Game of Thrones' final season debut may be later in 2019

Winter is still coming slowly, so don't get the dragons too excited. But there's also news on the first prequel's pilot.

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CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
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Gael Cooper
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Fans may have to wait a while to see Daenerys and the Game of Thrones crew.

photo: Helen Sloan/courtesy of HBO

Game of Thrones fans are used to being patient. In addition to waiting for George R.R. Martin to reveal when his sixth book, Winds of Winter, will be released, fans also don't know the exact date when the show's eighth and final season will hit HBO .

But according to a report released Saturday, it might be later than we thought. Joe Bauer, the show's visual effects supervisor, told The Huffington Post that the final season would be eligible for the 2020 Primetime Emmy Awards, not the 2019 honors.

"In two years we'll be eligible for the Season 8 work," Bauer said, "which we're just beginning now."

If the final season were to qualify for the 2019 Emmys, the bulk of the episodes would need to have aired by May 31, 2019. This final season has only six episodes, although it's been reported each one is feature film-length

It seems logical that HBO won't show any episodes until after May anyway since Bauer also said his crew would be "toiling away on Season 8 until May of 2019." HBO's President of Programming Casey Bloys said in July that this season will debut in the first half of 2019, which could still be the case with this news but it will be cutting it close.

Season 7 premiered on July 16, 2017, while previous seasons all premiered in April or March.

HBO had no comment on the show's Season 8 release date.

Bauer also revealed that the first Game of Thrones prequel will begin shooting "at least the pilot" in February. Numerous prequels are being worked on, but this first one to advance to actual plans is about the history of the terrifying White Walkers.

Inside the workshop where Game of Thrones swords are made

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Watch this: Comic-Con 2018: Game of Thrones characters reveal season 8 spoilers