When will HBO air the final Game of Thrones season?
That’s been the question on just about everyone’s mind since the seventh season came to an end this past summer. The eighth and final Game of Thrones season will bring HBO’s most popular series to an end with the promise of being the show’s most cinematic installment yet. To allow for additional writing and production time, HBO hinted that Game of Thrones may not return until 2019. There was some hope that Game of Thrones could return in 2018, but a new interview with Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark on the show, seems to confirm that’s not the case.
“Game of Thrones comes out in 2019,” Turner told Variety. “Dark Phoenix [Turner’s X-Men movie] is in November. Then I have a couple indie movies coming out. I’m a producer on my next movie [Girl Who Fell From the Sky]. So I’m really excited about the future.”
HBO’s president of programming, Casey Bloys, told reporters in June during a television conference the premiere date decision would come down to how much time the writing team needed. They had to allocate time to figure out how to end the series and how much resources the production team needed to ensure their vision was reached.
“They have to write the episodes and figure out the production schedule,” Bloys said. “We’ll have a better sense of that once they get further into the writing.”
Though Game of Thrones’ eighth season will contain the fewest episodes (just six in total), each episode is expected to run approximately an hour and a half in length, making it just as long as previous seasons. Four directors will return to helm the final episodes: Miguel Sapochnik, David Nutter, and showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, who will direct the finale.
Polygon has reached out to HBO for more information.
Update: An HBO representative told Polygon the network could not confirm an air date at this time.
Update 2 (Jan. 4, 2018): HBO confirmed that Game of Thrones would return for a six-episode final season in 2019. Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are set to direct, alongside David Nutter and Miguel Sapochnik. Benioff and Weiss will be joined by Bryan Cogman and Dave Hill to pen the script.
There is no specific release date at this time.