Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss have confirmed that, in accordance with recent rumors, their hit HBO fantasy-drama series will wrap after 13 more episodes, spread out over two final seasons. In an interview with Deadline, Benioff revealed that the show would total out at 73 hours, 60 of which have already passed with the airing of the season six finale on Sunday.
“What Dan says is really true, but it’s not just trying not to outstay your welcome,” said Benioff. “We’re trying to tell one cohesive story with a beginning, middle and end. As Dan said, we’ve known the end for quite some time and we’re hurtling towards it.”
It seems that the two showrunners, who were left to their own devices this past season for the first time as the show got ahead of George R. R. Martin’s books, are sticking true to their promise of letting the story come to its natural conclusion, rather than forcing the series past its planned ending for the sake of profitability.
Those last images from the show that aired last night showed that. Daenerys is finally coming back to Westeros; Jon Snow is king of the North and Cersei is sitting on the Iron Throne. And we know the Night King is up there, waiting for all of them. The pieces are on the board now. Some of the pieces have been removed from the board and we are heading toward the end game. The thing that has excited us from the beginning, back to the way we pitched it to HBO is, it’s not supposed to be an ongoing show, where every season it’s trying to figure out new story lines. We wanted it to be one giant story, without padding it out to add an extra 10 hours, or because people are still watching it. We wanted to something where, if people watched it end to end, it would make sense as one continuous story. We’re definitely heading into the end game now.
It’s admirable and, sadly, a little uncommon, for a show’s producers to value the integrity of a cohesive plotline and the preservation of cogent storytelling over the temptation of more episodes and thus, more money, but if any show has proven to be a pioneer amongst its contemporaries, it’s Game of Thrones. It’s just a sad day for the rest of us who would gladly have followed the show for years and years on down the road, had its creators chosen that path.