Though we’ve begrudgingly accepted that Game of Thrones will not be back until 2019, there is one big question that continues to plague impatient fans: Precisely what month next year is it expected to return?
Though HBO has yet to share an official premiere date, actress Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) recently claimed that the eighth and final season would debut sometime in April of 2019. This is exciting news for viewers who assumed the show wouldn’t return until the summer, just like the previous season.
“We wrap in December and we air our first episode in April ,” Williams told U.K.’s Metro. “That’s a four-month turnaround for these huge episodes. There’s a lot that goes into the final edit. You would not want to rush this season at all. We owe it to our audience and our fans to really do this final season to the best of our abilities.”
It’s fitting for GoT’s farewell season to premiere sometime in the spring. As we previously mentioned, season seven didn’t debut until July of last year; however, the first six seasons all premiered in either late March or April. So, if Williams is correct, that means the showrunners will restore a longstanding tradition, and, perhaps most importantly, fans won’t have to wait as long as initially expected.
“It’s the final season, and it’s a long one, so we’re taking our time,” he said.
Though the eighth season is expected to have only six episodes, there are rumors that the runtimes will be significantly longer. We’re talking feature-length.
“We know we have six episodes—we are not sure whether they will run for 70 minutes or even 90 minutes,” actor Kit Harington (Jon Snow) told the Mirror earlier this month. “There is so much work still to do. We haven't put together a full episode yet as there is more filming. The length will be a network decision. But we are busy.”
HBO needs to provide confirmation ASAP.