HBO has delivered a succinct four-sentence email that confirms the eighth and final season of the critically-acclaimed series Game of Thrones will not premiere until an unspecified date sometime in 2019.
Rumors suggesting that 2018 would be devoid of new Game of Thrones episodes have been circulating since last summer when a shortened Season 7 blew us all away with spectacle befitting a major motion picture with a lofty budget.
The irony of having to wait what will likely be a minimum of 18 months between seasons is Season 8 has been trimmed back from eight episodes in Season 7 to six for the final season. Logic would presume that fewer episodes would take a shorter amount of time to produce. In this instance that’s anything but true.
As evidenced by massive battles and dragon spectacle in Season 7, the final season will be chock full of complex visual effects and shooting locations that span multiple continents. The logistics of setting up the shots combined with what will be a lengthy post production process plays a big part into the delay between seasons.
Talent availability could also be a factor in why we have to wait for Game of Thrones Season 8. Most of the core cast are involved in other projects. For example, Emilia Clarke plays the female lead in Lucasfilm’s upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story prequel.
The x-factor could be HBO’s marketing plans for not only the Game of Thrones franchise but also their tent pole originals. It is expected that Westworld Season 2 will debut this summer. If HBO wants to ensure a heavy hitter is available each year, coupling the final Game of Thrones season with the awaited return of Westworld in the same year isn’t the best strategy to avoid subscriber churn.
Those plans could also include the five known Game of Thrones spin-offs that are in various stages of development. HBO could be developing at least one of the spin-offs alongside the final season of Game of Thrones, utilizing resources and/or footage from the finale to help launch a new series.
The thought process is that by the time Game of Thrones wraps up with its six-episode final season in 2019, we’ll know a lot more about the first spin-off’s plans. When will it premiere? When is it set? Will there be crossover characters? These are all questions fans are dying to know the answers to.
For the rest of this year that just began, new Game of Thrones is not meant to be. We’ll have to otherwise occupy our time taking advantage of a Betvictor casino promo code, arguing about Star Wars online, or gearing up for the return of Westworld.