"Game of Thrones" showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss want to wrap up the fantasy series with Season 8, and they want to limit the episodes in the final two seasons to just six and seven each.
In a chat with Variety, the showrunners noted that the fantasy series based on George R. R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" was down to its last 13 episodes. "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."
Justifying their decision to produce shorter seasons, the duo said they were finding it difficult to wrap up production in the usual 12- or 14-month time frame. Shorter seasons will enable them to spend more time on each episode.
Sources later clarified that the exact number of episodes has not been finalised, as the showrunners are just charting out their plans for the final two seasons. However, HBO Programming President Michael Lombardo acknowledged that Benioff and Weiss have expressed their desire to wind up the show in two year's time.
"That's my understanding from them right now, those have been the conversations we've had," he told Variety. "Because where these narratives go, it feels like another two years to them. As a television executive, as a fan, do I wish they said another six years? I do."
The showrunners did not elaborate on how they plan to end the series, but there is a possibility that the series finale could spoil things for fans of Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" series.
"There was a period where I was worried about that," Martin, who is currently finishing "The Winds of Winter," told GeekWire last year. "Then I said, to hell with that. Worrying about it isn't going to change it one way or another. I still sit down at the typewriter, and I have to write the next scene and the next sentence … I'm just going to tell my story, and they're telling their story and adapting my books, and we shall see."
"Game of Thrones" returns to HBO on April 24.