Winter is finally here and the highly anticipated final season of Game of Thrones returns tonight on HBO. The Season Eight premiere begins at 9 p.m. Eastern or 8 p.m. Central. If you're on the West Coast and not wanting to wait until local time to watch it, it will be available on HBO Go and HBO Now beginning at 6 p.m. Pacific.
And so begins the eighth and final season of the Game of Thrones tentpole, one of the last pieces of event television. All six of the season's episode will air weekly straight through, culminating in the series finale on May 19th. Even though the season is only six episodes long, both showrunners have revealed that HBO had offered to finance as many episodes they needed to adequately tell the story.
"Yes. To their credit, they put their money where their mouths are — literally stuffed their mouth full of million-dollar bills which don’t exist anymore," D.B. Weiss previously revealed. "They said, 'We’ll give you the resources to make this what it needs to be, and if what it needs to be is a summer tentpole-size spectacle in places, then that’s what it will be.'"
"HBO would have been happy for the show to keep going, to have more episodes in the final season," echoed David Benioff. "We always believed it was about 73 hours, and it will be roughly that. As much as they wanted more, they understood that this is where the story ends."
A Song of Ice and Fire novelist George R.R. Martin previously suggested the series go for a few more seasons and suggested it was the decision of Weiss and Benioff to stop the series with the upcoming season.
"I don't know," Martin explained. "Ask David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] when they come through. We could have gone to 11, 12, 13 seasons, but I guess they wanted a life.”
Who do you think will sit on the Iron Throne? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Game of Thrones airs Sunday nights at 9/8 p.m. Central on HBO.
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