If you haven’t even started watching HBO’s Game of Thrones yet, don’t fret, because you can spend all of 2018 catching up on the hit fantasy series before the eighth and final season airs in 2019. 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 is all but impossible, so, looks like early 2019 at best.
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.
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. (Grab the tissues.) “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.”