The long wait just got longer for Game of Thrones fans.
The heavily anticipated eighth season of Game of Thrones was initially scheduled to air in April 2019, but the latest reports suggest the release date has been pushed to mid-2019 – approximately a month later than originally scheduled.
This news comes in the wake of a hint dropped by GOT’s visual effects supervisor, Joe Baur.
“We’re going to be toiling away on season 8 until May of 2019, so it’s eight or nine months away,” Baur told Huffington Post.
Earlier this year Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark in the show, told Metro the final series will begin in April. Yet, according to Baur this is simply not the case. William’s comments have since been removed.
“That’s a four-month turnaround for these huge episodes,” Baur said. “There’s a lot that goes into the final edit. You would not want to rush this season at all. We owe it to our audience and our fans to really do this final season to the best of our abilities.”
It hasn’t been an easy wait for fans of the highest rating series of all time, as the coming season is the promised to be the last, resulting in a whole new level of ‘rabid’ amongst all who adamantly follow the show.
HBO president Casey Bloys has provided some warmth for those people losing it during the long wait, explaining that the final six episodes might run for eighty minutes, or maybe even in excess of two hours.
Good news, right?
There is also some significant new casting for GOT season 8. Harry Strickland, the leader of the mercenary group The Golden Company, will be played by The Last Kingdom actor Marc Rissmann. Song of Ice and Fire book character, Sarra, will be played by little-known actress Danielle Galligan. Fansite Watchers on the Wall predict that Sarra could be from the Frey clan, as the only ‘Sarra’ who appears in the book was Sarra Frey.
Some completely new characters, never having appeared in the books have also been cast…
Fergus, a character totally removed from the books, will be played by Seamus O’Hara. While another non-book character, Willa, will be played by Alice Nokes.
These delay rumors are hot off the press, but it’s the ending of GOT that has gotten everyone speculating like crazy. Casey Bloys (HBO) has confirmed that to keep everything secret, multiple endings will be filmed so that even the cast knows very little of what’s happening. This ploy is aimed at tricking the paparazzi and limiting leaks during production – all to avoid the GOT hacks that rocked season 7.
Nikolaj Coster Waldau (Jaime Lannister) has said to several sources that actors are receiving their lines through an earpiece. “We’re all going to have earpieces for the scene and then someone’s going to tell you the line you’re going to do,” he said. This is some serious secrecy.
The following is some of the theories that staunch GOT fans have put forward while waiting for any news of the final season. True or complete bollocks? You decide…
- Arya will kill Cersei using Jaime’s face
Fans believe that Arya (Maisie Williams) will kill Cersei (Lena Headey) if following the Valonqar theory has any merit. According to this theory, Cersei will die at the hand of the Valonqar, which is Valyrian for ‘young person’ – also being interpreted it as meaning ‘young brother.’ Jaime and Cersei are twins, but Jaime came out second – making him younger. This theory makes lots of sense.
- Arya Makes a mistake in killing Cersei
As a flip of the first theory, some fans think Arya may kill Cersei, in turn making a huge tactical error. Arya might then take Cersei’s face and send the Lannister troops North to protect Westeros. However, those who have learnt of Cersei’s pregnancy will grow suspicious when her belly stops growing, or she never comes through with the birth. Things might get ugly for Arya, especially with the Mountain (if ‘the Hound’ hasn’t killed him yet, that is).
- Euron Greyjoy will kill Jon Snow
Jon Snow (Kit Harington) came back to life in the beginning of season 7, but many fans believe he will not be as lucky this time around. This theory is based on prophecy kicked around in season 7. The prophecy states that the Drowned God will return to destroy Aegon the conqueror. It was revealed that Jon Snow’s real name is Aegon, and Euron (Pilou Asbæk) has referred to himself as the Drowned God in the past.
- The Night King is Bran Stark
Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) seems to have an inexplicable link to the Night King (Richard Brake). Have you noticed how the Night King’s appearance has changed since the events at Hardhome? Some fans believe the newer version of ‘the big bad’ actually looks like Bran, proof that at some point Bran inhabited him. Also, the Stark sigil appearing on the White Walker formation could be proof of Bran’s connection to the white walkers? This is one of the most plausible theories doing the rounds right now.
- Jon Snow or the dragon Queen legitimize Gendry
We all know Gendry (Joe Dempsie) is the bastard son of former king Robert Baratheon. This means by all checks and balances, he has a right to the throne. However, his position needs to be legitimized and will be done by either Jon Snow or Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) for their own benefit. Re-establishing one of the greatest houses of Westeros will enable them to strategically use the castle at Storm’s end and strengthen their ability to conquer smaller houses.
Lots there to think upon, and plenty of time to think about it.
Right now, we can only watch the two-minute teaser (below) and keep on guessing wildly about the myriad of possible theories for GOT season 8. In the meantime: “stay safe for the night is dark and full of terrors.”