Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have revealed that the seventh and eighth seasons of the epic HBO series may see the episode order for their dark-fantasy drama shrinking.
Benioff mentioned the possibility of both seasons scoring a total of 13 episodes combined during a recent interview with Variety, putting the series’ end closer than many fans probably anticipated.
“I think we’re down to our final 13 episodes after this season. We’re heading into the final lap,” Benioff said. “That’s the guess, though nothing is yet set in stone, but that’s what we’re looking at.”
As Benioff stated, these details are still up in the air, and that number may be a lowball estimate, given that the show is in the early stages of planning for both seasons. Still, the potential for either to contain less than 10 episodes remains on the table.
HBO clarified its feelings in a statement, noting that nothing about the upcoming seasons has been finalized. The sentiment was echoed by a follow-up report from Entertainment Weekly, despite Benioff and Weiss having already shared their shortened season plans last October.
“In every conversation, that’s been [the showrunners’] thinking,” HBO’s entertainment president Michael Lombardo told EW. “It will be interesting to see how strongly they feel about being definitive about that when we are in a position to announce seasons seven and eight.”
Regardless of how this shakes out, it seems that Game of Thrones has a clear, definable endgame and that fans should prepare to start seeing its groundwork being laid as early as this upcoming season, which is scheduled to premiere on April 24. You can savor the show’s latest season six trailer here.