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Game of Thrones final season won't start shooting until October

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Game of Thrones‘ final season now has a production start date.

The HBO drama will resume shooting in October. The news was first revealed by GoT star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in an interview with Collider.

October is a later start date than usual for the series, which typically gets underway in mid-summer and shoots until the end of the year. Season 7 was an exception, filming its seven episodes from September to February and then premiering on HBO this summer instead of in the spring (the first time that’s happened during the show’s run).

Season 8 will consist of six episodes. There have been rumors the episodes could be supersized, but that hasn’t been confirmed by HBO or the show’s producers. But both season 6 and 7 set new “longest episode ever” records (the upcoming season 7 finale is more than 80 minutes), so it’s within reason to expect at least one episode in the final season to do the same.

And while the final stretch will be the show’s shortest in terms of number of episodes, it’s also a pretty safe bet that the production will spend at least as much time filming the final season — if not more — as they have previous editions, given how producers keep trying to raise the bar in terms of the show’s epic spectacle and production quality every year.

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As EW was the first to report, it’s possible season 8 might not air in 2019, though no date has yet been announced. Coster-Waldau noted the cast hasn’t yet received their final season scripts. Once they do and filming begins, one big question that remains is whether the production will be able to shield the last of its storytelling secrets.