of the season seven premiere, Peter Dinklage (Tyrion) told TV Guide that his character was "smitten" with Daenerys.

    "We'll deal with how much Daenerys can trust him," Dinklage said. "But he's smitten with his employer. How good can he be at his job while having those feelings?"

    As season seven aired, we were on alert for romantic feelings budding between Tyrion and Daenerys, even if it was one-sided. But there didn't seem to be any evidence of that — until now. 

    Tyrion Lannister and Daenerys Targaryen Game of Thrones

    However, Dinklage gave another interview in the behind-the-scenes featurette for "The Dragon and the Wolf." And in that clip, he makes no mention of jealousy or ill-will toward Jon for making a move. Instead, Tyrion's upset expression seems to be reflecting concern for both Jon and Daenerys — and their armies.

    "It's dangerous for everybody involved," Dinklage said. "I'm sure its good for both of them in the moment but you don't even get the relief of how beautiful it could be or should be."

    "It's just not good. It should be, but it's not," Dinklage continues. "It's 'Game of Thrones.' There's a long history of romance not ending well on this show."

    Here's how Kit Harington viewed the scene

    In the same video, Kit Harington (Jon Snow) gave his two cents on the pairing between Jon and Daenerys.

    "I think it's an inevitability from about halfway through the season that Jon and Daenerys are going to fall into bed together," Harington said. "I think they both know it's wrong and they both know it's going to cause problems. But it's that thing when you suddenly feel that deeply about someone [...] It's like a runaway train. You can't stop it from happening."

    Based on the cast and writer's comments, it seems as if Jon and Daenerys are going to kick off the eighth and final season with a brewing conflict. How will this effect their armies? What will the people of the north think of Daenerys? Will she get pregnant? You can read more about these theories in our exploration here.

    The final season of "Game of Thrones" might not air until 2019, so fans have a long time to guess where Jon and Daenerys' relationship is heading. Either way, this love story probably won't have a happy ending.

    SEE ALSO: Every 'Game of Thrones' romantic relationship, ranked from worst to best

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    NOW WATCH: 6 details you might have missed on the season 7 finale of 'Game of Thrones'

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