'Games of Thrones' season 8 release date: HBO confirms fans' worst fears

'Games of Thrones' season 8 release date: HBO confirms fans' worst fears

While it's been speculated the final season of the series would not air until 2019, HBO made the news official on Thursday. The directors and writers for the final season were also announced: showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss will direct the series finale, and veteran Game of Thrones director David Nutter will return for three episodes, his first since season 5. The majority of the previous seasons contained 10 episodes; however, the last season will only contain six episodes.

FILE - This file publicity image released by HBO shows Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen in a scene from "Game of Thrones".

Sophie previously told Variety that production on Season 8 began in October and is set to run into the middle of 2018.

For Games of Thrones fans, winter isn't coming for a while.

You can also sleep beneath the trout sigil of House Tully
You can also sleep beneath the trout sigil of House Tully

David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Carolyn Strauss, Frank Doelger and Bernadette Caulfield are the executive producers. Also, with season 7 contending for Emmy awards in 2018 due to its summer launch past year, HBO can focus its GoT promotional efforts on its Emmy campaign rather than launching a new season.

The long gap until the final season would give author George R.R. Martin the chance to finish one or two new Game of Thrones books that he said in July he was working on.

Last August Foxtel said the show pulled in more than 1 million viewers per episode in Australia, but the series is also pirated at record rates. Cogman, Guymon Casady, Vince Gerardis and George R.R. Martin co-executive produce.

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