No “Game of Thrones” S8 Until Mid-Late 2019?

Those hoping to see the eighth and final season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” early next year are likely to be disappointed.

Series visual effects supervisor Joe Bauer gave an interview with The Huffington Post this week and revealed he and his team are only beginning to work on the eighth and final season right now, nearly a year after filming began on the season which wrapped filming last month. On top of that, the FX team they are scheduled to work on the series until May next year and will have some crossover with the upcoming prequel spin-off series:

“In two years we’ll be eligible [for Emmys] for the Season 8 work, which we’re just beginning now. We’re going to be toiling away on season 8 until May of 2019, so it’s eight or nine months away…But the prequel is starting to shoot in February, at least the pilot. So we’ll still have quite a lot to do on season 8 when they’re beginning.”

The Emmy Awards have a cut off date for eligibility on May 31st of each year. By his comments, it means the earliest the series could go to air is May next year. However the more likely scenario is HBO holding off until after the deadline, say well into the Summer like the seventh season did, so the entire eighth season can go for one last awards push in 2020.

Bauer also teased the ending to these last six episodes and how it wraps up the storyline, and from the sounds of it the ending is going to be fitting in with the rest of the show – but will still take some risks:

“I thought [the ending] was really brave. I thought it’d be interesting to see. It’s very true to what Thrones is, and knowing how it ends, I don’t actually see how it could end any other way….looking at it objectively, I think the way it ends is the way it must end, so I’m just going to leave it at that.”

The seventh season aired its season finale a year ago this week.