Game of Thrones Season 7 will consist of just seven episodes, compared to the 10 episodes each in the previous six season. Now we've learned that the show's eighth and final season will be the shortest season of them all.
Speaking at a panel at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas, showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss confirmed that Game of Thrones Season 8 will be just six episodes long.
"It's only going to be six episodes for the final season," Benioff told the crowd. He and Weiss were joined by series stars Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner for the event.
This is likely equally disappointing news for fans and for HBO, whose executives have repeatedly stated that they'd like to get as many episodes of Game of Thrones out there as possible before the end.
Game of Thrones has taken an unusually long hiatus between Season 6 and Season 7. That extra-long break has been to compensate for the change of seasons in Westeros. Winter arrived in the Game of Thrones Season 6 finale, and so the Game of Thrones production team has had to alter its shooting schedule to compensate.
Even so, the Game of Thrones Season 7 is beginning to take shape. To coincide with the SXSW event, HBO released the first poster for Game of Thrones Season 7, as well as the first teaser trailer and confirmed the season's premiere date.
Through less official channels, guest star Jim Broadbent revealed that he'll be playing an Archmaester of the Citadel, most likely Marwyn, in Game of Thrones Season 7. The last guest star to be so cavalier with his character information was Ian McShane, who has been equally transparent with his feelings towards Game of Thrones fans.
Meanwhile, series regulars are promising that Season 7 will be the biggest season of Game of Thrones yet. At the same time, inquisitive fans are pieces together what hints they can about things to come. One theory to come out of this only sleuthing is that Arya Stark will be reunited with her long-lost dire wolf, Nymeria. There's been no official comment on the rumor, but such a reunion may herald the late introduction of the massive wolf pack that roams Westeros in the Game of Thrones novels.
Game of Thrones Season 7 premieres on HBO on July 16, 2017.