Game of Thrones season 8 may not premiere until early 2019. Thrones fans are currently awaiting the premiere of season 7 next month, with the Thrones season 7 trailer having garnered a staggering sixty-one million views over the course of twenty-four hours of time. Among other things, Game of Thrones season 7 will see its main cast get more screen-time than ever, meaning fans will be getting to see more of their favorite characters in due time.
Game of Thrones season 7 is the second-to-last season of showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss's A Song of Ice and Fire adaptation, with season 8 set to consist of six episodes - as preceded by seven episodes during season 7, for a grand total of thirteen episodes total left on the show. Despite Game of Thrones' final two seasons being shorter than usual, the wait between seasons 6 and 7 was longer than customary and the same may hold true for the break between seasons 7 and 8, too.
In an interview with EW, HBO programming president Casey Bloys offered an update on Game of Thrones season 8, teasing the the season will be more cinematic in scope than any season to date. Bloys affirmed that this could mean season 8 won't premiere until early 2019 as a result, telling EW that Benioff and Weiss "have to write the episodes and figure out the production schedule. We’ll have a better sense of that once they get further into the writing." Speaking to that grandeur of both Games of Thrones season 7 and season 8, Bloys said:
"I hesitate to call them 'movies,' that sounds a bit grand. But one of the hallmarks of the show has been how cinematic it is. The show has proven that TV is every bit as impressive, and in many cases more so, than film. What they’re doing is monumental. When you see these battles in season seven, and what I imagine season eight will be, it’s a big, big show. We’ve done a lot of great shows, but this one combines the complex characters we love with a huge cinematic scope. I think this is the first show to prove that can be done — and we’re the first people to pay for it."
The hour-long installments that will be featured in seasons seven and eight of Game of Thrones are sure to thrill longtime fans of the series - as well as the original books written by George R.R. Martin. However, Benioff and Weiss will reportedly have little to do with any potential HBO prequel series. Reflecting on the showrunners' joint dedication to adapting Martin's original cycle of novels first and foremost, Bloys reflected:
"By the time the final season airs, Dan and David will have been at this for twelve years. Which is an amazing fact. They didn’t go and do movies in between seasons, they didn’t set anything else up, they put everything — and are putting everything — into this show. They came into HBO with an idea for a show with a beginning, middle, and end, and they want to see it through. In conversations with them, they feel if their name is on the prequels — even in a passive way — it conveys some sort of expectation or responsibility. They want to enjoy the show as fans and don’t want to worry about the scripts or production issues. We were hoping to have their names on it out of respect for them, but we understand why they don’t want that."
Assuming that Game of Thrones season 7 lives up to fans' expectations, the wait for season 8 - whether it arrives in late 2018 or the early goings of 2019 - should be all the more difficult for it.
Game of Thrones season 7 premieres on HBO on July 16.