Finally, the Game of Thrones news we’ve all been awaiting/dreading. HBO just confirmed that the final, eighth season of the hit show will not return until 2019. That’s right—it’s at least a year away. Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark, had previously confirmed that the season would air in 2019. The season will feature six episodes—fewer than previous seasons—and will be directed by showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, as well as David Nutter and Miguel Sapochnik.
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While it’s a long time to wait, the 2019 airing date for season eight makes a lot of sense. According to the Hollywood Reporter, production on the season began in October of last year and might not finish until August 2018. With the future of Westeros at stake and the season seven finale clocking in at a feature-length 79 minutes and 43 seconds, these episodes are also likely to be bigger than ever.
Fans despairing over the loss of their favorite TV binge can take some comfort in the four potential GoT prequel spin-offs being developed by HBO, though the network is keeping details under wraps.
Not to worry—if the series is returning in 2019, that gives fans plenty of time to rewatch the season seven finale and, in fact, the whole darn series from start to finish.