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Massive Episodes & Character Convergence Prolongs our Wait Until Game of Thrones Season 8

We all knew that the finale season of Game of Thrones would be a ways away, and now we can just about confirm that the wait will be a doozy. The GoT team is prepping for production on season 8 right now, with principal photography set to begin soon. TVGuide has reported that the cast will be in Belfast this Sunday for a table read. This will be the first season that the series doesn’t film two episodes concurrently, which is part of the reason why it may take longer to film these final six than it did to film a typical ten-episode season.

Ser Davos Seaworth himself, actor Liam Cunningham, told TVGuide that one of the reasons season 8 is going to take longer than any previous season to shoot is partly because each episode will likely be longer than an hour.

“[The episodes are] definitely going to be bigger and what I hear is longer. We’re filming right up until the summer. When you think about it, up until last season we’d have six months to do ten episodes, so we’re [doing] way more than that for six episodes. So that obviously will translate into longer episodes.”

We’ve already seen two GoT episodes blast past the 60-minute mark just last season alone, which included that super-powered, 80-minute finale “The Dragon and the Wolf.” There aren’t any set episode times yet, however, because creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss won’t know just how long each episode is until they start editing them. Nor is Cunningham aware when he’ll wrap, as they’re taking every precaution to avoid spoilers and won’t be telling any of the actors if and when their characters might die. 

“Game of Thrones is not like any other show. It’s nuts. You basically put your life on hold when you start shooting. Yeah, HBO owns your a—,” Cunningham told TVGuide. “It’s a dream job. I mean, you people don’t want this to end, imagine how I feel. My accountant is crapping himself at the moment!”

Cunningham said that filming looks like it carry on until the end of next summer. Which means we won’t be seeing the final season for quite some time.

As for why the series isn’t filming episodes concurrently this season, Watchers on the Wall found this quote from Iain Glen, better known as Ser Jorah Mormont, who was at the Stockholm Comic-Con.

“We’re all starting to occupy the same territory, we’re all starting to be in the same storylines and so they can’t [have two filming units] anymore. I think this last season will take much longer to shoot because they can only use one unit because we’re all in the same sort of scenes.”

So yes, the wait will be long, but the idea that, finally, after all these years, all of these characters will be together, in the same place at the same time, very likely fighting together (and against each other, if Cersei has any say), we’re betting season 8 is going to be worth the wait.

Featured image: Emilia Clarke, courtesy HBO.

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