Photo courtesy HBO

The eighth and final season of Game of Thrones will premiere in 2019, HBO confirmed Thursday afternoon.

While fans had been hoping for a possible late-2018 return, the network made clear today the six-episode final installment won't until sometime next year.

As we reported last summer, the HBO juggernaut is expected to be shooting multiple endings for the series, in an effort to conceal the show's actual final scenes.

"You have to do that on a long show," HBO programming president Casey Bloys said of the possibility of multiple finale versions, suggesting it might be best if "there’s no real definitive answer until the end."

Game of Thrones averaged an incredible 31 million viewers across all platforms during its seventh season. Those episodes were also delayed because of unusually warm and sunny weather, preventing the show from filming its grim, grey scenes for season 7.

It resumed production on the final season back in October.

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