Game of Thrones fans may need to wait an additional year to see how HBO’s series comes to an end.
Casey Bloys, president of programming for HBO, told Entertainment Weekly that showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff could spend the next 18 months working on the show’s final season, which could delay the Game of Thrones finale until 2019.
“They have to write the episodes and figure out the production schedule,” Bloys said when asked about the possibility of a 2019 air date. “We’ll have a better sense of that once they get further into the writing.”
This doesn’t mean that Game of Thrones’ eighth and final season will air for certain in 2019. There’s a chance that Weiss and Benioff won’t need the additional time, but it’s a possibility at this point. Originally, many assumed that HBO wanted to wrap up Game of Thrones before the second season of its new, incredibly popular series Westworld. Executive producers Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy confirmed after the first season of the show ended in 2016 that it would be at least a year and a half before Westworld returned, citing concerns over production scheduling and rushing the writing process.
Based on Bloys’ quote, it seems like Benioff and Weiss may have similar concerns. Although the seventh and eighth seasons of Game of Thrones will be shorter than previous years, both showrunners have confirmed that it won’t be any less grand.
Game of Thrones’ seven-episode seventh season, which includes one of the longest episodes in the series’ history, will premiere on July 16.