As Westeros braces for a long winter, “Game of Thrones” fans may have to endure a longer than usual wait until the final season arrives – and that could be 2019. The latest information about the HBO hit show came from Irish actor Liam Cunningham (Ser Davos Seaworth) who told TV Guide that they will be “filming right up until the summer.”

Cunningham explained during the interview that this is because of the longer and bigger “Game of Thrones” episodes the final season will feature. The actor pointed out that in the previous seasons, GoT usually took six months to film ten episodes.

Although the final season will only have six, each episode is expected to run for over an hour.

Production timeline

As previously reported, the final season “Game of Thrones” starts filming this month; and the production – per Cunningham’s revelation – could be finished around May or June. With prior GoT post productions usually taking four to five months, a “Game of Thrones” season 8 release date in November or December 2018 is still possible.

But taking into account how big the final season of “Game of Thrones” could be, it would be safe to expect post-production works will take longer than usual time to wrap up. That is why a 2019 premiere is very likely.

Filming multiple scenes no longer possible

'GoT' cast Iain Glen, who plays Ser Jorah Mormont, also revealed another explanation as to why production for the final season will take a longer period this time around. The Irish actor said in an interview that because practically all of the main characters are “coming together” in 'GoT' season 8, filming multiple scenes is no longer possible.

Glen said that they are starting to film in the same territory and will be in the same storyline so the production cannot have two filming units anymore. “I think this last season will take much longer to shoot because they can only use one unit…,” the actor explained.

A year and a half

"Game of Thrones" showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss also told the Entertainment Weekly a few months ago that they will spend a year and a half to make the final season of 'GoT.' If the timeline holds true, then it would be all but certain that fans will have to wait until early 2019 to see how Westeros will survive its deadly Winter.

With hopes for “Game of Thrones” season 8 nothing short of spectacular, HBO and GoT showrunners are obviously taking the time it needs to produce a finale that could surpass all expectations.