As Game of Thrones season 6 rapidly approaches, the show runners are starting to plot the final episodes….
Game of Thrones may be the most watched show on television, but eventually it will come to an end and that may be sooner than you think.
For the past few years, Game of Thrones show runners David Benioff and Dan Weiss have talked about plans to bring the show to a conclusion at the end of season 7 or season 8 when the story they intended to tell comes to an end.
Now with season 6 rapidly approaching, the two show runners are beginning to look ahead to the final two seasons, which may be abbreviated with far fewer than the 10 episodes per season fans are accustomed to when it comes to Game of Thrones.
“I think we’re down to our final 13 episodes after this season. We’re heading into the final lap,” Benioff told Variety. “That’s the guess, though nothing is yet set in stone, but that’s what we’re looking at.”
HBO executives have said there’s nothing definite regarding the future of Game of Thrones and quickly threw water on the dragon fire Benioff and Weiss spewed when revealing that there may only be 13 episodes left after season 6 is wrapped.
“We’ve known for several years now how many hours, roughly, we want it to go,” Benioff said in a separate interview with EW. “It hasn’t changed.”
The total number of hours is set at 73 but again HBO refuses to actually set that as the limit for Game of Thrones as season 6 gets ready to debut on April 24.
If that number stays the same, however, it’s likely that Game of Thrones would finish season 6 and then move into a shortened, seven episode season 7 before finishing the series with a six episode final season 8.
It’s all speculative for now because HBO has clamped down on setting any finite number for Game of Thrones but it certainly seems the show runners have an idea in mind for how the show will end.
Game of Thrones season 6 will be the first time Benioff and Weiss have gone into a season without any of creator George R.R. Martins’ material to source for the story. Martin has been working on The Winds of Winter — the latest book in his Song of Ice and Fire series, which Game of Thrones is based upon — but the book won’t be out until well after the show airs this year.
The uncharted territory is new for Game of Thrones, but Benioff and Weiss have stayed in contact with Martin throughout the process and while they’ve said the show won’t spoil the books, it’s hard to imagine they’d go so far off track to take the show in a completely different direction away from the source material.
With Game of Thrones season 6 already filmed at 10 total episodes, this could ultimately be the final time the show will feature 10 total hours of television in a given season.
Chances are no one will know for sure how many episodes will comprise Game of Thrones seasons 7 and 8 until filming begins this summer and Benioff and Weiss sit down with HBO to discuss the final stories taking place in Westeros.
Whatever the case, it certainly appears Game of Thrones is beginning to fly towards the finale within the next two years.