It’s official: HBO announces final Game of Thrones Season 8 for 2019

As if any confirmation was needed, HBO anyway decided to do some fan service and officially announced the impending final Season’s arrival for its massively popular show Game of Thrones. Season 8 of the show will skip a year and air in 2019, while also becoming the show’s final season to be broadcast. Although exact air dates are unknown at this stage, it will span six episodes most likely spread out over six consecutive weeks.

In addition to the show’s air-year, HBO also confirmed writers and directors for Season 8. Notably, writing duties for the six episodes will be shared among the showrunners David Benioff & D. B. Weiss along with writers Bryan Cogman and Dave Hill. On the other hand, directorial reigns to the episodes will be taken up once again by the showrunners David Benioff & D. B. Weiss along with David Nutter and (thank goodness) Miguel Sapochnik. Additionally, HBO names the creator-duo along with Carolyn Strauss, Frank Doelger and Bernadette Caulfield as the show’s executive producers while Bryan Cogman, Guymon Casady, Vince Gerardis and George R.R. Martin will serve the show in a co-executive producer capacity.

The presence of Benioff and Weiss was a given, seeing as they were responsible for the show’s inception but ardent fans will be heaving a sigh of relief as well as expressing sheer delight on seeing the name Miguel Sapochnik. For those readers unaware, he was the director behind some of the biggest episodes of Game of Thrones such as BlackwaterHardhomeBattle of the Bastards and The Winds of Winter. While his presence was sorely missed in Season 7, it’s good to see he’s coming back to support the final season. And if the ending to Season 7 was anything to go by, we’re in for at least one mighty battle sequence in which the showrunners could use Sapochnik’s hand. I suspect each of the directors direct two episodes; likewise every writer should helm two episodes each.

The announcement news comes as fans have been clamoring for more info on Game of Thrones, albeit such info has been hard to come by. And that’s not without good reason. A few days back, star Emilia Clarke who plays the famed Mother of Dragons Danaerys Targeryn gave some insight into the security measures implemented on set to avoid leaks of any sort from trickling out. Some of these include social media bans for the actors involved and showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss scripting multiple endings to the show in a bid to conceal the real one in the event of a leak. This is to prevent a recurrence of the past which hasn’t been too kind to the show in terms of leaks; Season 5 saw its first four episodes being leaked while Season 7 had more or less its entire script leaked and dissected on Reddit with most of the predicted plot points turning out to be correct.

Showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss also have a herculean task ahead of them in wrapping up the show in a satisfactory manner. While Season 7 was on the top of several critics and fan lists, even topping charts as the most pirated season of the year, it did receive a healthy share of criticism for the writers ditching time-travel mechanics and moving the pieces a tad too fast to arrive at cool fan-anticipated moments; some even went as far as to call the show an elaborate piece of fan-fiction. Understandably, the task has been tougher for the writers who set out to adapt the novels but ran out of material courtesy the slow writing pace of George R. R. Martin. Regardless, it’s notable that they’ve chosen to retire on a high without stretching the series and dragging it out unnecessarily unlike some of the other shows (*cough* The Walking Dead *cough*).

It could be a while until we here more about Season 8 in an official capacity. To that end, if you want to revisit the Season gone by, check out our episode-wise reviews for Season 7 on Appocalypse.