'Game of Thrones' is back filming way sooner than we all predicted

'Game of Thrones' is back filming way sooner than we all predicted

Game of Thrones came back in a major way this year. Many fans complaining about slow-moving storylines in the last couple of seasons had their prayers answered, as some big changes came to the world, as well as some long-awaited action to go with it. It was also a shorter season with longer episodes, and as the final season is ahead, it is set to have even fewer episodes, though they may have longer runtimes.

HBO are yet to announce when the eighth and final season of the hit show will air on the small screen, but apparently, it's about to begin production, far earlier than we were expecting. This news comes not from a producer on the series as you might anticipate, but from Liam Cunningham.

The actor, who plays Ser Davos Seasworth (aka The Onion Knight), revealed that they are not far from filming:

"Tomorrow I fly back to Ireland, I take a left out of the airport, and the first table read of the first three episodes is on Sunday; second table read Monday… then we rehearse for the rest of the week and start shooting the week after."

According to Deadline, Cunningham spoke at New York Comic Con, where he was on the panel for Amazon's new sci-fi anthology series, Philip K Dick's Electric Dreams. But even this close to production, the actors still have to jump through hoops to get to the scripts:

"Yesterday something quite monumental happened. I got the scripts for the last season... kind of. They were delivered - there's about 450 things you have to go through to open them and I've only done about 250 of them, so I haven't read them yet."

In previous seasons, they usually finished filming in December ready for the show to air in April. This year, filming for the seventh season ended in February 2017 and the show didn't premiere until July. It's also worth mentioning that seeing as this is the final conclusion to the series, post-production may take longer than usual. Speaking to TV Guide last week, Cunningham revealed that they will be filming all the way through to next summer, which potentially means longer episodes.

"[The episodes are] definitely going to be bigger and what I hear is longer. We're filming right up until the summer. When you think about it, up until last season we'd have six months to do ten episodes, so we're [doing] way more than that for six episodes. So that obviously will translate into longer episodes"

The season seven finale, 'The Dragon and the Wolf', was just a few seconds off 80 minutes – the longest Game of Thrones episode ever. Apparently, episodes lasting more than 90 minutes are unlikely, as at that point, huge pro-rated overtime pay kicks in according to the contracts of principal actors. A series of 80-minute episodes seems more likely at this point.

If you're feeling the loss of Game of Thrones already, you should check out this list of shows you must watch now that it has vanished from our screens.