Season 8 of Game of Thrones isn't expected to start filming until the beginning of October 2017, and shooting could run as late as August 2018, per The Hollywood Reporter. That means the final season probably won't premiere until 2019.
Before the premiere of Season 7, Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss consistently said that they had enough story for 13 more episodes. With seven episodes in Season 7, the final season should feature just six more episodes.
The Game of Thrones Season 7 finale clocked in at more than 80 minutes, making it the longest episode in the series' history. But that feat probably won't last long. Vanity Fair reported that the remaining episodes will most likely be feature film-length.
The final six episodes have already been written, HBO's president of programming Casey Bloys said at the Television Critics Association summer press tour in July 2017.
To avoid potential spoilers being leaked, HBO will film multiple endings to the Game of Thrones series finale, according to showrunners. This isn't unusual, though. Shows such as Seinfeld, Twin Peaks and Lost all filmed multiple endings.
Game of Thrones Season 7 ended with (spoiler alert!) the climactic demolition of the Wall. Now that the White Walkers are marching south, Season 8 will obviously focus on the Great War between the Night King and humanity.
The series has been teasing the true parentage of Jon Snow for years. And we finally got confirmation in the Season 7 finale that Jon -- or should we say Aegon Targaryen -- is the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. Now that Bran Stark and Samwell Tarly know the truth, they'll likely tell Jon.
On top of the confirmation that Jon Snow is really a Stark and Targaryen, we also found out that Jon is the rightful heir to the Iron Throne, which surely won't sit well with Daenerys Targaryen... who is apparently his aunt.
That awkwardness will only intensify when we, presumably, find out that Dany and Jon's rendezvous on the sex boat in the Season 7 finale got the Mother of Dragons pregnant. The series has hinted throughout Season 7 that Dany can't have children, which only makes it more likely that she will have a brooding baby who's the heir to the Iron Throne.
Many fans thought that Cersei Lannister would finally meet her demise in Season 7. That clearly didn't happen. But the series has meticulously transformed the queen into a villain who will, we suspect, be stopped. You know what happens to villains in the Seven Kingdoms.
The most popular theory about who will kill Cersei is the "valonqar prophecy," which states that the queen will be strangled by a "little brother." While some believe "little brother" refers to Tyrion Lannister, it could also be Jaime Lannister. Could he choke Cersei with his gold hand?
Arya, one of the most skilled killers in all of Westeros, is a younger sibling of Sansa Stark. Cersei is on Arya's kill "list" for her role in the decapitation of Ned Stark. Will she be the one who finally ends the queen's reign?
If Jaime Lannister does, in fact, kill Cersei, then just five names remain on Arya's list: Ilyn Payne, the Hound, the Mountain, Melisandre and Beric Dondarrion. The writers wouldn't have dedicated so much screen time to her list if she wasn't going to follow through with at least one more kill. What we're really trying to say is... watch out, Melisandre!
Speaking of the Red Priestess, Melisandre left Dragonstone for Volantis in Season 7 after setting up the inaugural meeting between Jon and Daenerys. In her conversation with Varys, Melisandre says, "I will return, dear Spider, one last time."
And if Melisandre's prophetic visions come true, then she'll also die in Westeros. The Red Priestess also tells Varys that she has to "die in this country."
Melisandre's clairvoyance also spells bad news for the fan-favorite eunuch, Varys. The Red Priestess also said that Varys will die after she returns from Volantis.
In the Season 7 finale, Cersei tells Jaime that Euron Greyjoy didn't desert her. Instead, she says, Euron is off to Essos to recruit the Golden Company army for the Lannisters. So, expect to see the legendary legion in Season 8.
In casting news, Game of Thrones will add two young characters -- a boy and a girl -- to the Season 8 talent.