Game of Thrones season 8 (the show's final season) is set to begin filming in a couple of months from now. Season 7 of Thrones is currently airing - and even if you didn’t know going in that the series only had one season left, the various convergences of the show’s many long-running plots have indicated that the Song of Ice and Fire is nearing its endgame. We’ve had important characters meeting one another for the first time in years in season 7, along with major events - dragons in Westeros, White Walkers on the verge of breaching The Wall - that the show has been hinting at for most of its run.
Thrones season 7 started airing mid-summer, whereas the previous six seasons began in the spring. The delay was chalked up to a more demanding production schedule, even for a smaller number of episodes; it’s also been necessary to film more scenes in winter conditions. The question has been raised of how long, exactly, fans will have to wait for Game of Thrones season 8, with some indicators signaling that season 8 might not arrive until 2019 or late 2018, at the earliest. Now, we at least have some answers about when filming will begin for season 8.
During an interview with Collider, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau - who plays Jaime Lannister - confirmed that Game of Thrones season 8 begins filming this fall (October, to be exact). Based on the actor's comments (see below), it sounds as though Jaime should make it out of season 7 alive, too (unless he's intentionally misdirecting, of course):
“I knew what was going to happen for the first three seasons. After that, it’s been a season at a time. You get the scripts a month before we start shooting, or six weeks, and then you know what’s going to happen that season. But, I don’t know what’s going to happen next season. We go back in October, so maybe in the next few weeks, we’ll get the scripts and I’ll find out. I’m very curious.”
There’s not yet been an announcement from HBO concerning the premiere date for Game of Thrones season 8. Season 7 filmed from August 2016 to February 2017 ahead of its July premiere, so that indicates that season 8, which will be starting two months later, will in turn be premiering later - either in the fall of 2018 or possibly even 2019, as has been suggested before. While season 8 will have just six episodes, they’re said to be longer than those from seasons past - and who knows what that means, as far as production timetables are concerned.
What is known is that Game of Thrones’ final season is going to be hugely important to HBO (which is already exploring possible Game of Thrones spinoff ideas), so it’s no doubt worth the show's producers taking their time with their grand finale.
Game of Thrones continues with 'Beyond the Wall' on Sunday, August 20.