Goddamnit, here’s the strongest evidence so far that the final season of Game of Thrones won’t air until 2019.
Liam Cunningham, who plays the charmingly gruff Ser Davos Seaworth, told TV Guide that they’ll be filming “right up until the summer”, which in the United States runs from mid-June to mid-September.
“[The episodes are] definitely going to be bigger and what I hear is longer. We’re filming right up until the summer. When you think about it, up until last season we’d have six months to do ten episodes, so we’re [doing] way more than that for six episodes. So that obviously will translate into longer episodes.”
Shooting for Season 8 begins this month, with Cunningham taking part in a table read this Sunday. But even Ser Davos doesn’t quite know when filming will wrap.
“Game of Thrones is not like any other show. It’s nuts. You basically put your life on hold when you start shooting. Yeah, HBO owns your ass.”
At six episodes, Season 8 is already going to be significantly shorter than a normal Game of Thrones season, although it’s expected that each episode will have a long-ass run time.
As Entertainment Weekly points out, one of the major factors pushing the shoot time for this season is that for the first time in the show’s history, most of the characters are now in the same place.
Usually Game of Thrones films with two units (and sometimes three or four) in different countries. But now they’ve got one unit, filming all the characters in the all-consuming war against the army of the dead.
“I think this last season will take much longer to shoot because they can only use one unit because we’re all in the same sort of scenes,” Iain Glen, who play Ser Jorah Mormont, told The Independent. “We’re all starting to occupy the same territory, we’re all starting to be in the same storylines and so they can’t [have two filming units] anymore.”
If filming doesn’t wrap till at least June – and possibly September – and then you have to deal with the fancy post-production that brings the fantasy world of Westeros to life, then it’s looking increasingly likely that HBO will push the release to 2019.
At least next year we’ll have the second season of HBO’s drama Westworld to look forward to. It’s something, y’know?