This time, the break will be long and filled with terrors.
HBO announced today that Game of Thrones will return for its “eighth and final season” in 2019, skipping this year entirely as executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss prepare the final six episodes of the series based on George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” novels. Benioff and Weiss will also direct a couple of episodes with directors David Nutter and Miguel Sapochnik returning from previous season to round out the series from scripts by Benioff & Weiss, Bryan Cogman and Dave Hill.
But boy, will we smart for not having the show this year to generate new memes, thrill us with wacky launch date announcements like last year’s “control the dragon fire” stunt, and continue to position the show’s central incest storyline as some sort of victory. I kid, of course, Game of Thrones is definitely one of my TV obsessions, but it will be strange to go the year without a summer in Westeros or, presumably, the goofiness of the show’s Comic-Con panel.
Then again, I suppose it will be a trial run of sorts for the long night following the end of the series. While there are a number of spin-off concepts in the works at HBO, the GoT thrill will be no more; even if the Targstark union defeats the Night King.
Meanwhile, one is left to wonder if The Winds of Winter might be published in this showless year.
Game of Thrones returns in 2019.