Game of Thrones showrunners reveal why season 8 is taking so long

That last season is "the biggest thing we've ever done," David Benioff says, promising it'll be worth the wait.

Gael Cooper
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.
Expertise Breaking news, entertainment, lifestyle, travel, food, shopping and deals, product reviews, money and finance, video games, pets, history, books, technology history, and generational studies Credentials
  • Co-author of two Gen X pop-culture encyclopedia for Penguin Books. Won "Headline Writer of the Year"​ award for 2017, 2014 and 2013 from the American Copy Editors Society. Won first place in headline writing from the 2013 Society for Features Journalism.
Gael Cooper

We're all waiting, Daenerys.


Winter is coming so, so slowly. When Game of Thrones claimed the best drama award at Monday night's Primetime Emmy Awards, it had been more than a year since a new episode of the HBO hit aired. (The season 7 finale aired in August 2017.) And it still looks like we'll be well into 2019 before Jon Snow, Jaime, Cersei, Daenerys and the rest gather again.

But there's a good reason for the delay, showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss said backstage at Monday's awards.

"The final season is taking a long time because it's the biggest thing we've ever done," Benioff told the press. Although the remaining season is only six episodes (each one likely movie length), he noted that it took nearly a full year to prepare and shoot the shows.

"I think it's quite extraordinary what the crew and these actors have created, and I think when people see it, they're gonna understand why it took so long," he said. "No one's going on vacation. No one's slacking off. It's just that last season is far beyond what we've ever attempted before, and it's taking a really f-ing long time, but I hope it will be worth it."

This isn't the first time fans have heard about how huge the final season will be. HBO executives have revealed that major characters will die, and there's reportedly a three-location battle that took 55 days to shoot.

Season 8 should come to HBO sometime in 2019.

Inside the workshop where Game of Thrones swords are made

See all photos