'How I Met Your Mother': What to Expect from Season 8
'How I Met Your Mother': What to Expect from Season 8
Jenn Lee
Jenn Lee
Staff Writer, BuddyTV
Warning: major season 7 finale spoilers ahead!

Yes, last night's season finale answered some important questions (Who is Barney's bride?), but it also left us with a lot of open-ended ones for next season (What's going to happen with Ted and Victoria? How will Barney transition from being engaged to Quinn to marrying Robin?). Though he's not giving away all their tricks, co-creator Craig Thomas was willing to share some interesting tidbits for next (and potentially the last) season.

"It had to be Robin."
According to TV Guide, Thomas believes "there was just no other way" than to have Barney end up with his fellow Canadian, Robin. Though the couple only dated for a short period in season 5, with a brief possibility of rekindling earlier this season (which Robin shot down by choosing Kevin, guest star Kal Penn, over Barney), HIMYM fans still believed in the reality of these two ending up together. Thomas and co-creator Carter Bays were with us, if only in secret - they have known Robin and Barney were going to marry for "three or four years" (according to Vulture). With the end game in mind, Thomas and Bays knew they wanted to have Barney's future wedding revealed at the end of season 6 and Robin as his bride at the end of season 7.

From Quinn to Robin
Although that wedding day is full of other surprises and Ted does refer to it as "the wedding day that went horribly wrong," Thomas assured TVLine that the wedding will go through and Barney and Robin will get married. With that major milestone in place, season 8 will be about how Barney gets from point A (engaged to Quinn) to point B (marrying Robin). Quinn (guest star Becki Newton) will appear in at least the first episode of next season, but with being cast in Thomas and Bays' new pilot The Goodwin Games, she probably won't stick around too long. Thomas calls this process for Barney "a big emotional journey" that will most likely take up most of the season.

Meanwhile, Robin will have a new romantic interest of her own in season 8 who will be "a significant arc." So although Robin and Barney start off the season in separate relationships, the writers plan to show us how those relationships end up leading them to each other.

Some Unfinished Business
Unlike past season premieres, the first episode of season 8 will pick up right where the finale left off, taking place on that day in May where Ted is riding off into the sunset with Victoria, Barney is engaged to Quinn and Lily and Marshall's baby's first outing was to MacLaren's. "There's a lot of great stories to tell just in that one day," says Thomas. After the first episode addresses the events of the season 7 finale, the second episode will jump forward to September, where we'll see how the gang has been after four months.

Yes, Ted's Finally Meeting the Mother
Though the finale ended with Ted and Victoria running off together, HIMYM fans know she can't be the mother, because Ted meets the mother at Barney's wedding (which occurs at some unknown point in the future). Still, Thomas insists Victoria was reintroduced to help Ted ultimately get to the place where he's ready to meet the mother: "[He's] closing the last couple doors in his mind that he has to close to really be ready," says Thomas. "One of them was Robin, and the other door is Victoria." Even though things with Victoria don't ultimately work out, we can be comforted with the fact that their relationship will "lead to the best thing in [Ted's] life."

On Season 8 Being the Last Season
Because Thomas and the other producers don't know if this season will be HIMYM's last, they're still working out "a Plan A and a Plan B." According to Thomas, "This is where business meets art" -- as the show is still undergoing actor deals and negotiations, which will help determine whether a season 9 is possible. There is "enough stuff to tell either way," but Thomas is eager to settle the point so they can plan the details of the end of the series.

This point seems to refer to whether the show's narrative will continue after Barney and Robin's wedding day -- the day Ted meets the mother -- or if the series will end there. If there is a season 9, there seems to be a greater possibility Thomas and Bays will continue the show after Ted has met the mother, allowing us to see Ted fall in love and journey with the gang beyond that pivotal day. Either way, Thomas plans for HIMYM's final season to be "momentous" hurrah to the much-loved show.

(Image courtesy of CBS)