At the Television Critics Association summer press tour on Wednesday, HBO programming president Casey Bloys dropped some bombshells about the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones.
Bloys shared that Season 8 of the hit HBO show is already fully written and will consist of just six episodes. He said that showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss are in the process of "boarding [season 8] all out... It's a big season, so they're trying to get a sense of how long it'll take them to shoot this."
As for the length of each episode, they'll be long, but Bloys said nothing's in stone. "They've talked about the length; I imagine they'll be longer but I truly don't know like, 'Oh, they'll be 80 minutes each,' or whatever, I'm not sure."
He continued: "We haven't had that discussion yet because I don't know how long the episodes are gonna be. Two hours per episode seems like it would be excessive, but it's a great show, so who knows?"
Season 8 is supposed to start filming September 2017, but as for air dates, nothing is certain. When asked whether the final season could air in 2018, or even 2019, Bloys simply said, "Yeah."
He continued: "They have to write the episodes and figure out the production schedule. We'll have a better sense of that once they get further into the writing."
He also shared that HBO plans to leave "at least a year" between the end of Game of Thrones and any of the multitudes of spin-offs.
"The number one priority in all of this is the final season of Game of Thrones, I don't wanna do anything with a spinoff or anything that detracts or distracts from that," he said. "So that season will happen, and my guess is it would be at least a year before you see anything else. Because what I don't want is the attention to be drawn from the final season, which I think is gonna be epic and amazing, and somehow have the distraction of a new Game of Thrones airing right after it. I think it's best to separate them and that's what we'll do."