Now that winter has officially come and lakes are freezing over in Westeros, it’s time to start thinking about what all fans have been both dreading and anticipating — the final season of Game of Thrones. But when does Game of Thrones Season 8 premiere? As to be expected, fans will have to wait quite a while, since production no doubt needs real life winter to be in full swing, just as with Season 7, which completed production roughly five months later than past seasons. But the actual premiere date for Season 8 of Game of Thrones is still unclear, unfortunately.
You see, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (who plays Jaime Lannister) recently told Collider that filming for Game of Thrones’ final season doesn't start until October 2017. In the past, and as recent as Season 7, filming took around six months to complete. Following that is typically a few months of time reserved for post-production. This means that if Game of Thrones Season 8 begins filming in October, you’re looking at a completion sometime in April.
If you then factor in the time it will take to actually complete editing all of the filmed episodes, the season might be ready by sometime in late September 2018, if fans are lucky, though it could be even later than that. But let’s be honest — any dedicated Game of Thrones fan will wait as long as the HBO bigwigs say it will take.
The good news is that even if it comes late, the final season is set to have some super-sized episodes. HBO programming president Casey Bloys spoke about Game of Thrones Season 8’s episode amount and runtime at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour back in July. "I imagine [the episodes will] be longer but … I’m not sure [how long]," he revealed. "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?"
I can’t be the only one who loved having the penultimate episode of Season 7 surpass 70 minutes. And with the season finale clocking in at around 80 minutes long (basically feature-length), it’s setting a dangerous precedent. But as Bloys said himself, "it’s a great show," and longer episodes are obviously what the fans want if they have to wait so long for a premiere date anyway.
Fans are looking at a Game of Thrones Season 8 premiere date in either late 2018 or early 2019 and while neither of those seem like something anyone wants to wait for, if the episodes themselves are longer, it might not be so terrible. Hopefully.