(From Digital Spy) Bad news, Game of Thrones fans, it looks like the rumours are true – just 13 more episodes.
GoT showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss had previously hinted that the show would wrap up after two more seasons.
Now, Benioff has told Deadline that he expects the show will indeed total 73 hours.
Given the 60 hours already covered, that does indeed leave us with just 13 remaining – implying that those rumours of seven episodes in 2017 and a mere six in 2018 were on the money.
“It’s two more seasons we’re talking about,” he said. “From pretty close to the beginning, we talked about doing this in 70-75 hours, and that’s what we’ll end up with. Call it 73 for now.”
But why? Surely a mega-hit like Game of Thrones could run for years and years?
“It’s not just trying not to outstay your welcome,” Benioff explained. “We’re trying to tell one cohesive story with a beginning, middle and end.
“We’ve known the end for quite some time and we’re hurtling towards it. Those last images from the [season six finale] showed that.
“Daenerys is finally coming back to Westeros, Jon Snow is king of the North and Cersei is sitting on the Iron Throne. And we know the Night King is up there, waiting for all of them.
“The pieces are on the board now. Some of the pieces have been removed from the board and we are heading toward the end game.”
That’s the bad news. The good is that Benioff and Weiss have “very specific ideas” on how Game of Thrones will end, even without George RR Martin’s novels to guide them.
“It’s a strange phenomenon – we’re in this territory where you are walking on your own and can’t rely on the written material anymore,” Benioff said.
“[But] once we get to the final end game, we’ve got very specific ideas that have grown organically over the past six plus years about where everything will end up.”
A handful of GoT favourites – Peter Dinklage, Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Lena Headey – are all signed up for season 8… providing their characters survive that long!
Game of Thrones will return to HBO and Sky Atlantic in 2017.