Ever since the Season 7 finale, Game of Thrones fans have been anxiously awaiting news about Season 8, and we now have a much better idea of when the show will probably return.
Davos Seaworth actor Liam Cunningham told TV Guide this week that Season 8’s production is going to last right up until the summer, which confirms previous reports. He didn’t specify whether production will end at the beginning or the end of summer, but The Hollywood Reporter previously reported that it will last until August.
This means that Game of Thrones almost certainly won’t premiere until 2019. The seventh season was in post-production for five months, but that season was also only shooting for six months, whereas Game of Thrones Season 8 is expected to shoot for 10 months. Granted, Season 8 consists of one fewer episode than Season 7, but the episodes are also expected to be longer, and so post-production will be extensive.
It seems that the absolute earliest that Game of Thrones Season 8 could possibly premiere would be January 2019. That’s when it would come out if post-production lasts as long on Season 8 as it did on Season 7. But post-production will almost certainly last longer this time, pushing the premiere to March or April. The first six seasons of Game of Thrones all premiered in March or April, and it’s likely that Season 8 will come out around this time. It certainly seems safe to say that the ship has sailed on Season 8 being released in 2018.
Game of Thrones fans will therefore be waiting longer for this new season than they have ever waited in the past. If Season 8 returns in April 2019, then the show will have been off the air for 20 months, whereas it’s usually only off the air for 12 months at most. But HBO is really pouring all of its resources into this last season and ensuring that it’s as epic as possible. In fact, according to Variety, each of the final six episodes will cost $15 million, making them the most expensive episodes in the series.
Plus, Samwell Tarly actor John Bradley recently said that every episode in Season 8 is going to be huge, and it’s going to be like a season consisting entirely of “Episode 9s,” the episode in a season that’s typically the biggest.
“I think what we used to call Episode 9 in Game of Thrones folklore — the episode when everything comes to a head and you get a lot of spectacular sequences — I think you’re gonna get six ‘Episode 9s’ this year,” Bradley said. “You can tell that because we’ve got directors who have been in charge of some of the most huge setpieces in the past doing episodes all throughout the season.”
Just because Game of Thrones won’t be on the air in 2018 doesn’t mean that HBO subscribers have nothing to look forward to next year. Sometime in the spring will be the premiere of Westworld Season 2, another show that has been on hiatus for quite a long time. The final season of Veep is also expected to air in the spring.