It’s official: HBO confirms Game of Thrones season 8 release date is 2019

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It’s going to be a long winter. The flickers of hope that Game of Thrones season 8 release date would arrive sometime in 2018 have been officially snuffed out. HBO has put the final nail in that coffin and confirmed that the final Thrones season won’t be here until 2019.

While hardly surprising, it still stings a little. Star Wars 9 has already been shuffled back into the far reaches of 2019 and Game of Thrones, as is typical of the show, is just piling on the misery. “The epic fantasy series Game of Thrones will return for its six-episode, eighth and final season in 2019,” reads the statement on the HBO site, every word feeling like the Mountain has just squeezed all the life out of me.

Past Thrones seasons premiered in April, with only Game of Thrones season 7 bucking that trend, opting for a later release date of July. With an extra year to dot the I’s and kill the T’s, April would probably the best bet as to when we'll be able to feast our eyes on the final six Thrones episodes. After all, a two-year hiatus would be too much for some to bear.

HBO also confirms what we already knew: The Battle of the Bastards and The Red Wedding directors will be helming the majority of the episodes in the season, which is good news for fans of big battles and even bigger deaths.

It might be a difficult wait until 2019 but, by my count, you can binge every Game of Thrones episode in 40 hours. That’s just shy of 220 re-watches before next year rolls around. Seems doable; what are you waiting for?

Because you’ll need something to nourish you in the dark, cold days without Game of Thrones season 8, take a look at the cast’s reaction to reading through the finale script, plus 14 of the very best Game of Thrones season 8 fan theories.

Image: HBO