Backstage at the Emmy Awards, the showrunners of Game of Thrones explained to reporters why the final season is taking so long.
Writer-producers David Benioff and Dan Weiss, who just got off the Microsoft Theater stage accepting the award for best drama series, told the press that even though the eighth season is only six episodes, it will be very clear when watching the result why it took longer than ever to shoot.
“The final season’s taking a long time because it’s the biggest thing we’ve ever done,” Benioff said. “It was nearly a full year in Belfast either prepping it or actually shooting it. I think when people see it they’re going to understand why it took so long. The last season is far beyond what we’ve ever attempted before.”
Thrones only recently wrapped filming its final season after getting underway late last year. Part of that extra time was for a battle sequence that was by far the most ambitious the show has ever filmed.
Author George R.R. Martin also weighed in on the show ending, telling Variety on the red carpet that he wanted the series to go longer. “We could’ve gone 11, 12, 13 seasons,” he said. “David and Dan have been saying for like five seasons that seven seasons is all they would go. We got them to go to eight but not any more than that. There was a period like five years ago when they were saying seven seasons and I was saying 10 seasons and they won, they’re the ones actually working on it.”
Game of Thrones picked up its third Emmy for best drama series Monday night following wins in 2015 and 2016 (the show wasn’t up for last year’s Awards due to season 7 airing just outside of the eligibility period). Star Peter Dinklage also won his third Emmy for his portrayal of Tyrion Lannister.
GoT returns in the first half of 2019.
— With additional reporting by Lynette Rice and Samantha Highfill