Winter is coming... next year. The last season of television hit "Game of Thrones" will not hit TV screens for a while. The announcement will come as a disappointment to fans hoping the last season would air in 2018.
The television fantasy drama "Game of Thrones" is taking a year off, US cable network HBO said on Thursday.
HBO did not say exactly when the eighth and final series will go out, but it will be the longest ever wait for fans eager to know which character ends up on the coveted Iron Throne.
A seven-episode seventh season hit screens last summer and the final run will extend over six episodes.
Directed by David Benioff and Daniel Brett Weiss as well as David Nutter and Miguel Sapochnik, production of the final season started in October and is expected to last until August, the Hollywood Reporter said.
Based on a series of fantasy books by George R. R. Martin, "Game of Thrones" has won Emmy and Screen Actors Guild awards and has garnered record viewership for HBO. The show is watched by over 20 million American viewers per episode.
Viewers will find themselves in a position similar to that of the millions of people who have read Martin's books and have been waiting years for the sixth volume. Though there is still no definitive release date for the book, "Winds of Winter," Martin recently hinted that 2018 could be a better year for the books' fans.
Reports first began circulating in summer 2017 that the "Game of Thrones" TV series might skip 2018 and Sophie Turner, one of the series' stars, revealed in a recent interview she didn't expect the series to return this year.
Starring Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage and numerous other big names, "Game of Thrones" tells the story of noble families vying for control of the fictional Seven Kingdoms.
jbh/sms (dpa, AFP, AP)