‘Game of Thrones’ surprised fans right away on its season 8 premiere with a twist on the most iconic part of the show

The iconic

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The iconic “Game of Thrones” title sequence.
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HBO

  • Warning: Spoilers for HBO’s “Game of Thrones” season eight, episode one.
  • “Game of Thrones” shocked fans with a new title sequence for the season eight premiere.
  • The animation now shows the Wall with a huge hole and tracks the White Walker army’s progress towards Winterfell.
  • Viewers also got to see inside the buildings, which is a brand new component.
  • Visit INSIDER.com for more stories.

The first episode of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” season eight opened on Sunday with a major surprise: a whole new title sequence.

Since season one, the HBO fantasy series has kicked off with the same iconic theme music by composer Ramin Djawadi that plays as a 3D map of Westeros and Essos – the fictional locations on the show – unfolds.

The original idea was to take viewers around George R.R. Martin’s fictional world, the same way a reader could orient him or herself by looking at the maps in the opening pages of Martin’s iconic fantasy novels.

Angus Wall of Rock Paper Scissors Entertainment took it further by making the mechanical animation move like some sort of wind-up clockwork mechanism. We see castles, trees, and bridges spring from the ground and rise up as the music swells.

But now, on its final season, ‘Game of Thrones’ has completely transformed the opening credits

On season eight, the Wall has fallen, the White Walker army is on the move towards Winterfell, and Cersei is planning for battle at King’s Landing.

While we’ve seen those locations before in the title sequence, they now look totally different. There is a massive hole in the Wall, and blue tiles flip over as the Night King’s army progresses toward Last Hearth and ever closer to Winterfell.

The Wall has fallen and Eastwatch is no more. Viewers can see Last Hearth in the distance beyond the wall.

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The Wall has fallen and Eastwatch is no more. Viewers can see Last Hearth in the distance beyond the wall.
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HBO

Blue tiles track the Night King and his army's progression.

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Blue tiles track the Night King and his army’s progression.
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HBO

Last Hearth in the opening credits of season eight.

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Last Hearth in the opening credits of season eight.
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HBO

For reference, this is how the Eastwatch title sequence used to look before it was taken down by the Night King’s wight dragon on the season seven finale.

RIP Eastwatch.

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RIP Eastwatch.
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HBO

In Winterfell, we not only see the Stark sigil as well as the iconic weirwood tree, but the credits now take us inside Winterfell to the Great Hall where the leading families of the North gather.

The Winterfell Great Hall in the new opening credits.

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The Winterfell Great Hall in the new opening credits.
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HBO

Jon speaking in Winterfell's Great Hall.

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Jon speaking in Winterfell’s Great Hall.
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HBO

The credits also now take fans into the crypt of Winterfell.

The Winterfell crypt in the new opening sequence.

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The Winterfell crypt in the new opening sequence.
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HBO

Sansa Stark in the Winterfell crypt.

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Sansa Stark in the Winterfell crypt.
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Helen Sloan/HBO

And then in King’s Landing, we see the iconic throne room, the home of the Iron Throne that has been the fascination and ambition of our favorite characters for eight seasons.

The Iron Throne in the new credits.

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The Iron Throne in the new credits.
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HBO

Jaime Lannister on the steps of the Iron Throne.

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Jaime Lannister on the steps of the Iron Throne.
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HBO

You may also have caught the huge map of Westeros in King’s Landing.

The map of Westeros can be seen at the top of this screenshot.

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The map of Westeros can be seen at the top of this screenshot.
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HBO

Cersei Lannister standing on the map.

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Cersei Lannister standing on the map.
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HBO

Fans online couldn’t contain their excitement at the new credits.

This isn’t the first time the credits have changed on the show

The Stark direwolf sigil has not always appeared on the battlements of Winterfell.

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The Stark direwolf sigil has not always appeared on the battlements of Winterfell.
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HBO

Raven-eyed fans may have noticed that the credit sequence has changed before.

The most well-known example is Winterfell, which has appeared in numerous forms: as the Stark family home, as a sacked city, and as a Bolton family stronghold.

After Ramsay Bolton was defeated in the “Battle of the Bastards,” the Stark sigil victoriously returned to Winterfell, both on the show and in the title sequence.

Winterfell when it was sacked.

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Winterfell when it was sacked.
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HBO

Winterfell under the control of Ramsay Bolton.

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Winterfell under the control of Ramsay Bolton.
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HBO

The title sequence has also been subtly evolving since 2011, according to its designer Wall, who says he has been updating the animation with each new season.

“The biggest debate is always what detail to leave in and what detail to leave out,” Wall said in an Entertainment Weekly article in March. “Would we have loved to show the movement of every army? Yes. But it’s an incredible amount of work just to create different locations and different versions of each location.”

Now it appears Wall finally has his chance to show the White Walker army progressing through Westeros. We can’t wait to see how the title sequence evolves throughout the rest of season eight.