Game of Thrones isn’t coming back until 2019

Winter isn’t coming any time soon.

Today HBO broke it to dedicated fans the world over that Game of Thrones won’t be returning until 2019. Game of Thrones star actress Sophie Turner gave as much away in an interview with Variety last month, though many fans were still awaiting an official confirmation of their darkest fears.

HBO’s choice to announce the eighth season date in the new year probably dampened the psychological impact for fans, who will wait more than a year for the wildly suspenseful show to return after the season seven finale, “The Dragon and the Wolf,” aired on August 27, 2017. HBO confirmed that the final season will be a six-episode run, though we’re hoping that plenty of those clock in over 60 minutes, given how many loose ends there are and the show’s propensity to run long.

Along with the news, HBO indicated that it will switch things up a little with David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, David Nutter and Miguel Sapochnik directing the season. The writing team will consist of David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Bryan Cogman and Dave Hill. Yep, that means no women on the directorial or writing teams — a thing we’ll keep complaining about until the industry moves toward anything resembling gender parity.

Considering that it’s the fourth day of the new year, 2019 is a long way off for many fans, who have taken to Twitter to express their grief in meme form.

If there’s a hole in your heart where the intricate, cutthroat political drama goes, might we suggest paying close attention to the U.S. 2018 midterm elections? There are no dragons or extended action sequences (hopefully?), but the political intrigue, unrelenting drama and ever present world-rending danger definitely give Westeros a run for its money.