Game of Thrones: HBO Boss Defends Decision to Air Final Season in 2019

Game of Thrones fans erupted in a chorus of “Shame!” earlier this month when it was confirmed that the series’ eighth and final season will not air until 2019. But HBO president Casey Bloys is defending his decision to delay the Emmy winning dragon drama’s return.

For starters, “It wasn’t necessarily a delay,” he argues, adding that the 2019 announcement came after showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss took stock of their Season 8 need. “It was based on when they felt that they could deliver a show that they are most proud of.

“I suppose we could’ve said to them, ‘You must deliver by this date,”‘ he continues. “But we’ve worked with them a long time and I trust them to tell us, ‘This is the time we need to make it good.’ So I don’t know that it’s a delay as much as it is ‘This is the time required to deliver at the level that they think the fans expect.'”

It was back in December that series star Sophie Turner told our sister site Variety that Game of Thrones wouldn’t be back until 2019. Turner also revealed that production on Season 8 is not slated to conclude until late summer, making a 2018 bow impossible.