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The end might be coming for Game of Thrones sooner than expected.
After Season 6, which is set to premiere on April 24, the HBO show may only have 13 episodes left. Season 7 would consist of 7 episodes, while the eighth season would have 6 episodes.
Speaking to Variety, showrunner David Benioff said that 13 episodes was the “guess, though nothing is yet set in stone.” Sources later added that Benioff and D.B. Weiss have only just begun to figure out their plans, so 13 episodes might be a little off, but any of the upcoming seasons could be shorter than the usual 10.
Mike Lombardo, HBO programming president, also weighed in on the potential for shorter seasons. “Those have been the conversations we’ve had,” he acknowledged. “Because where these narratives go, it feels like another two years to them. As a television executive, as a fan, do I wish they said another six years? I do.” However, he commented that he thinks they’ll be able to “figure it out.”
The shorter seasons are being considered to allow the creators to spend more time working on each episode. On the process of making each season of Game of Thrones, Weiss said that the show’s expected 12-14 month time frame “[crosses] out of a television schedule into more of a mid-range movie schedule.”
As someone who didn’t think much of Game of Thrones last season, it’s nice to hear that we could be getting more quality control. Based on people’s reactions to recent marketing material for Season 6, though, I might change my tune after the premiere.