When Season Eight Of 'Game Of Thrones' Ends, It's All Over

Matt Lauer says his farewell to Katie Couric his exiting co-host of the NBC

Matt Lauer says his farewell to Katie Couric his exiting co-host of the NBC"Today television program in the studio Wednesday

Game of Thrones season eight will be the HBO show's final and, unfortunately for fans, won't air until 2019.

While speaking at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour on Thursday, HBO programming president Casey Bloys explained that the network plans to let at least one full year pass following Thrones' conclusionbefore debuting any spin-off.

Asked if season 8 provides a conclusive end and whether we will see a definitive ruler on the Iron Throne, Bloys replied: "I don't even want to answer that!"

He also confirmed that there will be no existing Game of Thrones characters featuring, though "there may be [familiar] bloodlines". We learned a year ago that 5 Game of Thrones spinoffs are in the works, though only one is likely to make it to air. We want the final season of Game of Thrones, being the special event that it is [to stand on its own]. While there's still no word on what story a new show will explore (we have some ideas!), or how numerous ideas under consideration will make it to the screen, he did reveal when any of them would air.

That means each of the final six episodes that will make up Season 8 could essentially be a movie. I've seen some exciting material. We have really great writers working on these; it's very exciting.

The duo wanted as much time as they could to make the strongest - and most epic - episodes that they possibly could. I don't want to cheapen it with a spinoff airing right after it.

It comes after the 31-year-old actor claimed back in December that it would be 'bigger than it's ever been' in its eighth season. But the gap between seasons 1 and 2 was 15 months, season 2 aired in late October, creators the Duffer brothers are still writing the next edition, and a start-of-production date has yet to be set ... so you don't need psychic powers to deduce we won't likely be revisiting Hawkins this year.

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