‘Game of Thrones’ Season 8 Could Be Pushed to 2019, HBO Says
Game of Thrones Season 7, Sansa Stark
Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO © 2017 Home Box Office, Inc. All Rights Reserved.    

Game of Thrones

‘Game of Thrones’ Season 8 Could Be Pushed to 2019, HBO Says

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The nearly-11-month gap between the sixth and seventh season of Game of Thrones is the longest hiatus we fans have ever had to endure — by far.

But that wait may pale in comparison to the hiatus between Seasons 7 and 8. As we’re learning now, it’s possible the final season of the HBO hit won’t air before 2019.

This isn’t just idle Westerosi gossip, mind you. The news comes directly from Casey Bloys, who serves as president of programming for HBO.

(Even more worrisome: Game of Thrones has always been a late spring/early summer show — until this year, when it’ll be a late summer show — so if Season 9 does get pushed to 2019, the hiatus could span as many as 18 months.)

Entertainment Weekly’s James Hibberd says Game of Thrones showrunners Dan Weiss and David Benioff told him they won’t be working on the prequel series and will instead devote the next year and a half to Thrones’ final season.

In a new interview with Casey, James asks for confirmation of this plan.

“Yep,” Casey says.

“I’m glad you asked that because that is one thing I want to clarify: By the time the final season airs, Dan and David will have been at this for 12 years. Which is an amazing fact.

“They didn’t go and do movies in between seasons, they didn’t set anything else up, they put everything — and are putting everything — into this show.”

Game of Thrones Season 7, Arya Stark
Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO © 2017 Home Box Office, Inc. All Rights Reserved.    

“They came into HBO with an idea for a show with a beginning, middle, and end, and they want to see it through,” James continues.

“In conversations with them, they feel if their name is on the prequels — even in a passive way — it conveys some sort of expectation or responsibility.

“They want to enjoy the show as fans and don’t want to worry about the scripts or production issues.

“We were hoping to have their names on it out of respect for them, but we understand why they don’t want that.”

“So as of now, the final season could air in 2018 and/or in 2019 depending on their needs?” James asks Casey.

“Yeah,” the HBO exec replies.

“They 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.”

Game of Thrones Season 7, Tyrion Lannister
Credit: Macall B. Polay/HBO © 2017 Home Box Office, Inc. All Rights Reserved.    

Worse yet, none of the five prequel ideas HBO is developing will air before Thrones finishes, so it’s not like we’ll have a spin-off to tide us over.

“You’re not going to see a situation where the next show in the Thrones universe launches off the back of this one,” Casey reveals.

“The show that Dan and David have created will get its proper send off first. We wouldn’t want to take away from that in any way.”

While this is all bad news for us devotees, it presents a second chance for George R. R. Martin to reveal the end of his story himself.

Because he’s such a slow methodical writer, Game of Thrones has far outpaced his book series, A Song of Ice and Fire.

But if he can somehow (miraculously) finish both The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring before 2019, the HBO series won’t spoil the ending.

Game of Thrones Season 7, Varys
Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO © 2017 Home Box Office, Inc. All Rights Reserved.    

If it’s any consolation for the rest of us, though, it seems like Season 7 will keep our appetite sated for a while.

“I don’t want to oversell, but I can’t imagine anybody being disappointed in this season,” Casey says.

“It’s amazing.”

 

Game of Thrones Season 7 premieres on Sunday, July 16 on HBO.