For Game of Thrones fans clinging to hope that the series will return for its eighth and final season in 2018, Sophie Turner has some bad news. Speaking to Variety on Wednesday, the actor confirmed what HBO had been hinting at for some time: Thrones won’t be back until 2019.
Granted, nothing’s set in stone until HBO says so, but it sounds like there’s still a lot of work to be done on the final episodes of the series. Turner says the show will be shooting for at least another six months, potentially stretching production out into the summer of 2018. And while Season 8 is going to be just six episodes, each episode of the final season may be feature-length. In other words, HBO is shooting the equivalent of six movies at once.
That also doesn’t factor in what should be lengthy postproduction work. The season promises to be full of dragons and White Walkers — plus, potential war elephants from Cersei’s hired army of mercenaries, the Golden Company, and perhaps the first Ghost sighting in decades. That means extensive, and expensive, CGI, which will take time. It’s a long wait, I know, especially since former actors like Jason Momoa, who visited the set, have said that Season 8 will be the “greatest thing that’s ever aired on TV” and will “fuck up a lot of people.”
Might I suggest bingeing Big Little Lies to hold you over? It’s not Westeros, and there are no CGI dragons, but Laura Dern sips wine overlooking the California coastline from a decadent mansion, which also counts as blockbuster television.
Think about it.
Disclosure: HBO is an initial investor in The Ringer.