'Game of Thrones' Season 8 New York Subway MetroCards Delayed

Game of Thrones Season 8 may not premiere until April, but Throneheads in New York will have an opportunity to be a part of the slow rollout of what's sure to be one of the biggest premieres of 2019.

HBO has teamed up with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Grand Central Station for a massive Game of Thrones subway tie-in. Starting Nov. 27, Grand Central Station will be decked out in Thrones promos. Fans will also be able to get their hands on limited-edition Game of Thrones MetroCards. Only 250,000 will be distributed.

At least, that was the plan.

In response to a query from Newsweek, the MTA announced that plans to distribute the Game of Thrones MetroCards had been put on hold. "We do not have a firm release date at this time," the NYCT Subway Twitter account posted. "Please check back for details as they become available."

Good afternoon. We do not have a firm release date for this promotional MetroCard at this time and the cards will not be coming out this week -- please check back for details as they become available. ^BD

— NYCT Subway. Wear a Mask. (@NYCTSubway) November 26, 2018

The MTA itself is in budgetary disarray after years of neglect, underfunding and mismanagement. Beyond the delay-plagued subway system, New York City's network of buses have fallen badly behind and are now ranked slowest of any major bus system in the country. A New York Times investigation found state politicians had sucked $1.5 billion from the transit budget, which, combined with overpaid interest groups and a focus on superficial interventions designed more for political photo ops than improving service, has resulted in an unresolved "transit crisis."

Fare hikes on city dwellers already pinched by a local housing crisis are expected in March 2019, with the price of a single-ride fare predicted to jump to $3. With price increases and system-wide delays leading to reduced ridership, the MTA is currently in a death spiral, with the future portending further service reductions, more fare increases and a lack of political will to overhaul the rotting signal system.

Game of Thrones will return in April for a final six episodes, capping the fantasy series with some of the biggest budgets in TV history. Showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff will direct the series finale, while other episodes will be handled by Game of Thrones veterans, including Miguel Sapochnik, who directed the massive conflict seen in "Battle of the Bastards."

At this point, we know little about Season 8, other than that it will open similarly to the series premiere from way back in 2011, with a royal family visiting Winterfell. Except this time, instead of the Baratheons and the Lannisters, Winterfell will receive Daenerys and her army, as they prepare to face the undead hordes invading Westeros from the North.