Winter is finally coming! The eighth and final season of HBO's "Game of Thrones" is set to air in the first half of 2019, HBO programming president Cadey Bloys announced to reporters Wednesday at the annual Television Critics Association (TCA).
The news from Bloys narrows down the show's premiere date, which was previously promised by one of the show's stars to arrive sometime next year without further detail.
Variety's Debra Birnbaum and the Hollywood Reporter's Lesley Goldberg were among those to tweet the news.
On July 7, actress Maisie Williams, who plays the badass and beloved character Arya Stark, published a photo to Instagram of previously-white, blood-stained sneakers – alluding to the fact that Season 8 had wrapped filming.
She wrote: "goodbye belfast. goodbye arya. goodbye game of thrones. what a joy i’ve had. here’s to the adventures to come #lastwomanstanding #barely #immasleepforthenextfouryears #justkiddingidontsleep."
Emilia Clarke, the actress who plays Daenerys Targaryen, known by the extended "First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragon," also paid tribute to the end of production last month.
She wrote on Instagram: "Hopped on a boat to an island to say goodbye to the land that has been my home away from home for almost a decade. "It’s been a trip @gameofthrones thank you for the life I never dreamed I’d be able to live and the family I’ll never stop missing #💔#lastseasonitis."
HBO has already revealed that the final season of "Game of Thrones" would only include six episodes, although they will likely be longer than a one-hour bloc ― similar to the extended episodes in Season 7.
"Although Season 7 was plagued by leaks ― including entire episodes ― producers have taken steps to ensure that Season 8 is kept under wraps," according to HuffPost. "The cast and crew reportedly filmed multiple endings in order to foil leakers so that no one can be quite sure what’s real and what isn’t."
For those of you already mourning the end of an era, things are not fully over yet. Bloys told reporters that a pilot for a "Thrones" prequel is expected to begin taping in early 2019. While there had been five potential spinoffs in the works, Bloys added that "there are no plans to make any others at this point."
The programming president elaborated: "The reason we did multiple scripts, in the development process, [we knew] out of five we’d be lucky to get one we’re excited about."
HBO is searching for a cast and director for the project from Jane Goldman prequel, which is set to take place "thousands of years before the events of 'Game of Thrones.'"