'Game of Thrones': Everything We Learned About the Final Season (Exclusive)

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TheGame of Thrones cast proved they were once again kings and queens of the Emmys as they returned to the awards show on Monday. The HBO series took home the coveted prize of Outstanding Drama Series for their work on season seven last year, and yes, season eight is still months and months away. 

HBO's President of Programming, Casey Bloys, revealed in July that the show's eighth and final season would debut in the "first half" of 2019, but wouldn't reveal what month -- or what fans should prepare for. "I'm not going to talk about what to expect," Bloys teased. "Although it's pretty great." 

Months later, after filming had wrapped, the show's cast was ready to reveal all to ET at the Emmys -- or as much as they could, anyway. 

Here's what we learned about Game of Thrones' final season: 

The Cast Is Keeping Tight-Lipped for a Reason

"You are fined, and if you don't have the money, then you lose one of your toes," Gwendoline Christie jokingly told ET's Kevin Frazier on the red carpet, revealing only that season eight "will be something you could never expect." "I have said it all." 

Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin, meanwhile told ET's Lauren Zima, "I'm sworn to secrecy." 

We Can Probably Count on a Few Major Character Deaths 

"No comment," Martin teased of speculation that the season will see few characters making it out alive. "But all men must die. Valar Morghulis." 

When ET's Nischelle Turner asked Emilia Clarke at HBO's Emmys after-party on Monday if she was happy with how things ended, the actress hinted that a happy ending probably wasn't in the cards. "Best season ever!" she hilariously replied. 

Not Everyone Got Emotional 

"It was so sad, but then everyone gets ready for the emotion, and everyone's there, being like, 'Oh, it's going to be the last... how many more takes?' And then it just kind of wears off," Clarke confessed. 

Her co-star, Jacob Anderson, agreed. "This is the last scene, and it's like four takes in, and you're like, 'OK, the momentum's dropped a little bit now,'" he said. 

"That happened on what was supposed to be my last day. I finished, and then they were like, 'Oh, but we've gotta pick up with you in a month's time.' I was like, 'Bye guys, see you in a month!'" Nathalie Emmanuel said. "But I don't mind. They can call me back as many times as they want, to be honest, because it was sad. It finally was the end." 

In a previous interview with ET, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau said he's going to "miss working on a scale and a level like we have for the past nine years," but speaking with Nancy O'Dell at the Emmys on Monday, he admitted he didn't cry over the ending. "The last six months was emotional, every night almost there was a goodbye. We've had such an incredible run, and to be invited to this thing is just wonderful. It's like the gift that keeps on giving."

And for Martin, the emotion has just kind of worn off by this stage. "Most of it is based on what I planned, so I got emotional about it 20 years ago when I first thought of these things," he conceded. 

But It'll Be "Bittersweet"

For Christie, filming the series has been a "delight." "We have finished filming the final season, which has been incredible, an incredible process, and I think we have all worked incredibly hard to give you all the gift you deserve," she shared. 

"[It will be] bittersweet, like... [J. R. R.] Tolkien... the end of Lord of the Rings, which I always found had a bittersweet quality," Martin shared. "That's the kind of thing I like." 

And When It's Over, It Won't Really Be 

We learned in July that one of the Game of Thronesprequel series in development was ordered to pilot, and set to film in 2019. According to Martin, there's hope for many more. 

"We have five spinoffs at various stages in development. One of them has been ordered to pilot. Jane Goldman is the showrunner and pilot writer on that, and that one is going forward, and there's four others that are still being written and rewritten and hopefully we'll get a couple more of those going too," he told ET.  

"I may [stop] eventually. The years may catch up to me," he added. "But I'm having too much fun right now."

See more on Game of Thrones in the video below. 

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