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Game of Thrones ended Season 7 on an exciting (and somewhat terrifying) note, and fans everywhere are dying to know what happens next. Unfortunately, no premiere window has yet been announced. Now, after a perhaps mistaken revelation by Game of Thrones actress Sophie Turner, it's being reported more and more that the release date for Season 8 is going to be in 2019. Before fans attempt to offer sacrifices to the Lord of Light in hopes of pushing things forward, they need to accept that while not ideal, this is far from the most horrible thing to happen. In fact, there is an ample amount of reasons why later rather than sooner is fine for Game of Thrones' final bow, and a lot of it comes down to quality.
Sophie Turner recently stated that Game of Thrones will premiere in 2019 while chatting with Variety. As it stands, Game of Thrones has 6 episodes to wrap up the entire story of Westeros. For those that need a refresher for what all that entails, that includes: the war between the Night King and mankind, the war between Cersei and whoever is left, Dany and Jon's new love, Sansa's search for power, Cersei dying like the witch prophesized, Varys revealing what he heard in those flames long ago, Brienne and Jaime reconnecting, Arya and Gendry reconnecting, Azor Ahai being revealed, whatever Bran's deal is now, Tyrion having a happy ending, the remaining two dragons going up against their undead sibling, and and more.
To work all of that into a six-episode season where everything needs a conclusive ending is going to take longer than a few months to capture on film, let alone piece together in post-production! Given cast members like Sophie Turner and Gwendoline Christie are going to be touring for film releases and things of that nature throughout that time, it's going to be near impossible to get the entire band back together on set for any consistent stretch of time. While that wasn't a huge issue in seasons past, it would likely be a bit more of a problem as everyone's story interweaves even tighter leading up to the show's finale. While fans unquestionably want Game of Thrones as soon as possible, few would likely want it at the cost of reduced appearances by an important member of the cast.
There's also something to be said for the crew and the amount of quality they put into Game of Thrones. Season 7 offered some of the best battle sequences seen in television history, and it took a lot of choreography and work to make that happen. When a show films a scene which sets the record for "most stuntmen simultaneously set on fire," you can bet the last thing on anyone's mind when attempting a feat that dangerous is how long it's going to take to get done right. To bring these final battles the amount of grandeur and respect they warrant, Game of Thrones is going to need every bit of time they take to ensure the action somehow tops what viewers have already seen. Considering the show's impressive work so far, whatever the crew may have planned for the final battles seems as though it will be worth waiting for.
Once again, these final episodes of Season 8 will be the most important episodes of the entire series. It's where the battles, answers, and payoffs Game of Thrones fans have waited since 2011 to see happen. If the show screws the pooch and delivers a less-than-desirable ending, all the years and seasons before may feel like they mean nothing and the entire series will be plagued by the same kind of discussions regarding the show's ending that Lost fans have to this day. While that may be unfair to a lot of great shows, it is known that giving an ending that is any less grand than fans expect typically taints the entire series for all fans present and future.
Do it right, and Game of Thrones definitely enters the territory of a modern classic and could eventually elevate to the same level as Lord of the Rings or maybe even Star Wars. The latter depends on how successfully Game of Thrones can franchise the world of Westeros via spinoff, but it goes without saying that if Game of Thrones ends with a bang, this will be a series that will be enjoyed not just by current fans, but also future generations. It's just too big not to, especially if Hollywood is still doing reboots decades from now.
That sounds overdramatic, and maybe it is a bit, but there's no denying Game of Thrones will be remembered as a big part of pop culture in the early decades of the 2000s. With record-setting audiences tuning in during a time where fantasy style shows are not the most trendy thing to do in television, there will be conversations about how to recapture the success of this show for years to come regardless of what people think of the ending. Beyond everything else that's been stated as a valid reason to let the show take its time with Season 8, the main takeaway is that the hype surrounding this show will remain whether fans wait six months or two years for its release. If it takes a little longer than usual to finish things out, then so be it. The fans will still be around.
In case it isn't explicitly obvious in the above, it sounds like Season 8 of Game of Thrones is happening in 2019. For a list of shows to watch in the meantime, head on over to our fall premiere guide and midseason premiere guide. For a look at some shows that were canceled in 2017, visit our cancellation guide.