Game of Thrones: 2019 Premiere for Final Season Seems Even More Likely

Game of Thrones‘ eighth and final season will be shorter than any that preceded it… but evidence is mounting that the wait for it will be longer than ever before.

Thrones star Liam Cunningham recently told TVGuide.com that the HBO series is starting production on its final episodes soon and will shoot through the summer.

“When you think about it, up until last season we’d have six months to do 10 episodes, so we’re [doing] way more than that for six episodes. So that obviously will translate into longer episodes,” Cunningham told the site.

Given that the six final installments also are rumored to be bigger in scope than the average GoT episode, as well as how much post-production work is needed to bring Daenerys’ dragons to life and such, Cunningham’s comments seem to lend credence to HBO programming president Casey Bloys’ hinting that the final season won’t bow until 2019.

In addition, Westworld is due for a return in Summer 2018, and it doesn’t seem likely that the premium cable channel will have both of its big Comic-Con-bait dramas airing at the same time.

But here’s a bright spot to focus on as you realize how long it’ll be before you see Tyrion & Co. again: Cunningham tells the site that the cast is assembling this weekend in Belfast for the Season 8 table read.