After six seasons of build up, winter might have come at last to Game of Thrones in Season 6 and 7 — but it will still be a long time before it ends. While this is unanimously bad news for fans of the show, the good news is that the delay gives George R. R. Martin more time to get his act together on The Winds of Winter.

According to a set report from Watchers on the Wall, the filming schedule of the eighth and final Game of Thrones season means that it will likely air almost two years after Season 7. This confirms what HBO programming president Casey Bloys said on June 2.

Season 8, which will consist of just six episodes, reportedly needs to use two Spanish landmarks to stand in as a King’s Landing setting: the Dragonpit. It hasn’t appeared on-screen yet, but it’s a ruined facility where the Targaryens used to keep their dragons. It has a bloody history and will reportedly making its on-screen debut in Season 7. The fact that it’s important enough to schedule filming around in the final season is intriguing news.

Also intriguing is how this could give the sixth and penultimate novel The Winds of Winter time to come out before the show ends, thus ensuring that only the last novel will come out after the show has ended.

Although The Winds of Winter does not have a definitive publication date yet, George R. R. Martin should theoretically be able to get his shit together in two years. That is, assuming The Winds of Winter is still coming.


Game of Thrones Season 7 airs July 16 on HBO.

Photos via HBO