Fresh of the euphoria of the season 7 finale, HBO Programming President Casey Bloys is ready to throw some cold water on the burning fire of the Game of Thrones fandom. According to The Hollywood Reporter, production for the final season of Game of Thrones could potentially run from this October until August of 2018, longer than any prior production schedule. That would also lend support to the idea that season 8 may not air until early 2019 — if they’re still filming in August, it’ll take more than four months to do post-production.
HBO didn’t confirm or deny any of this, but Bloys did speak to THR about the difficulties producing a show like Game of Thrones presents:
"Our production people are trying to figure out a timeline for the shoot and how much time the special effects take. The shooting is complicated enough — on different continents, with all the technical aspects — and the special effects are a whole other production period that we’re trying to figure out. That is a big factor in all of this."
Bloys didn’t even mention the weather — one of the reasons season 7 started filming later in the year than usual was because showrunners Dan Weiss and David Benioff wanted to film during the winter, for the snow.
If the rumors are true, a year-long production cycle sounds very ambitious. At the least, the scripts for season 8 are finished.
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – JULY 26: President HBO Programming Casey Bloys speaks onstage during the HBO portion of the 2017 Summer Television Critics Association Press Tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 26, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
Bloys further hinted that we could be for a longer-than-usual wait when he talked about the changing landscape of TV, of which Thrones is definitely a part.
"As shows get bigger and more complicated, I have to follow the producers’ lead and let go of, ‘It’d be nice to have it every year. They have to do the best show they can do. With bigger shows like Westworld or Game of Thrones, sometimes if you want the big show and the big scope, it takes longer."
Longer breaks between shows have become more normalized over the past few years, even for comedies such as FX’s Atlanta or Showtime’s Episodes, both of which are known to take two-year breaks between seasons. And of course, HBO isn’t new to hiatuses, as shows like The Sopranos and Curb Your Enthusiasm both took years off on occasion.
On the one hand, we want the final season of Game of Thrones to be of a high quality, but on the other, two years is a very long time to wait…