The Game of Thrones showrunners recently revealed that they lied to HBO in order to make the show's final season happen.
In a conversation with Entertainment Weekly, series creators David Benioff and D. B. Weiss shared that they actually had no plans of scaling back the scope of the narrative, though that is how they presented it.
“The lie we told is the show is contained and it’s about the characters,” Benioff explained. In reality, his comment is a bit of a half-truth, as the show still features its sprawling cast while managing to be a "contained" finale season.
"The worlds get so big, the battles get so massive,” Benioff added.
Interestingly, the showrunners initially thought about filming the finale as three separate two-hour films that would be released in theaters, similar to The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit trilogies.
“It’s what we’re working towards in a perfect world,” Weiss said at the time. “We end up with an epic fantasy story but with the level of familiarity and investment in the characters that are normally impossible in a two-hour movie.”
The creators later added that ending the show altogether before it ran past its prime was always the plan.
“We want to stop where we — the people working on it, and the people watching it — both wish it went a little bit longer,” Benioff admitted. “There’s the old adage of ‘Always leave them wanting more,’ but also things start to fall apart when you stop wanting to be there. You don’t want to f— it up.”
Fast-forward to now, the show is still ending, though it will air on HBO as a final season rather the originally proposed trilogy.
Game of Thrones co-executive producer Bryan Cogman spoke with EW during a season eight set visit, and shared some details of what fans can expect to see in the show's final episodes.
“It’s about all of these disparate characters coming together to face a common enemy, dealing with their own past, and defining the person they want to be in the face of certain death,” Cogman said. “It’s an incredibly emotional, haunting, bittersweet final season, and I think it honors very much what George set out to do — which is flipping this kind of story on its head.”
Game of Thrones' eighth and final season will premiere sometime during the first half of 2019, though no specific debut date has been announced.