If you're one of the few left who has never watched HBO's Game of Thrones yet but are still convinced you'll catch up in time for the finale, don't fret, because you can have all of 2018 and at least some of 2019 to finish your binge. At least, that's the expected air date according to Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark in the extraordinarily popular show. The actress recently spoke to Variety, spilling some major secrets about filming the show's final season.
When asked how far into production she and the cast currently are, the newly engaged (to Joe Jonas!) Turner said, “We started in October, so we’re maybe like a tenth of the way through...No, no, we’ve got six or seven months left.” At that rate, a 2018 premiere would be almost improbable.
She continued, “Game of Thrones comes out in 2019. Dark Phoenix is in November. Then I have a couple indie movies coming out. I’m a producer on my next movie. So I’m really excited about the future.”
The GoT showrunners also previously hinted at a 2019 release date for the six-episode season. “It’s exciting but there’s always pressure. You don’t ever want to drop the ball,” D.B. Weiss told Entertainment Weekly in June of this year, adding that, at the time, they weren't done writing the final season. (W has reached out to HBO to confirm Turner's premiere date and will update accordingly.)
But it seems Weiss and co-showrunner David Benioff have made significant progress since then, since Turner was able to give Variety more details on how her character will grow and change in the final season, after—spoiler alert—offing her pseudo-mentor Littlefinger at the end of season 7.
“It’s going to be tricky for her, because at the end of last season, she felt that she had everything set up,” Turner said. “She had her family back together. They were in control of the North again. This season, there’s a new threat, and all of a sudden she finds herself somewhat back in the deep end. And without Littlefinger, it’s a test for her of whether she can get through it. It’s a big challenge for her, without this master manipulator having her back. This season is more a passionate fight for her than a political, manipulative kind of fight.”
Turner also spoke lovingly of how the cast is spending more time together as the series wraps up. “When we all had the read-through for the final season, it was very, very emotional. For the first time in Thrones history, we had everyone there. All of the Americans wanted to come over. Every single cast member was pretty much there. We’re all kind of feeling the end of it coming. We’re all staying in town a little longer, going out for more meals, trying to get together more. We’re all trying not to take it for granted any more,” she said. She also praised her fellow actors, adding, “I learned to act watching Lena [Headey] and Peter [Dinklage] and Maisie [Williams] and Kit [Harington] and all of these different people. I put them all on such pedestals. The thought of not working with them is almost excruciating to me. They’ve been my growing up.”