Fans have been eager to hear updates from HBO, and the wait is finally over. The powerhouse network just announced the final schedule for the eighth and last season of “Game of Thrones.” The highly-acclaimed television series’ seventh season aired in 2017, and as usual, it was a huge hit.

Season 8 airs next year

Unfortunately, fans will not be seeing what’s going to happen next in the lives of their favorite characters this year because HBO just revealed today that Game of Thrones” Season 8 will air in 2019. For the first time, the show will be skipping a year to air its next season. The popular show premiered in 2011, and has released a new season every year until now.

However, HBO has yet to announce the exact date of release.

HBO did not explain why the final season has been bumped to next year, but there were already hints from the creators last year that they were leaning toward airing the final season at a later date because they wanted to make sure that the last season would be better than the seventh season. Since George R. R. Martin didn't release “The Winds of Winter” last year, “Game of Thrones” Season 7 was highly anticipated, and it was full of surprises.

In addition to the schedule, HBO also confirmed that the final season will only have six episodes, making it the shortest season yet. However, the show-runners promised that the episodes themselves would be longer, which was what they did with the seventh season. David Benioff and D.B. Wiess will be joined by David Nutter and Miguel Sapochnik as the directors of the new season.

Benioff, Weiss, Bryan Cogman, and Dave Hill are all on board as writers.

It has also been revealed that the filming for “Game of Thrones” Season 8 officially kicked off on October 23 last year. However, that doesn’t mean fans will be treated to any possible spoilers as the cast and crew of this popular series are known to be tight-lipped when it comes to the development of the story. Since Martin hasn’t published the final two novels in the series, namely "The Winds of Winter" and "A Dream of Spring," the eighth season will reportedly be based on material coming from the two unpublished novels that Martin gave the show-runners.

‘Westworld’ in 2018

While fans have to wait another year before they find out what happens next to the Targaryens and the Starks, “Westworld” is expected to take over HBO this year with its new season. The series has been hailed by fans as the new “Game of Thrones” because of its captivating storyline and fresh plot twists. HBO has yet to reveal the exact release date of "Westworld" Season 2, but the first episode has already been titled "Journey Into Night."