Season 6 starts nine days from today—not like I’m counting—on April 24. And, while this season will run ten episodes, like the five that proceeded it, the show’s final two seasons might be shorter than fans expected.
In an interview with Variety, David Benioff said that after this season, “I think we’re down to our final 13 episodes after this season. We’re heading into the final lap. That’s the guess, though nothing is yet set in stone, but that’s what we’re looking at.”
HBO quickly clapped back and said that no details were final, but apparently Benioff and his fellow showrunner D.B. Weiss had said something similar to Entertainment Weekly back in the fall.
Game of Thrones was initially only expected to run seven seasons, so this is still three more episodes than were initially expected. Still, if true, this would mean that there are only 23 episodes of Game of Thrones left, including this season. (The fact that that means there are also 23 hours of GoT left makes it easier to swallow.) However, this decision appears to be based on practicality, not storytelling, which is slightly more unnerving. “It’s crossing out of a television schedule into more of a mid-range movie schedule,” Weiss said. If they do speed the series up, they’ll also have to speed the action up—one of Game of Thrones’s great pleasures has been that it’s not in a hurry to get anywhere (except when in Dorne do as the Dornish do, I guess?). But that may start to change this season.