The final season of Game of Thrones may have fewer episodes than usual, but that doesn’t seem like it will translate to less of a wait for new episodes.
In an interview with TVGuide posted on Thursday, Liam Cunningham — who plays Ser Davos Seaworth on the show — implied that the series would take just the amount of time to shoot as previous, longer seasons. “[The episodes are] definitely going to be bigger and what I hear is longer. We’re filming right up until the summer,” Cunningham said. “When you think about it, up until last season we’d have six months to do ten episodes, so we’re [doing] way more than that for six episodes. So that obviously will translate into longer episodes.”
As Cunningham mentions, it usually takes about six months to film each season of Game of Thrones. Entertainment Weekly pointed out that the show’s most recent season shot from August 2016 to February 2017 and aired in July of that year, so the time between filming and airing is about four months. If Game of Thrones’ final season of filming comes up right until the summer, as Cunningham said, that doesn’t give the series much time to squeeze into 2018. Rumors even suggest that production on the series may take longer than that.
On Friday, at New York Comic Con, Cunningham said that though he has the new Game of Thrones scripts, “there are about 450 things you need to do to open them,” but he’s only done “about 200,” implying a high level of security on the documents themselves.
Showrunners Dan Weiss and David Benioff have previously said they’d be working on the show for a year and a half, which was indirectly reported by EW in June, where it was also revealed that the show may not return until 2019.
While Season 8 may be shooting for just as long as previous seasons, that may not mean each episode will be longer. In an interview with the Independent posted on Thursday, Iain Glen (Jorah Mormont) said that the final season will take longer to film because they will only be able to use one filming unit at a time, as opposed to the multiple ones the show had in previous seasons. “I think this last season will take much longer to shoot because they can only use one unit because we’re all in the same sort of scenes,” Glen said. “We’re all starting to occupy the same territory, we’re all starting to be in the same storylines and so they can’t [have two filming units] anymore.” However, that doesn’t completely rule out feature-length episodes. In July, David Chen tweeted that the show’s sound designer, Paula Fairfield, told attendees of a Con of Thrones panel that the creative team was considering making every episode movie length.
At this point, it seems like everything’s pointing to Game of Thrones returning in 2019. But regardless of when it eventually comes out, the wait for the final season is probably going to be painful.
The final season of Game of Thrones will either air in late 2018 or early 2019.
If you liked this article, check out this video about incest on Game of Thrones.