game of thrones

Game of Thrones season 7 ended with a bang as The Wall came down and The Great War inched just a little bit closer. As the screen faded to black, fans of the HBO hit were left clamoring for more.

In the days that followed, people wondered when the show would return and for a while, the debate was always between the end of 2018 or beginning of 2019. On Thursday, the nail was put in the coffin as series star Sophie Turner, who portrays Sansa Stark, spilled the beans on when the show would return.

From Variety‘s exclusive interview with Turner:

Variety: Are you excited for next year, with “X-Men: Dark Phoenix” and season eight of “Game of Thrones” set to premiere?

Sophie Turner: Yeah, I’m really excited. “Game of Thrones” comes out in 2019. “Dark Phoenix” is in November. Then I have a couple indie movies coming out. I’m a producer on my next movie [“Girl Who Fell From the Sky”]. So I’m really excited about the future.

Whether they like it or not, Thrones fans all around the world finally have their answer. But here’s the thing, the fact that the show isn’t coming back until 2019 is a good thing.

The same can be applied to Westworld’s second season, which doesn’t have an official debut date, but will likely be released in 2018.

The same should have been applied to True Detective season 2, but it wasn’t, and as a result the second season stumbled to the finish line.

Here’s the thing, in Game of Thrones‘ case, they could probably ask HBO for as much money and technology as they needed to release the final season in 2018. Except instead of rushing to the finish line, Game of Thrones and HBO are taking the production slow and steady to ensure the final season will be as good as it can be.

And that’s exactly what Game of Thrones fans should love to hear. In my opinion, if I had to decide between an average final season coming out in November of 2018 or a great above average season coming out a whole 5-6 months later in, say May of 2019, I’d take the latter.

But let’s get back to the writing and production time HBO needs to shoot, edit, and produce a great final season. According to former Thrones’ actor Jason Momoa (Khal Drogo), the final season is shaping up to be amazing:

“Going to be the greatest thing that’s ever aired on TV. It’s going to be unbelievable. It’s going to f— up a lot of people.”

If it really is going to be the “greatest thing that’s ever aired,” then it needs time to become what could be the greatest season of the worldwide phenomenon. And to do so it’ll take a while for show runners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff to produce a great product.

That’s the approach HBO is taking with Westworld season 2. After season 1 took a lot longer to write, edit, and produce than the network was probably hoping for, season 1 ended up being a hit. Therefore, HBO told Westworld’s writers that it could take its time to develop a second season.

At first, fans weren’t happy they had to wait over a year for the next installment in the series. Well it’s been over a year now and it doesn’t seem like people are still complaining about it.

And that’s what will happen with Game of Thrones‘ final season. The seventh season ran from July 16th to August 27th of this year, about two years before the final season will air. But don’t fret Game of Thrones fans, it’s not like there won’t be plenty of other great HBO shows to watch between now and then just in 2018 (* indicates a show that will likely come back in 2018, but hasn’t been explicitly confirmed by HBO or rumored to return next year):

Westworld season 2 (*)

Barry season 1

Silicon Valley season 5

Veep season 7

The Deuce season 2 (*)

Divorce season 2

In short, don’t worry Game of Thrones fans. 2019 is when you should want the show to come back and if you are really that impatient, just watch one of HBO’s other current or former hit shows.

About David Lauterbach

David is a writer for The Comeback. He enjoyed two Men's Basketball Final Four trips for Syracuse before graduating in 2016. If The Office or Game of Thrones is on TV, David will be watching.