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‘Game of Thrones’ is coming — breaking down the 5-second teaser of the final season

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The Golden Globes may have aired last night, but for “Game of Thrones” fans, the big news was a brand new first look from HBO featuring a whopping five-second teaser of season 8. Only HBO would determine that during a major award show would be an ideal time to release anything of importance, but The Thrones often conjures a drop-everything-this-is-not-a-drill type of energy and social media filled fast with utter excitement. Believe it or not, even with only five seconds of content, there is a lot to discuss.

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This article was originally published at Salon

The final season of “Game of Thrones” will air in April. The first look showed Jon Snow (Kit Harington) bringing Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) to Winterfell for the first time. In the teaser, Daenerys approaches Sansa Stark (Sophia Turner), and Sansa tells her, albeit unenthusiastically: “Winterfell is yours, Your Grace.” There’s some evident tension between the two.

Here’s why this scene is momentous. After seven seasons of characters claiming that “winter is coming,” the last season ended with the Night King and the White Walkers (dragon included) melting the Wall away, one major step closer to conquering — or perhaps a better word is destroying —  Westeros. But as the Hollywood Reporter wrote: “the very fact that Jon and Daenerys are arriving at Winterfell in time to meet with a relatively calm Sansa tells us at least one thing about the final season of ‘Thrones’: the two Targaryens (one of whom doesn’t know about his fiery heritage) will make it back to the heart of the North before the White Walkers’ arrival. The most recent scene in ‘Thrones’ lore puts the Night King and his Army of the Dead at Eastwatch by the Sea, at the northeastern most corner of Westeros. Their next logical stop on the path toward mass-murdering mankind: Winterfell.”

Therefore, it seems once the Night King reaches Winterfell, he’ll be facing off against both the Mother of Dragons and Snow for round two. In their first battle beyond the wall, one of Daenerys’ dragons was killed and then zombified, which should make the rematch interesting.

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BuzzFeed points out that a sneak peek at new credits also make a debut in the teaser, showing what is likely Daenerys’ army camped outside Winterfell.

Since season 7 was plagued by leaks, HBO has been extra cautious about keeping the final season under wraps, reportedly even filming multiple endings. Thus fans have been particularly starved for any new glimpses of the final season, brief or not. As these five seconds represented the longest look into the new season so far, it was just long enough to have fans all over social media sharing theories and reveling in the anticipation.

The final season will include six episodes that run for longer than the standard hour, similar to the lengthier episodes of season 7. And it’s likely that a full trailer will arrive ahead of the spring premiere.

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HBO programming president Casey Bloys told reporters last July that while season 8 is the final season of this iteration of “Game of Thrones,” a pilot for a prequel of the series is expected to begin taping in early 2019. As of last summer, HBO was searching for a cast and director for the project, which is set to take place “thousands of years before the events of ‘Game of Thrones.'”


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2020 Election

Trump and the GOP have become the party of the dead

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There are few morbid topics subject to greater speculation than the religious loyalty of President Donald Trump's "base." Why an alarmingly large amount of Americans refuse even to entertain any criticism of Trump deserves scrutiny from political scientists, psychologists and perhaps horror novelists working in the school of Edgar Allan Poe.

This article first appeared in Salon.

What is abundantly clear is that no matter who votes for Trump, he and the Republican Party on the national level have no interest in governing on the behalf of living human beings — with the exception of ensuring that a tiny minority of billionaires and multimillionaires enlarge their investment portfolios. Trump evinces no concern for Americans dying of the coronavirus, racist violence or any other malady or injustice. He demonstrates no regard for health care professionals courageously trying to save their patients from dying, and appears cruelly indifferent to the struggles of millions of workers whose livelihoods have been destroyed by COVID-19. Needless to say, Trump also shows contempt for Black Lives Matter, immigrants and anyone who opposes his re-election, which at this moment (and throughout his presidency) is more than half of the American public.

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As coronavirus seizes the state, Florida hospitals are in panic mode

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As Florida experiences a surge in coronavirus cases, the residents of the state are facing obstacles like overwhelmed hospitals and a looming shortage in beds.

This article first appeared in Salon.

There are 47,663 hospital beds in the state right now with 11,782 available (meaning a remaining capacity of 19.82 percent) and a total staffed bed capacity of 59,445, according to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration's Hospital Bed Capacity Dashboard. The state Department of Health also reported on Friday that, out of 95,300 individuals who received coronavirus test results over the course of the previous day, 11,433 tested positive for COVID-19 (all but 90 of whom were Florida residents), meaning that more than 12 percent of the new cases had positive test results. The state also reported 93 new deaths due to COVID-19. (Salon reached out to the Florida Department of Health for comment on this story.)

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2020 Election

The GOP is a suicide cult

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Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.

Back in March, we argued that Donald Trump had become the charismatic leader of the dumbest suicide cult ever. There were fewer than 500 confirmed cases of Covid-19 at the time, but it wasn't difficult to see the trajectory we were on at even that early date. At the time, we were commenting on the President's* repeated claims that the whole thing was a big hoax and polls showing that Democrats were twice as likely as Republicans to say they were taking steps to avoid becoming infected.

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