Game of Thrones Mulling Abbreviated 13-Episode, Split-Season Swan Song

Much like Eddard Stark, HBO might be taking a little off the top of its most popular series.

Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are mulling an abbreviated end game that would limit Season 7 to just seven episodes and an eighth and final season to just six episodes.

“I think we’re down to our final 13 episodes after this season,” Benioff said in an exclusive interview with sister site Variety. “We’re heading into the final lap. That’s the guess, though nothing is yet set in stone.”

Though the network is not confirming an exact episode count for either season, HBO President Michael Lombardo told reporters at the 2015 Television Critics Association summer press tour that all signs were pointing toward two more years for the Emmy-winning series following its forthcoming Season 6 (premiering Sunday, April 24 at 9/8c).

“[The producers are] feeling like there [are] probably two more years after [season] six,” Lombardo said. “I would love for them to change their minds, but that’s what we’re looking at right now.”

The decision to end the high-rated drama might be in direct response to outpacing novelist George R.R. Martin, who was unable to complete the sixth book in his Song of Ice and Fire series prior to production on Season 6. Per Deadline, much of the upcoming 10-episode run was based directly on notes from the author.

Your thoughts on Thrones‘ future at HBO? Sound off below!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Kay says:

    A little frustrating, but I’m okay with it as long as it doesn’t feel rushed. If they organically wrap up the series, I’m good with 2 more shorter seasons. But if they have to try to shove everything into 13 episodes when they were planning on more, then this is terrible news.

    • Jerry says:

      For a long time it was rumored they wanted 7 seasons. Then last year the season 8 possibility came up. Seems like they may have too much for one season but not enough for two full ones. I’d rather have shorter seasons than filler episodes. Also, we don’t know if these will be standard length either. I could see them going over an hour

  2. Lisa says:

    I think it should be 7/7 or 8/7. Im being selfish but 13 hours just is not enough!! Thats like nothing and im not ready to let go yet

  3. Kevin K says:

    Would be great if GoT ends on a high note for its final two seasons (seven and eight) and shortened the episodes respectively.

  4. Junior says:

    I don’t know if anybody remembers the show Weeds but they did the same thing they’re talking about and it was horrible ruin the show then you can bring it back and finish the story

  5. Jason says:

    Seems like there is way to much story left for that number of episodes. But if they feel that’s what it takes then I guess there is no need to stretch things beyond necessity. As long as we get a fully realized and satisfying conclusion, I’ll take what they give me.

  6. wrstlgirl says:

    Personally I don’t like it when they do this crap. If you’ve only got 13 episodes just run that as the final season and be done with it. Splitting it into 7 and then 6 is just dragging it out for the fans. But I’m sure, as with everything else, it’s all about more money.

    • Jerry says:

      But you missed the point of why they want to split it in the first place – they are saying the stories are getting complex and they can’t properly film 10 episodes in a year. How do you expect them to do 13, unless they take a year off? (Which would then end at the same time as half and half anyway).

  7. Walkie says:

    So that would be a total of 20 more hours?

    That should be plenty enough for them to wrap things up.

    • Phoenix5634 says:

      No they are cutting 7 hours ( butchering it ), when they should be adding 20, to make 10 seasons. Like the story very much deserves.

      I don’t care what the problem is… Whether the actors all of a sudden got “big heads” from their sudden fame, or if the EP’s are getting lazy, or if Martins full story isn’t out yet…. I’m a huge fan of everything Game of Thrones, and I can’t envision this show ending in less than 9-10 seasons. And yes I am taking into account the storylines they have modified or cut from the books, but there’s still a hell of ALOT left to be told. It’d be an injustice to this amazing series to end it in the time mentioned in this article.

      • bob says:

        They’re the only people who know the ending so I hope they know what they’re doing. But still I definitely agree with you, there’s so much going on in the story and I can’t see how’d they’d be able to wrap it all up with a shorter season 7 and 8. I’ve already found that 10 per season was a little short(or maybe i’m just greedy.) Hopefully they’re possibly shortening them because it’s what’s best for the story, but I just feel like that wouldn’t be what’s best for the story. I mean how much would it suck if things like Littlefinger’s plot line ended up not really going anywhere or making not much of a difference in the end.

        • bob says:

          And not just because of all the different story lines. At least how i’m imagining it, the white walker story would feel a little underwhelming if it were only the focus for like 12 episodes or something. There’s just lots of different things that are making me worry about them shortening the series. Well, hopefully i’m just worrying about nothing and everything turns out amazing, but i’ll just have to wait and see.

      • Naomi says:

        Yea Phoenix5634! You wrote exactly what I was thinking!!!!!

  8. Ws says:

    I’d rather they do one 13 episode season than 2 short seasons.

