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Forged In Fire Season 9 - What We Know So Far

Since 2015, weaponry nerds around the world have gotten a kick out of the History Channel's weapon-smithing competition show, Forged in Fire. With just over seven seasons currently under its belt, the show has become somewhat of a hit. It ranks 25th on IMDb's list of most popular game shows.

The show has followed a mostly consistent formula since it originally debuted. The first two rounds involve four contestants forging any kind of knife blade they desire. The judges critique the blades and send the worst one packing. In the third round, the final two smiths go head-to-head in creating their own versions of an especially difficult weapon to craft. The final winner gets a grand prize of $10,000 and the title of "Forged in Fire Champion."

After eight seasons of this, however, fans are wondering when the next one will debut. They're also eager to see if there are any changes being made to the show's formula. Here's what we know so far.

What will Forged in Fire's season 9 release date be?

Since Forged in Fire is still in the middle of its eighth season, The History Channel has made no official announcements regarding the release date for season 9. Fans can likely expect the show to continue running, as the network has announced no plans to cancel the popular game show. However, the exact date on which it will pick up after season 8's conclusion is a mystery. 

It's also difficult to extrapolate a likely release date based on previous seasons. According to IMDb, Forged in Fire's season premieres seem to switch at random between late summer, spring, and fall. The last two seasons both premiered in October and November respectively, so if fans were to bet their money on any time period, late fall would be the best guess. However, the inconsistent nature of its track record makes it hard to determine anything for sure.

Who will be the host on Forged in Fire season 9?

People who have seen previous seasons of Forged in Fire are probably familiar with Wil Willis, who hosted the show's first seven seasons. However, it seems that the History Channel has had a change of heart. Starting with season 8, the History Channel enlisted Grady Powell of Dual Survival and Ultimate Survival Alaska fame, via IMDb.

According to TribLive, the History Channel never formally announced what prompted the change in host. Regardless of the reason, however, fans on Reddit don't seem to be too smitten by the new host.

"This is just my opinion but this new host Grady Powell is just unbearable." Redditor u/RyanDunn1977 wrote. "He is monotoned and seems so uptight."

Either way, Powell's first season on the show hasn't quite wrapped up yet. It's natural that fans haven't quite warmed up to him. Whether or not this is a permanent change that will continue on to season 9 is unknown, but if it is, then fans may have to get used to this new host.

Who will Forged in Fire season 9's judges be?

Traditionally, Forged in Fire has had a fairly consistent band of judges. There's J. Neilson, one of only less than 115 people to ever receive the title of Mastersmith from the American Bladesmith Society. Joining him is Doug Marcaida, an edged weapons specialist and master of the show's iconic "will it KEAL?" test. Finally, there is David Baker, one of the world's foremost swordsmiths (via History). Together, these three round out the show's judges' panel.

However, the panel hasn't been 100 percent consistent over the years. According to The Cinemaholic, Neilson had taken multiple breaks from the show throughout seasons 3 and 4, where he was replaced by smiths Jason Knight and Ben Abbott on different occasions.

Whether or not we will see Forged in Fire's traditional judge lineup for season 9 is somewhat of a mystery. It would be safe to assume that fans will see some of the regular judges moving forward. But since absences are not unheard of, it would not be too surprising to see some sort of change.