The Game of Thrones community is reeling after Sunday’s huge season finale. There was misdirection, huge reveals, and an inevitable consummation that could have huge repercussions down the road. Basically, it was everything fans of the series wanted.
Unfortunately, it ended on a huge cliffhanger, leaving everyone wanting more. But I have bad news: The show’s final season probably won’t air until later 2018 and possibly even early 2019. Here’s why.
Potential spoilers ahead
Season 7 wound up airing well after HBO intended, thanks in no small part to uncooperative weather during filming. That pushed back the season’s premiere to the summer, when the show typically begins airing in the spring. That, ultimately, has caused a domino effect that could push the final season to the end of next year and maybe even beyond.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, production for the eighth season won’t begin until October of this year and could potentially run until August 2018. If true, fans may have to wait over a year until the show returns, making the wait even longer than the gap between season 6 and season 7.
HBO programming president Casey Bloys told THR that getting the logistics right is difficult. You have filming in different locations throughout the world, then you have to make sure the special effects are up to HBO’s standards. Both require different production schedules, so even if filming has been wrapped up, getting the CGI right will take some time.
Considering next season will likely feature plenty of dragon on White Walker action, you can bet CGI will play a heavy role.
With a longer production schedule, it will be crucial for HBO to ensure no big Game of Thrones secrets are let loose. Once season 7 began airing, hackers stole a trove of information from the premium cable channel, divulging key plot points from the show in the process.
Despite that, and despite the longer-than-usual wait for season 7 to air, the most recent season was more popular than ever. Now that HBO has left fans with a big cliffhanger leading into the final season, anticipation for the show will be even higher.
We can probably expect plenty set photos to leak out, and there are plenty of theories floating around that may inform us about what could happen. HBO, meanwhile, has already given us clues as to how next season will play out.
For one, once Jon finds out about his true lineage, his relationship with Daenerys will change, and probably not for the better. Cersei, meanwhile, has announced her intentions not to fight the White Walkers, causing her brother to abandon King’s Landing. Most pressing, the Wall has crumbled to bits, letting the Night King and his army through.
It’ll be short
It seems like only yesterday the first episode of season 7 aired, and that’s because the season kicked off in mid-July. Unfortunately, there were only seven episodes this season, and the next season has already been confirmed to be even shorter.
So, not only do we have to wait longer than usual for the final season to air, but it’ll only be six episodes long. The good news is we’ll finally get closure for what HBO has been building toward for dozens of episodes over multiple years.
Will Cersei fall at the blade of her brother? Will Jon take his place as the rightful heir to the throne? Who will defeat the Night King? Will The Hound and The Mountain finally duel to the death? So many questions, so few answers.
Sadly, fans won’t get closure for a long, long time.