After the game-changing events of the Game of Thrones Season 7 finale, Westeros is never going to be the same. Fans are no doubt wondering how Jon Snow and co. are going to deal with the Night King now that the Wall has fallen, but there’s an even more important question: When will we get to see how this story ends?
There aren’t many specific details about the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones, but here’s everything we know so far.
When will Season 8 premiere?
We don’t know. HBO hasn’t specified an exact date, and they won’t until much, much closer to whatever the final premiere date ends up being. Remember, it was only in March of 2017 that HBO confirmed Season 7’s exact premiere date with that infamous melting ice block stunt.
That said, there’s reason to believe that we’re going to have to wait longer than normal for the next season of Thrones. Production on the final season is expected the start in October, according to Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. Given how long it usually takes to make a season of the increasingly expensive and complex series, there are well-founded concerns that the final season won’t air until late 2018, or even early 2019.
How many episodes will there be?
Much like Season 7, Season 8 will be shorter than normal. Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are only making six episodes of Game of Thrones this time around. The good news is that every one of those six episodes is going to be long. HBO brass has suggested that the episodes will exceed 80 minutes in length, and a few might even be feature length.
Are there any spoilers or leaks about Season 8 yet?
Season 7 was plagued by leaks, but it’s too early for Game of Thrones detectives to have learned anything about the final season. Season 7 has been written, but filming hasn’t begun yet. Barring a leak from the inside, which could happen, the main way fans piece together what to expect from an upcoming season is through set photos. Some rando in Belfast, Ireland, will post pictures to Instagram of three unexpected actors getting dinner together, and the fandom works backwards to figure out what that shooting location means in-universe and what’s bringing that group of characters together. The Thrones fandom is scary good at this, but it’s too early … for now.
What about those spin-offs?
HBO programming president Casey Bloys says the planned Game of Thrones spin-off wouldn’t come out until after the main series is all finished.
“The number one priority in all of this is the final season of Game of Thrones,’ Bloys explained during the Television Critics Association press tour. “I don’t want to do anything with a spinoff or anything that detracts or distracts from that.”
He went on to say that the spin-off likely wouldn’t premiere until a year after the eighth season of Game of Thrones finishes airing, so no matter what, we’re waiting a long time to go back to Westeros.