HBO has announced that the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones will premiere in the first half of 2019. This means that there’s less than a year until fans finally find out the ultimate fate of Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen and the rest of the Westerosi.
When Does Games of Thrones Season 8 Start?
Of course, everyone wants to know “when does the new season of game of thrones start”? Unfortunately, we don’t have an exact Game of Thrones season 8 release date yet. However, season 8 filming wrapped earlier this month, prompting cast members like Emilia Clarke and Maisie Williams to post tributes to their time on the show.
More from TIME
The plot of the final season is still very much under wraps. HBO programming president Casey Bloys told Entertainment Weekly that the network has heightened security to prevent season 8 leaks and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau even revealed that the scripts the cast received would “self-destruct.”
“They’re very very strict. It’s reached a crazy level this year,” he explained during an interview at Cannes 2018. “We actually get the scripts, and then when we’ve shot the scene—and we only have it digitally—and then when you’ve done the scene, it just vanishes. It’s like Mission: Impossible. ‘This will self-destruct.'”
But that hasn’t stopped some of Thrones‘ biggest stars from teasing the action to come. “This season is bloodier than ever. It’s full of betrayal, full of war, full of danger,” Sophie Turner told 1883 Magazine. “That’s all I can say without giving too much away.”
How Many Episodes Are There in Season 8 of Game of Thrones?
HBO split the final 13 episodes of Game of Thrones into two shorter seasons. Season 8 will consist of six episodes. But despite the shortened season, Bloys said that the new episodes will not be supersize—a.k.a. they will be less than two hours long.
HBO has also announced that David Benioff & D.B. Weiss, David Nutter and Miguel Sapochnik will be the directors of the new season. Season 8 episodes will be written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss, Bryan Cogman and Dave Hill.
In an interview with TIME in March 2017, showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss told us that they “know what happens in every scene.”
How Many More Seasons of Game of Thrones Are There?
Season 8 will be the final season of Game of Thrones. However, HBO has officially greenlit a pilot episode for a prequel series from showrunner Jane Goldman (X-Men: First Class, Kingsman: The Secret Service) that will take place thousands of years before the events of Game of Thrones and chronicle “the world’s descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour.”
Bloys told EW that Goldman’s prequel won’t start shooting until at least early 2019.
There’s also a chance we could be getting even more Thrones spinoff series. “Three more Game of Thrones prequels, set in different periods and featuring different characters and storylines, remain in active development,”George R.R. Martin wrote in a June blog post. “Everything I am told indicates that we could film at least one more pilot, and maybe more than one, in the years to come.”
When Will Game of Thrones‘ Season 8 Trailer Come Out?
In the past, HBO has released a Game of Thrones trailer a few months before the new season premiered. However, Bloys has said that while he thinks a season 8 trailer will drop before the new year, he’s not sure, he told EW.
Luckily, fans were given their first glimpse of Game of Thrones‘ final season in a surprise teaser hyping up HBO’s 2019 programming lineup—including Big Little Lies season 2 and True Detective season 3—that aired leading up to the finale of Sharp Objects.
Most of the Thrones scenes in the teaser were pulled from the show’s seventh season. But if you were paying close attention, you may have noticed that there was a shot of Jon Snow (Kit Harington) hugging Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) that was brand new. Watch the full 2019 HBO teaser below.