Game of Thrones season 8 release date: When to expect the HBO show to return one last time

Christopher Hooton

We were so busy being impatient with each episode of Game of Thrones season 7 and hoping that they leaked early that we forgot about the long, cold wait for new episodes after the season is broadcast.

Fans awoke on Monday morning to months spent wondering and theorising over what will happen now that the Night King is south of the Wall, but just how many exactly?

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We can establish a pretty good estimate for the season 8 release date based on its filming start date and how this syncs up with previous ones.

Production on season 6 began in July 2015, with the show arriving nine months later in April 2016.

Production on season 7 began at the end of August 2016, with the show arriving 11 months later in July 2017.

11 months was a long wait for the latest season, but it might not be so bad this time around. Filming on season 7 was held off until the necessary wintery conditions arrived, but this time, with season 7 finishing its broadcast at the end of August, autumn and winter are already upon us.

A similar gap to season 6 of nine months between filming and transmission should be possible for season 8 then - which starts filming October 2017 - meaning that we can expect season 8 to be given a release date that falls in July 2018.

The fact that there will only be six episodes in the final season could make the wait even shorter, but given that each episode is expected to be pretty long, it will probably still work out as about the same amount of principal photography time as season 7.

We'll update you when there's official word from HBO, but for now, mid-summer to early autumn at the latest is a safe bet (see below).

Update 30 August: THR is reporting, citing HBO sources, that production on the final season may end up being very long, running from October to as late as August 2018. 'That could push the return of the abbreviated six-episode final run into 2019 with a more than 16-month gap between seasons. (HBO would neither confirm nor deny the rumors),' it writes.

"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,'" HBO programming president Casey Bloys said.

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