It's true. HBO announced via press release that the final season of Game of Thrones will air in 2019.
The network's confirmation comes months after HBO Head of Programming, Casey Bloys, teased that the final episodes would be airing next year.
"The scripts are written and they’re boarding it all out,” Bloys said in July. “It’s a big season. I don’t have the answer yet, but they’re working on it."
According to Thursday's press release, David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, David Nutter and Miguel Sapochnik will serve as season eight directors, while writers include Benioff, Weiss, Bryan Cogman and Dave Hill.
Thrones star Sophie Turner revealed in December that the series wouldn't return until 2019, according to ET.
"I feel this sense that everything is over Game of Thrones-wise," she told Variety. "I have nothing to lose right now, because I don’t have Game of Thrones anymore. I’m kind of born again, because I’m at a different stage of my career now -- not necessarily at a higher level, I just find myself at a different version of my career. So I’m going to try my hand at everything."
As for the four GOT spinoffs HBO has in the works, Bloys said in July that further Thrones content probably won't air until a year after the series' finale.
“The No. 1 priority in all of this is the final season of Game of Thrones. I don’t want to do anything with the spinoff or anything that detracts or distracts from that. That season will happen. And my guess is it’ll be at least a year before you [see] anything else,” Bloys emphasised. “What I don’t want is that the attention to be drawn off the final season, which I think is going to be epic and amazing and have the distraction of a new Game of Thrones airing right after it. I think it’s best to separate it.”
Well, we knew this was coming, didn't we?