Game of Thrones fans will have to wait until 2019 for the planned final season of the award-winning medieval fantasy series, a gap of more than a year since the end of season seven.
HBO did not specify which month when making the announcement, but confirmed the popular show would return in 2019 for a six-episode final season.
Game of Thrones is HBO's biggest-ever hit, with an army of devoted fans worldwide and some 30 million viewers in the United States alone.
Last August Foxtel said the show pulled in more than 1 million viewers per episode in Australia, but the series is also pirated at record rates.
The final season of the Emmy Award-winning show is expected to reveal which of the warring families in the fictional Seven Kingdoms of Westeros will win the multigenerational struggle for control of the Iron Throne.
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Production on the final season started in October, and filming is expected to last until mid-2018.
The television series has already advanced beyond the events of George RR Martin's five published novels in his A Song of Ice and Fire series.
The long gap until the final season would give Martin the chance to finish one or two new Game of Thrones books that he has said he was working on.
HBO's head of programming, Casey Bloys, has said multiple endings will be filmed to avoid leaks or hacks of how the saga ends.
Show creators David Benioff and DB Weiss told Entertainment Weekly in 2016 that they wanted to make the series finale as spectacular as possible.
Benioff and Weiss will also direct the final season, HBO said.
The seventh season ended last August to record viewers, with Foxtel saying it was the most watched overnight programme in Australian subscription television history.