It’s official: The eighth and final season of Game of Thrones will not air in 2018.
HBO issued a short release Thursday confirming that the remaining six episodes will air in 2019. A specific premiere date has yet to be revealed, and HBO’s announcement declined to provide anything more than writers, producers and directors associated with the fantasy juggernaut.
The news that Game of Thrones would not air this year comes as little surprise, as the final season is expected to stretch more than eight months. (Many of the episodes will likely be supersized, though that has yet to be confirmed as well.) Production on the eighth and final season began in October and will reportedly run through August 2018 — a full year following the season seven finale.
“Our production people are trying to figure out a timeline for the shoot and how much time the special effects take,” HBO programming president Casey Bloys told The Hollywood Reporter over the summer about the long wait between seasons of Thrones. “The shooting is complicated enough — on different continents, with all the technical aspects — and the special effects are a whole other production period that we’re trying to figure out. That is a big factor in all of this.”
Directors for season eight are showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, David Nutter and Miguel Sapochnik. Writers are Benioff and Weiss, Bryan Cogman and Dave Hill.
HBO remains in development on a number of prequel series.