It’s regularly listed among the greatest TV shows ever made – and just this week, a new study announced Game of Thrones was ‘the most binge-able box set’ of all time. And with every single fan of the show desperate for any news about the upcoming final season, HBO bosses have now revealed that the last six episodes will be released next year.
In a short statement, an HBO spokesman said: “The epic fantasy series Game of Thrones will return for its six-episode, eighth and final season in 2019. David Benioff & D.B. Weiss, David Nutter and Miguel Sapochnik will be the directors for the new season. Writers for the new season are David Benioff & D.B. Weiss, Bryan Cogman and Dave Hill.
“The executive producers of the series are David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Carolyn Strauss, Frank Doelger and Bernadette Caulfield. Co-executive producers are Bryan Cogman, Guymon Casady, Vince Gerardis and George R.R. Martin.”
This confirms what HBO programming president Casey Bloys previously told Entertainment Weekly, citing the cinematic scope of the final season.
“[Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss] have to write the episodes and figure out the production schedule. We’ll have a better sense of that once they get further into the writing,” he said. “One of the hallmarks of the show has been how cinematic is it. The show has proven that TV is every bit as impressive and in many cases more so, than film. What they’re doing is monumental.”
But some fans aren’t too impressed with how long we’ll have to wait to get our teeth stuck into the final episodes:
So, what else do we know about the final season?
1. The cast thinks it’s going to be epic
“Just knowing how amazing this season is going to be…” Jason Momoa (Khal Drogo) told EW after visiting the set. “It’s going to be the greatest thing that’s ever aired on TV. It’s going to be unbelievable. It’s going to fuck up a lot of people. And it was a bummer because I’m a huge fan and I didn’t want to know what’s going on. I was like, ‘Damn, I didn’t want to know that!”
2. It will probably be released in the Spring
It’s not been officially confirmed but based on previous seasons, it’s likely the show will return in the Spring of 2019.
3. The delay could give time for George R.R. Martin to release another book
The push back to 2019 means Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin could release the next book in his A Song of Ice and Fire series, The Winds of Winter, which he hinted last summer might be ready in 2018.
4. The evil Freys might not be completely dead
As we previously reported, Irish actress Danielle Galligan has been cast to play a character called Sarra in the show’s final season. The only known reference to a Sarra in the A Song of Ice and Fire book series is Sarra Frey – one of Walder Frey’s granddaughters. So the fact that Arya left one or two Freys alive – and this latest casting announcement – both suggest that House Frey could be making a comeback.
5. Who’s the leader of the Golden Company?
In an earlier story, we told you about one theory that has been popular since the Season 7 finale to do with the Golden Company - a huge army of 10,000 sellswords from Essos, who are expected to make their first appearance in Season 8. Fans have been speculating about the leader of the Company, and in particular, whether it could be Daario Naharis, Daenerys’ former lover and trusted sidekick. If Daario were to have joined the Company, this would put him in direct opposition to Dany - a very awkward position for both of them.
But fan site Watchers on the Wall report that German actor Marc Rissmann has been cast as Harry Strickland - the leader of the Golden Company in the books - meaning it looks like Daario is remaining faithful to Dany in Meereen, at least for now.
Wake me up when it’s 2019!
And while, you’re here why not have a go at this Game of Thrones quiz? We challenge you to get at least 10/15! Good luck!
(Images: HBO / Game of Thrones)