Kit Harington in "Game of Thrones" (HBO/Helen Sloan)

"Game of Thrones" season 8 may not debut until 2019 — dang

The final season was set to bow in 2018, but evidence and hints from cast members suggests otherwise


Rachel Leah
October 6, 2017 6:35PM (UTC)

HBO will start shooting the final season of "Game of Thrones" this month, Liam Cunningham, best known as Ser Davos told a crowd at Comic-Con in New York Friday. "We’re doing the first table read on Sunday for the first three episodes, second table reading on Monday, then we start rehearsals, then we start shooting," he said.

But there's more. Cunningham insinuated that the new season's premiere might be farther off than we originally thought. "[The episodes are] definitely going to be bigger and what I hear is longer," Cunningham told TV Guide. "We're filming right up until the summer. When you think about it, up until last season we'd have six months to do ten episodes, so we're [doing] way more than that for six episodes. So that obviously will translate into longer episodes."

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Filming right up until the summer? 2017's summer has come and gone, so it seems he could only be talking about the summer of 2018. *Long sigh*. According to Entertainment Weekly, filming for "Thrones" usually wraps in December, with new season premieres typically in the spring and summer. At the very least, we can rejoice for longer episodes, even if it means the finale is literally years off.

Cunningham continued, "'Game of Thrones' is not like any other show. It's nuts. You basically put your life on hold when you start shooting. Yeah, HBO owns your ass," Cunningham said to TV Guide.

But Cunningham isn't put off by the schedule. "It's a dream job," he continued. "I mean, you people don't want this to end, imagine how I feel. My accountant is crapping himself at the moment!”

As the actor who plays Ser Jorah Mormont explains, there's a logistical element at work here dictated by the show's narrative. “We’re all starting to occupy the same territory, we’re all starting to be in the same story lines and so they can’t [have two filming units] anymore,” Ian Glen said at Comic Con Stockholm Thursday. “I think this last season will take much longer to shoot because they can only use one unit because we’re all in the same sort of scenes.” Hmmm. Makes sense.

There's also them dragons to think of. "Thrones" post-production efforts are complex and considerable what with the massive amount of GCI flying lizards, ice zombies and wholly artificial locales the fantasy series brings to life. Completing shooting in the summer of 2018 means teams of graphics houses may indeed be playing with pixels well into the new year.

Welp, at least you'll have "Westworld," right?

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Rachel Leah

Rachel Leah is a culture writer for Salon. You can follow her on Twitter: @rachelkleah.

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