With Game of Thrones Season 7 now finished, all eyes are now on Season 8. Our watch is just beginning. Here is what we know so far.
1. The Season Likely Won’t Premiere Any Sooner Than August 2017, Possibly Later
Game of Thrones will begin filming in October, one month later than the show started filming for Season 7. We can use Season 7 as a benchmark for determining the earliest that Season 8 might premiere. Season 7 premiered in July after it started filming in September. So we can be pretty safe in guessing that Season 8 won’t premiere any earlier than August 2018. Unfortunately, there have been a few rumors that it might premiere even later than that, possibly in 2019.
2. The Scripts Are Already Written for Season 8
Yes, the scripts for Season 8 are finished. We may not know when the season is premiering, but the ending has already been written. HBO programming president Casey Bloys confirmed back in July that the scripts were finished, Telegraph reported. He added:
We haven’t had that discussion yet because I don’t know how long the episodes are going to be. Two hours per episode seems like it would be excessive, but it’s a great show, so who knows?”
We certainly hope the episodes are longer, since Season 8 will only have six episodes total.
3. GRRM Told the Showrunners How the Series Would Conclude, Including a Shocking Moment for the Very End
Even though the TV series passed up the books after Jon’s death in Season 5, the showrunners do know how George R. R. Martin means for the series to end. So they may be taking some twists and turns, but in the end we’ll see at least part of Martin’s plan unfold.
In 2016, EW reported that GRRM had shared three huge twists with the producers. Two years prior, David Benioff and Dan Weiss sat down with Martin in Santa Fe and he sketched out a “rough plan” of how he intended to end his books. The producers said that there were three shocking moments within that plan. The first was Stannis sacrificing Shireen. The second was Hodor. And the third “is from the very end.”
Of course, this doesn’t mean all the details of the show will match the books. Martin told Hollywood Reporter in 2014 that he didn’t have all the pieces of the puzzle in place yet when he met with the showrunners. He gave them “broad strokes” of his intentions, “but the details aren’t there yet.”
4. The Books Will Still Be Very Different from the Shows
Martin still has two books left to finish in the series, and there will still be a lot of shocks and unexpected twists for readers that they won’t find in the show. Even though Martin’s “rough plan” is being followed, including his three big shocking revelations, the show has still diverged enough for the books to leave lots of room for new surprises for readers.
When asked in 2016 if the show was going to spoil the books, Benioff told EW:
So much of what we’re doing diverges from the books at this point. And while there are certain key elements that will be the same… People are going to be very surprised when they read the books after the show. They’re quite divergent in so many respects for the remainder of the show.”
5. After the Series Ends, We’ll Get at Least One Prequel Spinoff
The series’ end won’t mean the end of Game of Thrones. Although the details seem to be constantly changing, we know there will be at least one spinoff of the beloved series on HBO. HBO brought on several writers to work on at least five spinoff scripts, and a number of them are collaborating with George R. R. Martin. Jane Goldman, one of the scriptwriters, has said that the one she’s working on will be “recognizable past event” to fans. All of the projects are spinoffs, but they won’t all likely make it onto HBO. They’re in development, but that doesn’t mean they’re guaranteed to air.
Here’s what we know about the spinoffs so far:
- Some of them may not be set in Westeros, although they will all be part of the Game of Thrones universe.
- Martin is working with all four of the writers that HBO announced: Max Borenstein, Jane Goldman, Brian Helgeland, and Carly Wray.
- The fifth writer is a secret, but GRRM said: “I don’t know anyone who knows and loves Westeros as well as he does.”
- We know the spinoffs will not be about: Dunk and Egg or Robert’s Rebellion.
- Nothing will air until after Game of Thrones concludes. This is because the number one priority is not having anything that distracts from the final season.