Un-break our hearts, HBO. According to Entertainment Weekly, showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss are planning for Season 8 of Game of Thrones to air as late as 2019. That's two whole years from now. Programming president Casey Bloys talks us through the reasoning behind such a maddening wait, explaining to Entertainment Weekly that "they came into HBO with an idea for a show with a beginning, middle, and end, and they want to see it through."
In addition to waiting up to two years for more dragons and swords and wildfire, we also know that the last two seasons will be shorter. Season 7 will have seven episodes, and Season 8 will even be shorter with only six episodes. Given the escalating storytelling value, they will have to pack a lot of action into those few episodes to cleanly wrap up the show. But Game of Thrones (especially Season 6) feels intensely cinematic, especially with last season's "Battle of the Bastards." "One of the hallmarks of the show has been how cinematic is it. The show has proven that TV is every bit as impressive and in many cases more so, than film," Bloys told EW, and we agree. Each episode is becoming more like a feature-length movie in of itself.
The extra time between seasons also gives Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin extra time to wrap up his sixth book in the series, The Winds of Winter. This book will presumably cover the material we saw in Seasons 5 and 6, though the show creators have explained that the upcoming books and show have diverged quite a bit. George R. R. Martin has told that fans that there are two books left in the series, assuming he decides not write any more. And fans of the book series know that he is nowhere near done wrapping up all the intrigue in the books anytime soon, and in fact keeps adding more complicated plots on top of each other. The show, on the other hand, is racing towards an end point. Season 7 starts on July 17th, and they will no doubt leave us on some shocking cliffhanger. Which is going to make this wait even more painful. In the words of Aaliyah, we need a resolution.
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