Just as Sean Bean’s character in Game of Thrones, Ned Stark warned us for the entirety of Season 1 “Winter is coming”, unfortunately so too is the end of HBO’s award winning phenomenon.
The weekend just gone saw the start of the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) conference in Texas for usually fringe, upcoming, independent film and music. But ‘Hold the Door’, Game of Thrones have made an appearance and answered some vital questions…
It’s not unusual for some of the bigger names in the industry to make an appearance at SXSW. Showrunners of Game of Thrones David Benioff and Dan Weiss sat down for a grilling panel in front of a packed audience, moderated by the show’s very own Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) and Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark).
Among many interesting reveals, the pair interestingly confirmed that the upcoming Season 7 (premiering July 16) will only consist of 7 episodes compared to the 10 episodes made in each of the previous 6 seasons. Then if that wasn’t bad enough, they also confirmed that the final season (8) will only comprise of 6 episodes.
This leaves us Game of Thrones fans with a mere 13 episodes for the team to wrap up a very convoluted and expansive story-line.
— Game Of Thrones (@GameOfThrones) March 9, 2017
“We’ve had, from the beginning, a sense of… from the very first time we pitched this show to HBO, we wanted to tell one 70 hour movie – it’s gonna turn out to be 73 hours, but still, it’s stayed relatively the same in terms of the beginning, the middle and now we’re coming to the end,” Benioff admitted. “It would’ve been tough if we’d lost any of the core cast members along the way, so I’m very happy that we’ve kept everyone together and we get to finish it the way we wanted to.”
Benioff and Weiss also commented on the difference of making the show now compared to the initial seasons. The initial seasons of course followed the story-line set out in the novels by George R. R. Martin. Whilst of course his story has continued, and he has consulted with the TV-series to ensure his intended plans for the plot are used, the TV-series has surpassed the novels, as the author couldn’t write them fast enough. When questioned how they managed the threat of spoilers , Benioff tongue-in-cheek responded, “People had the spoilers of Ned’s death in a f***ing book and somehow that season still worked.”
The two showrunners also confirmed that they wouldn’t be involved in any potential spinoff from the series saying, “I think HBO might well do [another series] and I look forward to watching it and I think it be great, but I think they should get new blood in.”
We’ve got to assume the show will do what it does best and along with winter, so too will the answers come that we’ve desperately been craving for the past six years. If not, we’ll have to wait for George R. R. Martin to finish off and publish his final two novels. Unfortunately, at his writing-rate, that won’t be for years, if at all! On the plus side this will give us a good opportunity to re-watch and re-read the TV and novel series all over again, and be equally as shocked, horrified and heart-broken when all of our beloved characters are killed off time and time again!