If you’re still reeling from Sunday’s traumatizing Game of Thrones death (you know the one), we’re pleased to bring you some much-needed good news from Westeros. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau—who plays Jamie Lannister on the show—has been hard at work promoting his new crime thriller Shot Caller, which is apparently a lot better than its milquetoast title suggests. Naturally, he’s being asked a lot about his work on the most popular television show on the planet, and specifically when fans might expect to see the eighth and final season. While Coster-Waldau was unable to divulge a premiere date—likely because there isn’t one yet—he did tell Collider that season eight will start shooting in October.
“You get the scripts a month before we start shooting, or six weeks, and then you know what’s going to happen that season,“ he said. “But, I don’t know what’s going to happen next season. We go back in October, so maybe in the next few weeks, we’ll get the scripts and I’ll find out. I’m very curious.”
It’s time to exhale, maybe. Back in June, HBO boss Casey Bloys hinted that the final season of its flagship show might not air until 2019 since David Benioff and D.B. Weiss hadn’t even begun the writing process, which sent some fans into a bit of a tizzy. Since debuting in 2011, Game of Thrones has been a summer staple on par with taking naps in hammocks and drinking way too much rosé.
If we do indeed have to wait until 2019 for the final season to air, 2018 will mark the first year since 2011 without any new episodes of GoT. And just because season eight starts filming in October, we can’t guarantee that we’ll get to see the fruits of their labor next year. By comparison, this current season started filming last August and wrapped in February. If we operate by that same metric, it would mean that season eight would wrap some time next April, not including post-production, which is extensive on a show like Game of Thrones. That all but guarantees that we wouldn’t get new episodes until at least the fall. And, depending on whether or not HBO feels like competing for attention during an increasingly stacked fall movie season, it might wait until winter of 2019 to unleash its final season.
The good news is that next week’s finale will be the longest episode of Game of Thrones ever, clocking in at a robust 80 minutes. So enjoy it, because it may be the last we see of Jon, Dany and the rest of the gang for quite some time.