Bad news: Game of Thrones definitely won’t be back on our screens until 2019.
Although that was the widely-held belief anyway, with filming set to run until this summer and various cast members alluding to a 2019 air date for the eighth and final season, this is the first time HBO have officially confirmed the show’s delayed return.
While it’s frustrating that there’ll be no Thrones in 2018 – the first year without a season since the show began – it is understandable. The six episodes will be bigger and longer than normal, and if filming isn’t finishing until this summer, it’d be difficult to get it ready for this year. After the rushed storytelling of Season 7, it’s definitely better for them to take their time.
There’s no word on exactly when it will air in 2019, but a return to spring seems likely. Every season bar 7 aired during that period, and it would allow them to get straight into the Emmys in the final year for a proper send-off. It also increases the chance of The Winds of Winter being released before Season 7, even if the TV show will still finish well before the books.
HBO also confirmed the directors and writers for the new season – again, something we already knew, but they’ve now made official. David Nutter, Miguel Sapochnik, and series creators Dan Weiss and David Benioff will direct, with Weiss and Benioff writing alongside Dave Hill and Bryan Cogman.