Going an entire year without a single episode of Game of Thrones is hardly an ideal situation when you’re a diehard GoT fan. However, if it’s all in the name of waiting for an excellent final season to be whipped up, then sure, we’ll cool our heels an extra 12 or so months while the GoT cast and crew get something amazing on film. That said, we can officially confirm some details about GoT Season 8, explore what that means for the season ahead and also report one severely disappointing fact that might dampen your spirits.
First, the good news: even though we’ve been saying it and thinking it for a while, Entertainment Weekly confirmed that GoT won’t return until 2019. “OK, big whoop,” you’re likely telling your screen (and me) as you read this. “What’s the real news, then?” Well, we may have the confirmation of 2019, but we have no month and no exact day. Chances are good that the creative minds at GoT will keep us on tenterhooks about this but for now, it’s just plain annoying.
Well, the 2019 return date is merely the tip of the iceberg here. Because when GoT does finally return in 2019, there will only be six — count ’em! — six episodes for the entire season. We’d heard rumors of the shortened season order and were kind of expecting this, but to hear that it’s six episodes and not seven (like Season 7) is a bit disappointing. Some fans may readily admit that watching seven episodes of GoT over the summer of 2017 felt all too short and risked the plot getting too scattershot at various points.
Condensing the final season to six episodes means that we can, almost without question, expect longer (perhaps feature-length?) episodes. Hopefully, if GoT does decide to lengthen the runtime on each episode, viewers won’t need to fear that storylines won’t get tied up properly or that final character arcs won’t be fleshed out properly. But the pressure will certainly be on for GoT to deliver a tight, satisfying season that makes for a satisfying end all around. So, yeah, let’s hope they can stick the landing.
And, on a final note, Refinery29 reports that Season 8 will feature no (I repeat: zero) episodes directed by women. While GoT has only had four episodes written by women, only one out of the 19 directors to work on the show in its entirety was a woman: Michelle MacLaren, who directed four episodes. Again, not exactly the best news in the world when we’re talking about bringing fresh visions into the fold and perhaps even injecting some new life into the final season of GoT, which will be in dire need of something fresh since we have so many fan theories out there that one of them is bound to be right and we’ll be out of surprises.