HBO programming president Casey Bloys has officially confirmed that Game of Thrones season 8 (the series' final season) will premiere during the first half of 2019. Bloys further acknowledged that a recent report claiming the Game of Thrones prequel/spinoff show will start production this fall was inaccurate.
The battle for the Iron Throne be coming to an end next year, but the Game of Thrones television universe will carry on long after the Night King and his White Walker army are defeated, if HBO has any say in the matter. So far, the network has ordered the pilot for a Game of Thrones spinoff series created by writer Jane Goldman (Stardust, Kingsman) and set thousands of years before the original show, near the tail-end of the "Golden Age of Heroes". HBO has long assured that there will be a break Game of Thrones season 8 and either Goldman's show or any other spinoffs it decides to green light in the future. As such, a report from earlier this month - asserting that Goldman's pilot will begin shooting in Belfast this October - seemed a bit iffy, from the get-go.
Speaking at the Television Critics Association’s press tour in Beverly Hills, Bloys confirmed that Game of Thrones season 8 will premiere on HBO within the first six months of 2019. As for the aforementioned prequel/spinoff series filming start date article, Bloys admitted “I don’t know where that report came from, we’re hoping to go into production in early ’19". He further noted that Goldman's pilot is still on the hunt for a director and hasn't begun to put together a cast just yet.
Typically, in years past, Game of Thrones' seasons have premiered in April on HBO. The only exceptions to that rule were seasons 3 and season 7, which premiered on March 31 in 2013 and July 16 last year, respectively. Westworld season 2 "filled" the series' vacant spot this year, what with filming on season 8 having taken longer than seasons' past due to its sheer scale and scope. Since Westworld season 3 isn't expected to air until the first half of 2020 (resulting in a similar two-year break between seasons, like the one between seasons 1 and 2), it stands to reason that Game of Thrones season 8 will start airing by next spring, possibly as soon as early April.
As for the prequel/spinoff series: it's encouraging to hear that HBO isn't rushing the project, in an effort to start filming this year. All eyes in the Game of Thrones fandom are on the show's impending conclusion anyway, so there's no need to hurry Goldman's pilot down the pipeline before it's ready. Moreover, after the bloodshed and heartbreak that is sure to come in season 8, viewers will probably need some extended recovery time before they plunge themselves back into the fantastical (yet very dangerous) world of Westeros on the small screen.
We will let you know when Game of Thrones season 8 gets an official premiere date.
Source: HBO [via EW]