Game of Thrones’ final season will only contain six episodes

HBO

After countless rumors that Game of Thrones showrunners would be making the show’s final seasons shorter than usual, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss confirmed this weekend the final season would only contain six episodes.

Benioff and Weiss were on-stage at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, to talk about the show. Along with the announcement that British pop star Ed Sheeran would be joining the show in its seventh season, the two spoke about the shorter, final season. Benioff and Weiss, who have been in charge of the show since it fist debuted in 2011, will write the final four episodes.

“Dave Hill will write the season premiere, Brian Cogman will write 802 and then we’ll write the other four,” Benioff said, as reported by Mashable. “Usually it took two minutes to divide the halves, this time it was 18 back and forth emails: ‘I’ll take this scene if you take that scene. Because we realized it was the last time we’d be doing this for this show.”

The panel, which was hosted by Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner (who play Stark sisters Arya and Sansa respectively) also revealed some cool information about the series. Benioff and Weiss admitted they viewed the series as one very long movie instead of an eight-season narrative. The showrunners also confirmed HBO was interested in pursuing spinoffs, as previously reported, but neither Benioff nor Weiss were going to be involved if the network went forward.

HBO announced last week that Game of Thrones will return for its seventh season on July 16. The seventh season will also be shorter than usual, but HBO has not confirmed how many episodes it will include.

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