It wasn’t too long ago when HBO officially confirmed that the phenomenally popular Game of Thrones will return for its six-episode, eighth and final season in 2019. But when exactly is the premiere date has still been a big mystery to fans. Now, thanks to Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams, the month the epic fantasy drama is supposed to debut in 2019 has been revealed.
In an interview with the Metro newspaper – while doing press for her role in the animated movie Early Man – Williams not only disclosed when Game of Thrones will return in 2019 but also when filming for the final season is scheduled to end.
“We wrap in December and we air our first episode in April (2019). That’s a four-month turnaround for these huge episodes. There’s a lot that goes into the final edit. You would not want to rush this season at all. We owe it to our audience and our fans to really do this final season to the best of our abilities.”
It is a good thing to know that the series creators are not rushing production in order to give fans a series finale to remember. For the sake of millions of Game of Thrones fans, let’s hope it is not an April Fool’s joke by the girl the world knows as Arya Stark. For the award-winning HBO series to return in April is logical as its first six seasons premiered either in April or the end of March. Last year’s Season 7 was the only time that the series premiered late in July (and thus missed out on Emmy consideration for the first time in seven years).
However, the 20-year-old English actress mentioning that production will wrap in December was a surprise. That piece of news contradicted earlier reports by other cast members such as Liam Cunningham (Ser Davos Seasworth) who told TV Guide that the cast would be “filming right up until the summer (of 2018).” And recently, even Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), who was promoting his new movie I Think We’re Alone Now at the Sundance Film Festival, told Variety that they are presently “halfway through filming”.
Of course, Cunningham made his remark when filming for Season 8 was just starting last October. With most of the major cast members the likes of Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington and Williams now presently back in Belfast to continue filming after the Christmas and New Year break, the actors probably have a better inkling of this time when production for the final season will realistically end. So there’s absolutely no reason to doubt Williams’ word unless she made a Freudian slip!
In the same interview, Williams also revealed the kind of ending that she would like her character Arya Stark to have.
“I’ve always said I wanted her to find peace. The things that have been driving her through her story have been very bitter and twisted and aggressive. I would love for Arya to find her true self again and let go of this anger and revenge that’s accompanied her on this journey. I’d love for her to be happy.”
This doesn’t quite reveal whether the dangerous Stark sister will make it out alive when Games of Thrones finally ends in 2019. Still, whatever happens, Maisie Williams is currently having the time of her life.
Along with other Games of Thrones‘ main cast members, the actress recently had the privilege of being seen as Arya Stark on a UK postage stamp, the chance to hilariously add Oscar winner Tom Hanks to Arya’s “list of names” (of people she wants to kill) on The Graham Norton Show, and also discovering that her famous character is featured in the latest edition of Trivial Pursuit while playing the game with her real-life boyfriend. The petite star has also confirmed that she will be a bridesmaid at co-star and best friend Sophie Turner’s upcoming wedding to American singer Joe Jonas.
In the meantime, until Games of Thrones returns in April 2019, fans can catch Williams on the big screen as the soccer-loving heroine Goona in Aardman Animation’s Early Man, which is garnering good reviews in the U.K. and will premiere in U.S. theaters on February 16, 2018.
[Jan 30 Update]
Actress Maisie Williams has denied the newspaper report that was picked up by many other media outlets which quoted her as saying that the final season of Game of Thrones will premiere in April 2019, claiming that “it is completely false” and taken from an interview she did years ago. On Monday, she posted the following tweet:
Just a tweet letting you know this game of thrones release date "quote" I've supposedly given is completely false and taken from an interview I did years ago.— Maisie Williams (@Maisie_Williams) January 30, 2018
So, it seems Season 8’s premiere date (or month) continues to remain a mystery for Game of Thrones fans. One thing is certain though – the HBO hit series is still slated to return (sometime) in 2019.