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Game of Thrones' final season to debut 'first half' of 2019

Season 8, much like winter itself, is coming. Slowly, but it's coming.

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HBO

Game of Thrones fans were hit with bad news last year: The final season, the climax of suspenseful years, would be delayed until 2019. But until now, "2019" was as specific as that release window got.

Season eight will air in the "first half" of next year, Casey Bloys, HBO's president of programming, told reporters Wednesday during the Television Critics Association's Summer Press Tour. 

"I'm not going to talk about what to expect," he said, according to The Morning Bulletin, "although it's pretty great." 

It's a long wait for fans of the TV show, but it could be worse -- you could be waiting for George R.R. Martin to finish Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring, the two remaining books in the Songs of Fire and Ice series. Fans have been waiting for Winds of Winter, the sixth book in the series, since 2011's A Dance With Dragons. 

The release window for the next season of Game of Thrones wasn't the only announcement Bloys made at the Press Tour. HBO was originally exploring up to five spin-offs of the dragons-and-swords fantasy hit, but it's now narrowed its focus to a single series that Martin is heavily involved in, Bloys said. 

HBO already ordered a pilot for the as-yet-unnamed surviving series, which was written by Jane Goldman of Kick-Ass and Kingsman fame based on a concept developed by her and Martin. 

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