"Game of Thrones" to return in 2019 for final season

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HBO has announced that the final season of the fantasy series won't premiere until 2019.

It will be a long wait for Game of Thrones (GOT) fans as they will have to wait for more than a year to see the final end of the award-winning saga.

Executive producers include Benioff and Weiss, as well as Carolyn Strauss, Frank Doegler, and Bernadette Caulfield, while Game of Thrones author George RR Martin will be co-executive producer, along with Cogman, Guymon Casady, and Vince Gerardis.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.

The delay is suspected to give Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin a window to release his long-awaited novel The Winds of Winter from his Fire and Blood series.

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Last August Foxtel said the show pulled in more than 1 million viewers per episode in Australia, but the series is also pirated at record rates.

The seventh season was ended in August 2017 with an average of over 30 million United States viewers per episode across multiple platforms.

Starring Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage and numerous other big names, Game of Thrones tells the story of noble families vying for control of the Iron Throne, all the while keeping one eye on the "White Walkers" leading hordes of the undead in an invasion from the North.

Reports first began circulating in summer 2017 that GoT might skip 2018 and Sophie Turner, one of its stars, revealed in a recent interview she didn't expect the series to return this year. Some of its seven episodes were more than an hour long.

Aside from directing, Benioff and Weiss will be writing the new season, alongside Bryan Cogman and Dave Hill.

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