'Game of Thrones' Cast Transformations

HBO's senior vice president of drama says the cast applauded writers for about 20 minutes after reading how it all ends.

Winter has finally arrived on "Game of Thrones," and it sounds like fans will be facing a blizzard of tears when the HBO fantasy hit returns for its final season.

HBO's senior vice president of drama, Francesca Orsi, said at a conference in Jerusalem Tuesday that she witnessed the cast's first table read, which was the first time the stars of the show read the scripts, and it got very emotional when they learned the fate of their characters.

"None of the cast had received the scripts prior, and one by one they started falling down to their deaths," Orsi said, according to Variety.

"It was amazing. By the very end, everyone looked down and looked up and tears were in their eyes," Orsi said, adding that everyone stood up and applauded the writers for about 20 minutes.

Death is not a surprise on "GoT" -- it's a fairly regular occurrence. The writers have a knack for thinking up the most heartbreaking way of killing fan favorites, like all those Starks, and we expect the worst is yet to come as Jon Snow teams up with Daenerys Targaryen and a treacherous Cersei Lannister to save Westeros from an army of White Walkers (now armed with an ice dragon). Other characters who may be knock, knock, knocking on heaven's door in Season 8 include Sansa Stark, Arya Stark, Jamie Lannister, Tyrion Lannister, Brienne of Tarth, Davos Seaworth and Tormund Giantsbane.

Fans have a year to harden their hearts, though, as HBO has said the 6-episode final season won't premiere until 2019. The good news, however, is that Kit Harington said episodes could be up to 90 minutes long.

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