The original plan for Game of Thrones season 8 was to release it as a six-hour movie trilogy

Game of Thrones season 8 is already going to be one of, if not the biggest entertainment event of all time – but it could have been so much bigger. Original plans were drawn up by showrunners David Benioff and DB Weiss to ensure the series would end not on HBO, but on the big screen. Not one, not two, but three Game of Thrones movies would have topped off the franchise. It’s a pretty ballsy move, but one that was eventually shot down for good reason.

Speaking to EW, Benioff says, thanks to George R.R. Martin revealing the broad strokes of the grand finale to Game of Thrones season 8 early on, plans were put in place to transfer Thrones to the silver screen as “We [had] a very generous budget from HBO, but we know what’s coming down the line and, ultimately, it’s not generous enough.”

So, the ball got rolling on a final season that would be “six hours long” and consist of a giant Game of Thrones movie trilogy. “It’s what we’re working towards in a perfect world,” reveals Weiss. Yet, the idea was ultimately nixed by HBO execs, with the TV network (wisely) choosing to end the jewel in its programming crown on, y’know, TV.

But it didn’t turn out all bad. HBO has given Game of Thrones what could very well amount to a movie-level budget as “they put their money where their mouths are,” in terms of scale and scope for the season. 

We already know it’s going to feature the show’s biggest battle ever and, in all likelihood, the Game of Thrones season 8 finale is probably going to find its way on cinema screens around the world anyway. For now, we’ll have to make do with stocking up on popcorn. And lots of it.

With Thrones hype reaching fever pitch, now is a good a time as any to brush up on your Game of Thrones theories. 

Bradley Russell

I'm the Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.