Game of Thrones is the most anticipated show returning in 2019. And now we have a target date of when the show will be back on the air, thanks to Maisie Williams, who spilled the beans to Metro this afternoon. According to her, Game Of Thrones Season 8 premieres in April 2019.
UPDATE: On Monday, Jan. 29, Maisie Williams tweeted a correction saying that Metro UK had misappropriated an earlier quote from her in that part of the interview, and that the April 2019 date was "completely false." She wrote, "Just a tweet letting you know this game of thrones release date 'quote' I've supposedly given is completely false and taken from an interview I did years ago."
EARLIER: But that's not all. Those of us who thought filming ended in summer of 2018 were wrong. Williams says they're going all the way up to December of 2018 before it's all through, and that the final six episodes will then undergo all the CGI needed from January to April, which is the same length of time it used to take for the show to do the CGI on all ten episodes of a regular season.
Here's Williams' quote:
We wrap in December and we air our first episode in April . 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.
So for those who are making their 2019 plans around Game of Thrones last six episodes, mark your calendars.
This is slightly surprising, since it seemed far more likely Game of Thrones, having left the April slot on HBO's calendar, would pick and choose their final dates to be someplace else. Season 7, for instance, was very successful in the summer slot, ratings wise, simply because there was zero competition. Meanwhile, the spring position the show recently vacated last year was a total glut of brand new prestige TV series, from American Gods to The Handmaid's Tale to Twin Peaks: The Return. Many of these new series have Game of Thrones to partially thank for being greenlit in the first place.
But, despite their newfound freedom to sit anywhere they want in the calendar year, Game of Thrones apparently seems to have decided that instead of hurrying up and grabbing a position in the middle of winter in early 2019 for their final episodes, they're going to use the extra time to film the show instead. Novel that!
This also gives them time to make good on that threat to film multiple false ending to throw fans off the scent. I've never been a true believer that they would do such a thing, because the budget cost seemed far too high. If anything, "false scenes" would be more like in Season 6, where Sibel Kekelli spent a day or so hanging out in costume on the set, sending fans into a tizzy that a "Ghost Shae" might turn up in Tyrion's visions.
Turned out it was all a hoax, and if she was in the scenes they filmed that day, it was as an out of focus background extra. But it didn't cost them much extra, other than perhaps a day or three's salary to an actress the production already liked, and no fake scenes were filmed.
Unless Williams is screwing with us, it seems that the show will indeed return to the place it began, where HBO is most comfortable with it. When you're the 800 pound prestige show, you get to sit wherever you want on the schedule. Considering the sort of ratings it will probably garner, perhaps a few of the shows that would have gone in the April 2019 Sunday night slot might consider moving up or back by six weeks?
That also means the final episode will air only a couple of weeks before Emmy nominations voting closes for the 2018-2019 TV season, ensuring one more their total domination of those awards in their final year.
Game of Thrones Season 8 will be here in somewhere around 14 months' time, in April of 2019.