Can Game of Thrones Season 8 get by with less Episodes?


There is less Game of Thrones left than you might have expected

Season 7 of Game of Thrones is still several months away, but that hasn’t stopped fans from looking further out – specifically towards the final season. Game of Thrones season 8 is expected to give the series a firm ending, even as author George R. R. Martin still has yet to finish book 6 of 7 in the series. That little fact has never gotten in the way of David Benioff and D.B Weiss of bringing their vision of the story to life, though they’ll have less time to get it done when it comes to season 8.

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When it was announced that season 7 would have less episodes than the usual count of ten, it made sense to assume that season 8 would follow that pattern. At a panel at South by Southwest this weekend – and reported widely by Deadline and others – the joint showrunners dropped the bomb that not only would the series contain less episodes, it would in fact only have six. That’s right, the final season of Game of Thrones will run for only six weeks.

If Benioff and Weiss hadn’t been so capable of handling the material in the past (minor issues and Dorne aside,) this would be troubling news. Luckily for fans of the show, that’s not the case. It was not the original plan for the show to run for eight seasons in the first place; the original plan was only for seven. HBO, understandably wanting to hold onto their biggest show for as long as possible, pushed for more. It would therefore stand to reason that there is an overarching plan in mind, and that a steady landing is assured.

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The six episode count doesn’t take into consideration the possibility that there could one or two episodes with extended runtimes, like what we saw with the finale last season. We have no worry that Benioff and Weiss know how to handle the end of Game of Thrones, and those concerned that it can’t get done properly with only six episodes should realize that the show has actually been getting ready to end for about a season.