Cancel your plans, the date of Game of Thrones’ return has been set


With bated breath fans have awaited the eighth and final season of HBO’s Game of Thrones, a show about a struggling UK casting director searching desperately for English-accented bit players who haven’t yet been stabbed, set afire by dragons, or had their heads crushed in one of its previous 67 episodes. Tonight accompanying the season three premiere of dire crime drama True Detective, the beans have been spilled as to just when fans can find out who gets the big pointy pedestal.

The first of Game of Thrones’ final six episodes will premiere on April 14th, with a time to be set still. Perhaps it’s just my own tastes, but this April is looking to be the month to beat when it comes to total pop cultural saturation; something about the Avengers, and my beloved paranormal investigator Hellboy returns to the big screen. But for many, HBO’s fantastical finale will be the highlight. 

And if you’re already going into a bit of withdrawal, fret not! The previously-announced prequel series has recently received an update, with news of its cast coming forward.

The Long Night, as it’s being called for now, will star Naomi Watts (Twin Peaks, Birdman) alongside Naomi Ackie (Star Wars: Episode IX), Denise Gough (‘71, Angels in America), Jamie Campbell Bower (Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, The Twilight Saga), Sheila Atim (Harlots), Ivanno Jeremiah (Humans), Georgie Henley (The Chronicles of Narnia), Alex Sharp (How to Talk to Girls at Parties), and Toby Regbo (Reign).

I’m always interested and excited to see a large, relatively unknown cast assembled for such a major project; you just know they’ll be winning our hearts and scorn like the best of them in the coming years.

Though little is known besides its place in the timeline (about 5,000 years prior to Jon Snow’s first kiss), maestro George RR Martin, in an Entertainment Weekly interview back in November, dropped some morsels to chew on. Westeros is a very different place. There’s no King’s Landing. There’s no Iron Throne. There are no Targaryens — Valyria has hardly begun to rise yet with its dragons and the great empire that it built. We’re dealing with a different and older world and hopefully that will be part of the fun of the series.” Morsels indeed.

Production is set to start in the “first half of 2019,” so expect to hear more on The Long Night, or whatever it might be called, increasingly as the floodgates of all things icey and firey open in the coming months.

And there might be another book.