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The final season of Game of Thrones may not air until 2019

Game of Thrones HBO

Thanks to the production schedule of Game of Thrones' upcoming seventh season, we've already experienced a delay from the series' customary spring debut, but we may face an even longer wait for the eighth and final season. While speaking with Entertainment Weekly, HBO programming president Casey Bloys revealed that Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss will be working on crafting the final season for the next year and a half, which means that we may not see the final six-episodes of the series until 2019. It's not set in stone obviously, but HBO clearly wants to give the pair all the time they require to pull this off.

They have to write the episodes and figure out the production schedule. We’ll have a better sense of that once they get further into the writing.

As Benioff and Weiss will be quite busy with giving Game of Thrones a proper send off, Bloys says that they will have little involvement in the various prequel series in development.

By the time the final season airs, Dan and David will have been at this for 12 years. Which is an amazing fact. They didn’t go and do movies in between seasons, they didn’t set anything else up, they put everything — and are putting everything — into this show. They came into HBO with an idea for a show with a beginning, middle, and end, and they want to see it through. In conversations with them, they feel if their name is on the prequels — even in a passive way — it conveys some sort of expectation or responsibility. They want to enjoy the show as fans and don’t want to worry about the scripts or production issues. We were hoping to have their names on it out of respect for them, but we understand why they don’t want that.

As far as the proposed Game of Thrones prequels go, Bloys cautioned that they are still in the very early stages.

I want to put the prequels in context. It should go without saying I love having a show with this much intense interest around it. Even the smallest bit of information is a big deal and I appreciate that. But I wanted to make sure fans know this is a really embryonic process. I haven’t even seen outlines. In the press at large, everybody said, ‘there are four spinoffs’ and they assume that means each one is happening and we’re going to have a new Game of Thrones show per quarter. That’s not what’s going on. The idea is not to do four shows. The bar set by [Benioff and Weiss] is so high that my hope is to get one show that lives up to it. Also, this is a long-term plan. Our No. 1 goal is the seventh season this summer and getting the eighth season written and aired.

When asked if he had seen a cut of the first episode of Game of Thrones' seventh season, Bloys replied, "I don’t want to oversell, but I can’t imagine anybody being disappointed in this season. It’s amazing." Game of Thrones will return to HBO on July 16, 2017.

Source: EW

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