The year 2018 is long and devoid of a certain fantasy epic.
Game of Thrones will not return until 2019, HBO announced Thursday, ending months of speculation about when the dragon drama would return for its eighth and final season.
The cabler did not release a specific start date for the six-episode run. It did, however, confirm that episodes will be written by showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, as well as Bryan Cogman and Dave Hill. As previously reported, Benioff and Weiss direct episodes, including the series finale, and fan favorites David Nutter (Season 3’s “Mother’s Mercy,” Season 5’s “The Rains of Castamere”) and Miguel Sapochnik (Season 6’s “Battle of the Bastards,” Season 5’s “Hardhome”) also will helm installments.
In December, series star Sophie Turner told our sister site Variety that her series wouldn’t be back until 2019, echoing sentiments earlier voiced by her castmate Liam Cunningham.
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In October, Cunningham said that Thrones was gearing up to start production on the last season and would be shooting through summer 2018 — which, given the amount of post-production work the show requires, wouldn’t leave much time for a Season 8 premiere by the end of the year. In the Variety interview, Turner confirmed that there are “six or seven months left” in shooting Season 8.