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Fans of HBO's Game of Thrones have been waiting and waiting to find out when the show will return to the airwaves for the next season. The last season ended on a couple of pretty crazy cliffhangers that ranged from confirmation that Jon is the legitimate heir of Rhaegar Targaryen (and Dany's nephew) to the Wall coming down. Now, HBO has officially announced when Game of Thrones will be back, and it turns out that we'll be waiting a while. Season 8 of Game of Thrones will debut in 2019.
Rumors have abounded for quite a while that the show wouldn't be back at all this year, and actress Sophie Turner seemed to confirm those rumors not so long ago when she stated the Game of Thrones would return in 2019. Still, for those of us who have been dying to know what happens next for the folks of Westeros now that the Great War has officially begun, we had to hope that new episodes would debut in 2018. After all, the hiatus between Seasons 6 and Season 7 was already long; the idea of waiting a full calendar year for the eighth and final season wasn't too appealing.
Still, we can at least have faith that the delay means Game of Thrones is going all-out on the final season. Given that it will be the shortest season of the entire series with only six episodes, a rushed batch of episodes could have meant a disappointing end to a grand saga that has had viewers on the edges of their seats for years. It has to be better to do a great job than a quick job, right? Now that winter has come to Westeros, the show undoubtedly needs to count on colder and snowier conditions than earlier in the series. If we want to see a Great War with ice zombies aplenty, we need snow.
Unfortunately, we shouldn't count on finding out too much about what's going on with those ice zombies and White Walkers ahead of the 2019 premiere of Season 8. Game of Thrones is notoriously strict about finding ways to keep secrets from leaking, and the hacks from 2017 that saw episodes leaked online early probably mean that security will be even tighter for the final episodes. In fact, the show may be filming multiple endings so that nobody except the people at the top of the HBO chain now the ending before it airs. Directors for the final episodes of Season 8 are David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, David Nutter, and Miguel Sapochnik.
We'll have to wait and see what happens next. There's still no saying who will survive, let alone sit on the Iron Throne at the end. In fact, the only person who might stand a chance of finding out ahead of the finale is Bran as the Three-Eyed Raven, and he probably won't be dropping that bombshell early. For what you can watch in the meantime, check out our midseason TV premiere guide and our 2018 Netflix premiere schedule.