After weeks of rumors, David Benioff and Dan Weiss — showrunners of HBO’s massive hit Game of Thrones — have confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that the sword-and-sorcery epic will end after eight seasons.

For fans of the series, the news is hardly surprising. Both Benioff and Weiss have long stated their desire to end the series after the eighth season. Game of Thrones has caught up with the events portrayed in George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series and is now forging its own path to determine the future of war-torn Westeros.

After a blistering sixth season, Game of Thrones will be off the air until the debut of Season 7, with nary a hint of what’s to come (though we’ve got some guesses.

Whatever the showrunners have in store for the series’ final two seasons, there’s still a lot of narrative ground to cover. Dany has to get her army and her dragons across the ocean, Cersei Lannister and Jon Snow have to sort out the inevitable power kerfuffle that’s going to arise, Arya has a whole lot of targets to eliminate, and the entire scope of humanity has to unite in time to stop an army of virtually un-killable zombies. Given the show’s typically deliberate plotting, that’s a pretty tall order.

Kit Harrington might eventually get to film in a warmer climate, but winter is coming, so probably not.
Kit Harrington might eventually get to film in a warmer climate, but winter is coming, so probably not. 

Keep the faith, though. Game of Thrones’ sixth season saw a story that’s picking up speed (and keeping the surprises coming as five full years of set up are finally starting to come together. Now that the end has been confirmed, expect the dominoes to keep falling with increasing speed and ferocity.

Photos via HBO, hbo.com