The Final Season of ‘Game of Thrones’ Might Be Delayed Until 2019

The seventh and almost final season of HBO’s Game of Thrones is set to premiere on July 16 (after delays due to weather woes), but we’ll have to wait a few more winters until we see the last season of the series. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, HBO programming chief Casey Bloys indicated that the eighth and final season might not air until, wait for it, 2019. Bloys shared that the production schedule is still pending as showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss prepare to write the farewell episodes. “By the time the final season airs, Dan and David will have been at this for 12 years,” Boys said. And let’s not forget that the series final two seasons will be on the short side, with season 7 at only seven episodes and season 8 at six episodes. More on that prequel spinoff, too:

“I want to put the prequels in context,” Bloys began. “It should go without saying I love having a show with this much intense interest around it. Even the smallest bit of information is a big deal and I appreciate that. But I wanted to make sure fans know this is a really embryonic process. I haven’t even seen outlines. In the press at large, everybody said, ‘there are four spinoffs’ and they assume that means each one is happening and we’re going to have a new Game of Thrones show per quarter. That’s not what’s going on. The idea is not to do four shows. The bar set by [Benioff and Weiss] is so high that my hope is to get one show that lives up to it. Also, this is a long-term plan. Our No. 1 goal is the seventh season this summer and getting the eighth season written and aired.”

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Can you talk about your strategy to develop multiple Thrones prequels at once? It’s a unique approach, particularly for a network that’s never made a spinoff or prequel series before.
CASEY BLOYS: You couldn’t do this with a lot of shows. In talking with the drama group here, and the nice thing is George has created an entire universe. The fact that there’s enough material to even contemplate making different prequels is crazy when you think about it. George has all these histories he’s thought about and that’s one reason why the books are so good.

The other reason, frankly, as I said, is the bar is so high. If you only developed one, everything would rest on that one shot. It’s such a special show. I want to make sure that [any prequel] feels worthy. We have some amazing writers who want to take a shot at this. They’re also looking at different times in the universe and all will have different feels. This increases our odds of finding one that’s unique.

So, basically, there’s a lot more waiting in our future. Time to get comfortable with all this vagueness.