The HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones premiered in 2011, with new seasons arriving on a yearly basis through the seventh season in 2017. Season 8, the show’s last, won’t premiere until 2019, meaning fans are waiting longer than ever between seasons.
But why the wait? Showrunner David Benioff said at the Emmys that the long wait is due in part to the size and scope of the final season.
— Variety (@Variety) September 18, 2018
“The final season is taking a long time because it’s the biggest thing we’ve ever done. Even though it’s six episodes, it took us … it was nearly a full year in Belfast either prepping it or actually shooting it,” he said. “I think it’s quite extraordinary what the crew and these actors have created. And I think when people see it they’re going to understand why it took so long.”
Benioff stressed that no one went on vacation or slacked off during production. The long production was needed because the final season is so ambitions, Benioff said. “The last season is far beyond what we’ve ever attempted before,” he explained. “And it’s taken a really f**king long time. I hope it will be worth it.”
While there are only six episodes in the final Game of Thrones season, each one might be as long as a movie. And it sounds like there will be some epic sequences, as one of the battles required 55 consecutive nights of shooting.
The eighth and final Game of Thrones season is set to premiere sometime in 2019. Author George R.R. Martin recently said he believes the show could have run for 11, 12, or even 13 seasons, though he understands that Benioff and D.B. Weiss want to go do new things.