The final season of HBO's most popular show only has six episodes left to its name. Variety just reported that each of those episodes will cost $15 million each -- which is more than usual, and hopefully means each episode will indeed be feature-length. The Hollywood Reporter also slipped in a note about the filming schedule:
"Production on the fantasy drama's eighth season is slated to begin in October and run as late as August 2018, sources say. That could push the return of the abbreviated six-episode final run into 2019 with a more than 16-month gap between seasons."
For comparison's sake, last year's seven episodes started filming a bit later than previous seasons, at the very end of August/early September 2016, and finished in February 2017. That later filming schedule -- which doesn't include the huge amount of post-production work -- is how Season 7 ended up premiering in July instead of April, like previous seasons.
So if they start in October and film into the summer of 2018, you can imagine how far back that could push the final season's premiere.
HBO hasn't confirmed the production schedule, but Watchers on the Wall just shared details on seven new roles the show is looking to cast for Season 8. Check out the dates on this one:
"According to our sources, GoT is looking for a Mercenary, aged 35 – 50. He's described as an authoritative, fit, cool and charismatic military type. He'll be appearing in 2 episodes of season 8. The role requires he be able to ride a horse- no surprise for a mercenary on Thrones! The actor will be rehearsing in October, filming the week commencing December 11th, and then once again in May and June of 2018."
As they note, the mercenary role sounds like a member of the Golden Company that Euron Greyjoy went off to find in the Season 7 finale. But the filming dates are also interesting -- this character is expected to film into June 2018. June is not August, but it's summer, and it's the latest we've ever seen for GoT filming. It's possible that June role will be for the final episode, but maybe not, if they do film "as late as August 2018."
So it is looking more likely that the final season of "Game of Thrones" will not air in 2018 -- unless HBO can squeeze it in at the very end of the year, which they are more than welcome to do. The shortest season may take the longest to complete, and we'll just have to be patient for it to show up.
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