Jon Snow knows nothing, but Sansa Stark apparently knows plenty — including when the final season of Game of Thrones will air.
Speaking to Variety, Sophie Turner seemed to confirm months of speculation that Game of Thrones won’t launch its eighth and final season next year, but will instead hold the much anticipated series finale until 2019.
“We started in October, so we’re maybe like a tenth of the way through,” Turner joked when asked how filming was progressing on Season 8. “No, no, we’ve got six or seven months left.”
Seven months would wrap filming at some point in July, but with the final six episodes rumored to be almost feature length, it’s sensible to expect post-production and visual effects to take several additional months.
While HBO could feasibly still launch Season 8 in the fall of 2018, it would then be competing with the launch of the traditional TV season, when broadcast networks debut their biggest new shows. And while Game of Thrones would likely easily beat whatever HBO’s broadcast and cable rivals are debuting in terms of ratings, it would make sense to eventize the final season and ensure that the finale’s marketing cuts through the clutter — especially with a few months’ worth of extra hype.
The best evidence to support a 2019 launch? Turner said so herself when discussing her upcoming projects with Variety: “Game of Thrones comes out in 2019. Dark Phoenix is in November. Then I have a couple indie movies coming out.”
And while nothing is official until HBO confirms the premiere date publicly, it certainly sounds like we’re in for a long winter.