Every year, the wait for a new season of Game of Thrones seems longer. That’s the curse when your show is so good. So what’s the one thing that could make the wait even harder? Having to wait for fewer episodes.
And yet that looks like where we may be headed. Variety reports that showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff are could cut down the home stretch of Game of Thrones episode down to 13—seven episodes for season 7 and six episodes for the eighth and potentially final season.
“I think we’re down to our final 13 episodes after this season. We’re heading into the final lap,” said Benioff. “That’s the guess, though nothing is yet set in stone, but that’s what we’re looking at.”
The Variety article restates that nothing has been finalized with regards to a smaller episode order, but it makes sense. Game of Thrones has a gargantuan production schedule. They start filming every July to crank out ten episodes by April, so it’s basically a show without a hiatus. If you keep promising fans things like bigger battles and set pieces every year, something has to give, and what gives is fewer episodes. The trade off is that they get to spend more time on those episodes. “It’s crossing out of a television schedule into more of a mid-range movie schedule,” Weiss said.
But again, no deal is in place yet for the final seasons of the show. HBO programming president Michael Lombardo says, “We’re still in conversations.”
However, it sounds like fans may want to brace themselves for shorter seasons now rather than get shocked by it when HBO ends up making an official announcement in the future.