Game of Thrones fans are waiting with great anticipation and expectation for what is sure to be a thrilling final season of the HBO sensation.

Unfortunately, for all the Thrones diehards out there, it looks like they’re going to have to wait. And wait. And wait some more.

We already knew that the final season of Thrones was going to be far off in the distant future due to a number of factors. With the episodes in Season 8 possibly being all feature-length, it means it’s going to take more time to shoot, produce, and edit. And with the time committed to shooting multiple endings to prohibit any potential leaks about how the series concludes, that will add even more time.

Via TV Guide¬†comes the news from one of the program’s stars that shooting the final season could run all the way into the summer of 2018, which might make a 2019 debut all the more possible.

We already knew Game of Thrones’ final season would be its most expensive ever, and now we’re starting to learn why.

Liam Cunningham, who plays Ser Davos Seaworth on the HBO drama, tells TV Guide that the eighth and final season will take longer than any other season to shoot, despite being the shortest season yet with only six episodes. The reason for that, the actor explains, is that each episode will likely be longer than the standard hour.

“[The episodes are] definitely going to be bigger and what I hear is longer,” says Cunningham, who begins work on the Emmy-winning series on Sunday with a table read in Belfast. “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.”

This isn’t too surprising given that Thrones’ penultimate season featured two extended episodes, including the show’s longest episode yet. The Season 7 finale, “The Dragon and the Wolf” had a running time of 80 minutes.

That’s going to be tough. A year and a half long wait? That’s not one long winter, but two! The traditional Game of Thrones schedule has them wrapping up shooting at the end of the year and premiering the next spring. So right now, it looks as though a 2018 debut for the final season is increasingly unlikely. Don’t worry though, that gives all of you more time to do some fantasy booking for how the show is going to end and more time for George R.R. Martin to finish that novel he’s working on.

[TV Guide]

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