The look on Daenerys’ face in the photo above is pretty similar to the look on fans’ faces when they realize that Game of Thrones is ending tonight. It may seem impossible to wrap everything up tonight, but it’s true. The show is ending.
Tonight is the last episode of Game of Thrones, not just for the season but for the entire series. There are no more episodes after tonight except for a behind-the-scenes special next week. Yes, that’s right. Each episode is airing consecutively with no weeks off, so the show only has one episode left. And yes, that’s a full episode shorter than last season and many episodes shorter than seasons before that. Because the episodes were longer and more expensive this season, they kept it shorter.
Here’s the remaining schedule for the final season:
- Episode 6/Finale (tonight): May 19, 2019: 1 hour 20 minutes (directed by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss). Premieres at 9 p.m. Eastern.
- ‘The Last Watch,’ a Game of Thrones documentary: May 26, 2019 at 9 p.m. Eastern. The documentary will be two hours long.
Believe it or not, despite the shorter season, the entire season overall cost more than previous seasons did. For Season 8, HBO’s budget for the entire season was $90 million, which comes out to about $15 million per episode. This number doesn’t even include the cost of special effects or reshoots, Daily Beast shared.
We’ll likely learn more about that when the documentary airs next week, which is the final “official” part of the Game of Thrones saga. It’s called The Last Watch and we’ll see cast reactions to the final season and behind-the-scenes details and more. I for one hope that we’ll have more interesting dialogue from D.B. Weiss and David Benioff. Their commentary has been great fodder for memes and it would be fun to have more next week too.
After the documentary airs next week, we’ll have a long watch until the spinoff prequels start. A premiere date for the first prequel is not yet known, but HBO has hinted that we might see the prequel series in 2020. The prequel series is rumored to be about The Long Night, which will give us a deeper understanding of the White Walkers and the Night King’s history, along with the Children of the Forest. They’ve already started production on the new series, so the wait shouldn’t be much longer than we waited for new seasons of Game of Thrones. The prequel is under the working title, “Bloodmoon.”
There’s also talk about a second prequel going well, although production hasn’t started on it yet. So maybe in the future, we’ll be blessed with two Westeros series simultaneously on HBO.
If you need something to tide you over until then, consider watching Westworld when it returns to HBO in 2020. You can catch up on the first two seasons on HBO now. Amazon is also expected to be kicking off its Lord of the Ring series at some point in the near future. It likely won’t be here until 2021. The Witcher is also expected to be released sometime in 2019 on Netflix. Some think this fantasy series might be a good alternative. Another option is His Dark Materials, an eight-part series commissioned by BBC that will also air on HBO. And if you like scifi, you might want to subscribe to CBS All Access to watch Star Trek: Discovery, which is a more serious Star Trek series. They’re also starting production on the new Star Trek: Picard series, so that’s something to look forward to also.
Personally, I’ve started rewatching Syfy’s Battlestar Galactica because it’s been a long time since I first watched it. I’m amazed by the quality of the show. The first season was dense, with a lot happening and well-rounded characters. It can fill that Game of Thrones itch if you want to rewatch it or if you’ve never seen it before. (Just pretend the final episode didn’t happen.) The mythology and prophecy in the show and the political machinations bring a decidedly GoT type feel.