"Game of Thrones"
Fans may have to wait until late 2018 or even 2019 to see the final season of “Game of Thrones.” Pictured: Emilia Clarke as Daenerys and Kit Harington as Jon. HBO

Now that “Game of Thrones” has once again come to an end following an epic Season 7 finale, fans are already clamoring for the show’s return to HBO. However, those who felt the wait for Season 7, which saw the show delayed an extra three months, may need to prepare themselves for their longest wait yet, as there have been rumblings that the show may not actually return in 2018.

Spoiler Alert: The Ending of “Game of Thrones” Season 7, Episode 7, “The Dragon and The Wolf,” is discussed below.

It is currently unclear when the ultra-popular series may be returning to TV screens, with conflicting reports which indicate it could air the final season, which will consist of only six episodes, in either the summer months of 2018, or even delay the episodes until 2019.

The possibility of the show’s final season being delayed until 2019 was first revealed back in June, after HBO Programming President Casey Bloys told Entertainment Weekly that there was a big chance the show may not air until 2019 because the network wanted to give showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss a chance to properly send the series off, meaning they were giving them as long as they needed to write and produce the final season.

“The show that Dan and David have created will get its proper send off first. We wouldn’t want to take away from that in any way,” Bloys said at the time, when asked about the plan for airing the anticipated prequel shows.

“They have to write the episodes and figure out the production schedule. We’ll have a better sense of that once they get further into the writing,” he added.

The production schedule for Season 7 had been pushed back in 2016 to accommodate the change in climate for the show itself, which saw the characters bid farewell to the long summer they had experienced for the first six seasons, and officially welcome winter. That push led to the show airing in July and August, whereas the seasons usually premiered in April and ended in June.

Though the Winter season would mean that fans definitely can’t count on the final season returning by Spring 2018, there could still be some hope the show could still air by Summer of that year, as several members of the cast have indicated that they may be back to filming within the next few months, allowing for the possibility that the series could still return in the next year.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau previously told Collider that he was due to return to the show’s set in October of this year, which could indicate a 2018 return for the show is still being planned.

“We go back in October, so maybe in the next few weeks, we’ll get the scripts and I’ll find out. I’m very curious,” he said.

Similarly, Kit Harington, who portrays Jon Snow/Aegon Targaryen, indicated in an interview with Deadline that the show could be back in 2018, after reiterating that the cast will soon find out how things end for the show, but fans won’t have that knowledge until the episodes air.

However, he also made sure to warn fans to be prepared for a “bloodbath” in the new season as well, because with so many characters—both primary and secondary—still on the canvas, there will be a lot of deaths when the new season airs.

“… With so few characters left, they (the viewers) should get used to and get ready for next year is ‘Thrones’ returning to form and killing its main characters quickly. They’re going to go, and they’re going to go fast, and I think that the payoff of our characters not being in great peril this year will be that, next year, it’s going to be a bloodbath,” he said.