It looks like HBO may be weaning fans off of Game of Thrones slowly. According to director Jack Bender, Season 7 of Game of Thrones consist of seven episodes, a dip from the usual 10 episodes per season. Bender, who directed the Season 6 episodes "The Door" and "Blood of My Blood," noted the shorter season when asked if he'd be returning next year.
"I don't know the answer to that," Bender told Vanity Fair. "They're only doing seven [episodes], and they've got their regulars who have done it forever."
There have been conflicting rumors and reports about how long HBO's hit series will stay on the air, as it is quickly approaching the planned conclusion of George R.R. Martin's original story. HBO executives have said they'd like the series to continue through 10 seasons, but creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have maintained that the plan was always to do seven seasons. Rumors have circulated that a kind of compromise was reached that would have the show end with Season 8, with Seasons 7 and 8 each having reduced episode orders, but HBO has not officially commented. The premium cable provider did renew Game of Thrones through Season 7, but did not acknowledge that it would be the show's final season, suggesting HBO plans to keep the series going for at least one more year.
Based on the bestselling fantasy book series by George R.R. Martin, Game of Thrones chronicles an epic struggle for power in a vast and violent kingdom.
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.