Game Of Thrones Won’t Return Until 2019 After All


Batten down the hatches, folks, for the long night is here.

True to those early rumors, Game of Thrones‘ eighth and final season won’t arrive until 2019, at which point David Benioff and D.B. Weiss – along with directors David Nutter (“Mother’s Mercy”) and Miguel Sapochnik (“Hardhome,” Battle of the Bastards”) – will see in the six-episode finale.

News of a 2019 release window isn’t all that surprising when you consider that season 8 will ostensibly be built around feature-length episodes. Last year, the seventh season ranged from 59 to 80 minutes, ending with the frankly unmissable finale, “The Dragon and the Wolf.” This, coupled with the prolonged production cycle, all but confirms that HBO has no intention of rushing new episodes of Game of Thrones out the gate. And we can’t say we’re complaining.

Story-wise, Benioff, Weiss, Bryan Cogman and Dave Hill are in charge of developing the season 8 scripts, which will, in time, thrust our beloved characters into “alien environments.” Not only that, but practically every cast member who’s had a pass at the final scripts – from Kit Harington to Sophie Turner and everyone in between – has shed a tear, so our minds are already spinning with the possibilities in store. One thing’s for sure: it’ll be an “incredibly emotional” swan song for all involved, which ought to lay the groundwork for some unmissable television.

It’s the beginning of the end for HBO’s core Westerosi saga: Game of Thrones season 8 will be with us in 2019, by which point we’ll surely have a better understanding of those long-rumored spinoffs. Indeed, the first successor series may well be with us in 2020, if George R.R. Martin’s latest estimate is anything to go by.