Game of Thrones fans, please approach all of the following with the caveat that this is educated guesswork and not intended to be taken as gospel. But reading the tea leaves and some of the various pieces of the scheduling puzzle that are starting to fall into place allows for some guesswork to be made about when the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones will premiere. If you don’t want to read all the way to the end, we’ll tell you right off the bat that April 28th is a date worth betting on, and now we’ll explain why.
The folks over at WinterIsComing.net have done some impressive sleuthing, based on some new HBO scheduling announcements and betting on where GoT fits into that picture. We already knew, for example, that HBO will launch the final season sometime in the “first half” of the year, and now we can guess at a little more.
From the site’s analysis, we now know that the third season of True Detective will premiere on Sunday, January 13th. It will have eight episodes, which means that if you assume no skipped Sundays, the last one would air on March 3rd. GoT is also a Sunday show, so — aha! — perhaps we have a date: The Sunday after the True Detective finale, March 10th.
Not so fast. There’s also the second season of Big Little Lies, also coming in 2019, to consider. More from the site: “Filming on the show’s next seven episodes wrapped in August, and with little to no special effects needed (there are no dragons or ice zombies in Monterey…that we know of), Big Little Lies season 2 could easily be ready for an April debut, with the finale dropping March 21, assuming no gap weeks. Ladies [and] gentlemen, we have our lead-in.”
Under that scenario, that would lead straight into the eighth season of the show we’re all waiting on, which would debut on April 28th if all the above is correct. Some other supporting clues: April has been the month of five separate season premieres for GoT. One thing that could scuttle this guess of April 28th is if HBO slots in any breaks or weekends-off, which would alter this scenario — though there’s reason to suspect they might. More than once, for example, HBO has shown new episodes of GoT on Easter Sunday, which would allow for the April 28th date to fit here.
Again, hats off to the folks at WinterIsComing.net for giving us what sounds like a reasonable bet for when we can expect to return to Westeros. Winter is coming, and, indeed, so is 2019. We’ll sign off with the slight wiggle room the site allows itself in case the April 28th is off by just a smidge:
“If the premiere does get pushed back, it’d probably be by no more than a week, to May 5. That way, HBO could air three episodes before Memorial Day weekend, take that Sunday off, and air the final three episodes afterwards. That’ll give fans a chance to catch their breath before the series comes to a close, and also symmetry is nice.”