People were hoping that 2018 would be a better year than 2017. If part of that hope was the chance that the finale season of Game of Thrones would show up on HBO at some point, they might have to learn to deal with the disappointment now.

After a lot of speculation and assumption, HBO made it official Thursday, announcing that the epic TV show based on George R.R. Martin’s book will not return until 2019.

The epic fantasy series Game of Thrones will return for its six-episode, eighth and final season in 2019.

David Benioff & D.B. Weiss, David Nutter, and Miguel Sapochnik will be the directors for the new season. Writers for the new season are David Benioff & D.B. Weiss, Bryan Cogman, and Dave Hill.

The final season of the show is currently in production so there will be plenty of time to try to spoil how it all shakes out between now and then. Though it will contain the least episodes of any Game of Thrones season (six), you can expect them to be on the longer side as the story becomes more movie-like and epic in scope.

Of course, HBO was still coy about exactly when in 2019 the show will return. You probably shouldn’t wake up on January 1, 2019, expecting to see the first one waiting for you on HBO Go. While most of the previous seasons premiered during the spring, the sixth season came out during the summer after they needed more time to film winter-related scenes. Considering we’re for a bit more action in northern Westeros, they’re likely going to need some extra time for that as well. Not to mention that it’s probably going to be extremely CGI-heavy given all the dragons, ice zombies, and whatever else Benioff and Weiss throw at us before the show ends and we’re all left to fend for ourselves in the pop culture fantasy wastelands.

Of course, the fact that they’re giving themselves some extra time now could also mean that everything will be ready by the spring again.

In the meantime, continue speculating about when the show will return and how Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen react when they find out they’re related. If there’s one silver lining to the long wait, it means there’s less free time for Benioff and Weiss to do any work on their god-awful “what if the South won the Civil War?” show idea.

[HBO]

About Sean Keeley

A graduate of Syracuse University, Sean Keeley is the creator of the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and author of 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse related things for SB Nation, Neighborhoods.com, Curbed Seattle and many other outlets. He currently lives in Chicago.