As has been speculated for many months, and said by none other than the cast members themselves, HBO has officially confirmed today that the final season of Game of Thrones will not premiere until 2019 on the premium cable network.
It's official: @GameOfThrones will return for its six-episode, eighth and final season in 2019.— HBO PR (@HBOPR) January 4, 2018
The network reiterated that the eighth season will have six episodes — which will likely be very long, given that episodes in the seventh season ranged from 59 to 80 minutes. The directors and writers for the final season were also announced: showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss will direct the series finale, and veteran Game of Thrones director David Nutter will return for three episodes, his first since season 5. Miguel Sapochnick will also be back for two episodes, after directing two each in season 5 and season 6 and sitting out season 7. The season will be written by Benioff and Weiss, as well as Bryan Cogman and Dave Hill.
Game of Thrones is based on the novel series “A Song of Ice and Fire” by George R.R. Martin. In Season 6, the TV series moved past the point where the books have stalled.
Returning series regulars will include Emmy and Golden Globe winner Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister), Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), Sophie Turner(Sansa Stark) and Maisie Williams (Arya Stark), Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy), John Bradley (Samwell Tarly), Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth), Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth), Iain Glen (Jorah Mormont), Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran Stark), Rory McCann (Sandor “The Hound” Clegane) and Richard Dormer (Beric Dondarrion).