After salivating fans have been left on tenterhooks for the overdue seventh season, which was delayed so filming took place over the winter, Game of Thrones’ concluding run might not be hitting screens until 2019.
Casey Bloys told US mag Entertainment Weekly: “Yeah, [showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss] have to write the episodes and figure out the production schedule.
“We’ll have a better sense of that once they get further into the writing.”
Bloys insisted the network only have the best intentions, to make sure the fantasy epic bows out with a “monumental” bang.
Game of Thrones season 8 might be delayed by a whole year Game of Thrones series 7: First Look Fri, April 21, 2017
Game of Thrones series 7: Here's the exciting first look at Jon Snow & Daenerys Targaryen in action.
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Daenerys can be seen arriving in Westeros
What they’re doing is monumental
HBO boss Casey Bloys
“One of the hallmarks of the show has been how cinematic is it,” she explained. “The show has proven that TV is every bit as impressive, and in many cases, more so than film.
“What they’re doing is monumental. When you see these battles in season seven, and what I imagine season eight will be, it’s a big, big show.
“We’ve done a lot of great shows, but this one combines the complex characters we love with a huge cinematic scope. I think this is the first show to prove that can be done.”
What’s more, after reports claimed HBO were planning four Game of Thrones spin-off series, Bloys clarified that they’re now only committing to one prequel.
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"I want to put the prequels in context," she elaborated. "It should go without saying I love having a show with this much intense interest around it.
"Even the smallest bit of information is a big deal and I appreciate that. But I wanted to make sure fans know this is a really embryonic process. I haven't even seen outlines.
“In the press at large, everybody said, ‘There are four spinoffs' and they assume that means each one is happening and we're going to have a new Game of Thrones show per quarter. That's not what's going on.
"The idea is not to do four shows. The bar set by [producers David Benioff and D. B. Weiss] is so high that my hope is to get one show that lives up to it. Also, this is a long-term plan. Our No. 1 goal is the seventh season this summer and getting the eighth season written and aired."
Game of Thrones returns to HBO at 9pm in the US on July 16 and will be simulcast at 2am on Sky Atlantic in the UK.