  9. Garruk says:

    Why? Why would you do this? There’s so much content in the books. There’s so much to add. Don’t just cop out on this.

    • Phoenix5634 says:

      That’s what I don’t understand…. Cuz there’s literally so much story they could tell, they must have butchered the hell out of the final seasons, based on the number of episodes they say are left… I wish the show would start writing/ producing more like they did in season 1-3.

    • Guy says:

      Half the content in the most recent book is nonsensical filler anyway.

    • Patrick says:

      Actor contracts are running out soon. And the stars will want huge raises. At that point, the show will stop making money. So they are ending it.

  10. If GRR Martin would stop living a celebrity/Kardashian-like life style and finish his books (does this guy think he’s forestalling his mortality with his procrastination?), then we could legitimately analyze whether the story could be compressed into this many episodes.

    • Craig Riley says:

      He’s not your performing monkey. He doesn’t ‘owe it to his fans’ to sacrifice any kind of enjoyment in his own life just to make you happy.

  11. Phoenix5634 says:

    Incredibly, utterly disappointing to hear about this.

  12. Phoenix5634 says:

    Is this some kind of bad joke?.. Cuz I don’t find it funny at all…I’m actually kind of mad that they’d even consider this…mad, and extremely disappointed. What are they thinking?…

  13. Phoenix5634 says:

    If they are serious with this, if you ask a GoT fan in a few years what the definition of “wtf” is, they will reference this incredibly stupid decision…. Yes I may be exaggerating and making a kind of joke of it, but that’s just how poor of a decision this sounds… I honestly can’t believe this article.

  14. Phoenix5634 says:


    Cmon vocal social media fan bases, do something useful for a change

  15. Jim J. says:

    The downside of cable brevity is you have to cram hundreds of characters and sub-plots into a VERY limited number of episodes.

    Plus, I think the next two seasons of “Game of Thrones” being shortened from the usual 10 episodes to 6 could make that show’s story feel rushed. A couple of years ago, George R.R. Martin considered the possibility of “GoT”‘s seasons being extended to 12 or 13 episodes.

  16. Fido says:

    Could it be, as the books haven’t been written, the writers for the show just can’t come up with enough plot stuff to fill the last 2 seasons. Sure GRRM has told them how the story is going to end but what about all the “decorative” story-lines that don’t advance things towards that ending but which add much to the GOT Universe and our viewing experience. With no books to assist them I am concerned s7+s8, if looked at as a date, will be akin to a “cheque please, wham bam thank you mamm, guy leaves” type of affair, ie. no wooing, no anticipation, no foreplay and no snuggling afterwards. But more than likely they’ll be awesome. :)

    • Phoenix5634 says:

      That’s just lazy writing. Most serious fans could fill in those gaps pretty well based on what we already know, and the show writers have the advantage of actually getting to talk to the author, they should be able to do full seasons, if not more seasons. These “abbreviated” seasons are total BS in my opinion, and I’m still mad they’d even consider this, if this news is true.

  17. cassandra says:

    Couldn’t care less, not interested in this show anymore

  18. timechange says:

    Must be missing something judging from these comments. The Games of Thrones is based on George R R Martin’s Song of Fire and Ice where 5 books have been published. The series has more or less completed the five books ( 50 hours) outside of the Riiverlands storyline (Lady Stoneheart, Brotherhood without Banners, Arya Stark’s missing Direwolf Nymeria???). This means the series averages about 10 hours a book. Most of season 6 will be from the unpublished book Winds of Winter (about 7 or 8 hours worth). So if you add 7 or 8 hours to 13 one gets 20 or 21 hours. In other words, the last two books are averaging about 10 hours a book. The same it’s always been since Game of Thrones first began.

  19. Barb says:

    It will be horrible to not have Game of Thrones to look forward to. My favorite show ever and I’m 64 years old, so that’s a lot of TV I’ve watched over these years.

  20. I read the book and was not at all disappointed with the HBO series. I can’t see such a successful show ending, but I’ve seen all sorts of disappointing outcomes to good television. I just hope that when the Games of Throne gets “beheaded,” couldn’t help myself, that it’s a fitting end to a well-written fiction.

  21. I noticed that this site has my strange paradox project I started but stopped for a time to do other things, so don’t hold it against me. :)

  22. Silver Fang says:

    Just like when an anime catches up to the manga and has to either produce filler episodes, go on hiatus or be canceled. How distressing.

  23. chidera says:

    I will like the producer of game of thrones to tell us when season 7 will premiere

  24. Patrick igwoje says:

    It will be better if we have season 7 and 8, bt d problem is , we in this part of of world (nigeria) are getting tired with the many seasons, we want to see the end of it, that’s all.