The long wait continues for the eighth and final season of HBO’s hugely popular show Game of Thrones.
Following another round of leaked photographs, speculation is yet again rife with regards to season eight of Game of Thrones.
This time, a lot of corpses are shown in the photographs, taken at the Magheramorne Quarry in Northern Ireland, leaving fans to hypothesize that a massive battle or a massacre is part of the upcoming season.
As the show is allegedly close to the end of its shooting schedule, it could be the aftermath of the final battle; perhaps it’s a few fill-in shots for previous scenes or an alternative ending filmed out of sequence.
Although season seven started filming in August 2016, it was released nearly a year later in July 2017. With filming for season eight starting in October 2017, fans were hoping that the announced 2019 release date for the eighth and final six-episode season would be forthcoming.
However, it seems unlikely as HBO has said the showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss are perfectionists, and it’ll have to take the time it does to get this epic final season right.
Why is it taking so long?
One reason why it might be taking so long to make the final season could be that multiple endings are being filmed to ensure few people know how it’ll all end. Crews have been working across various locations, including Croatia, Northern Ireland and Iceland.
Liam Cunningham, who plays Ser Davos Seaworth, has said filming is finishing this summer, giving little time for the team to wrap it all up before the end of the year. Also, previous seasons have aired in April, so that seems yet again to be the expected date.
This seems to tie in with comments from assistant director Jonathan Quinlan, who in April this year, posted a photo on Instagram, showing a thank you card, including the reference to tens of millions of people around the world watching “this episode a year from now”. The photo has since been removed from Instagram.
The expectation is that season eight of Game of Thrones will only have six episodes, as opposed to the usual ten, and seven in season seven. However, it is believed that each episode is going to be more like a mini-movie with each lasting around 80 minutes.
Online, Game of Thrones fans are discussing and speculating as to what season eight will include and how it’ll all end.
What about the books?
So far, we have heard no firm release date for the two final books that George R. R. Martin allegedly is busy writing: ‘The Winds of Winter’ and ‘A Dream of Spring’. However, Martin has missed every single deadline so far and might have hinted that he hasn’t even started writing A Dream of Spring yet.
Lex Veldhuis, an avid Game of Thrones fan is probably speaking for many of us when he voices his frustration about how long it’s taking for Martin to write the upcoming books in the A Song of Ice and Fire series.
We have, however, been promised the release of Fire and Blood, the first of two planned volumes outlining the history of the Targaryens in Westeros. It is set three hundred years before the events in ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’.
I’m sure I’m not the only one wishing Martin would focus on finishing the original series first.