Game of Thrones General Season 7 Season 8

Game of Thrones season 8 will have only six episodes—Is that enough?

During Sunday’s South by Southwest festival, Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss confirmed information that had been floating around for a long time: season 8 will be consist of just six episodes. Naturally, not everyone took the news well.

Every season up to this point has been 10 episodes long. We already know that season 7 will only have seven. With the confirmation that season 8 will have six, it appears that the story is going to be rapidly wrapping up.

So how can Benioff and Weiss complete such a massive story in just 13 episodes? Just looking at this upcoming season, there’s a lot that needs to happen:

  • Jon must learn of his parentage.
  • Daenerys must cross the Narrow Sea and establish her claim to the Iron Throne.
  • Daenerys must fight and win battles using her dragons and the Unsullied.
  • Cersei must make alliances in order to bolster her drastically depleted army.
  • Wildcard Euron Greyjoy must be folded into the story.
  • Jon Snow, as the new King in the North, must prove to the doubters in the South that the wights and the Night King exist, thus gaining their support for the real fight to come.
  • Bran must cross the Wall.
  • The Night King has to start his invasion of the realms of men, either by toppling the Wall or circumventing it.
  • Littlefinger must be dealt with, and the Knights of the Vale must choose a side.
  • Now that she’s back in Westeros, Arya must decide what to do with her newfound skills.
  • Sam must train as a maester at the Citadel.
  • Jorah must go on a quest to heal himself.
  • Gendry’s role in this story must be developed.

And these are all plot threads to develop in season 7. I can only imagine that season 8 will be all-out war against the Night King.

Oh, and there could be a zombie dragon in the offing.

It sounds like our heroes will get more than they bargained for. Let’s hope 13 episodes is enough to contain it.

43 Comments

  • If all the episodes are 5-20 minutes over an hour it would make it more palatable. Almost equaling a regular season!

  • I remember when the hbo show OZ started. Nice and easy,made sense. After like the third season people were getting arrested,sentenced,and in prison,no to mention running the prison and its drug trade in one episode. It made prison look like Daycare. There is one thing i kinda dont like too much about GoT’s and thats the fact that it is taking the dead for ever to get to the wall/south. Varys and Littlefinger have frequent flier miles with no jetlag that Ican see and let me tell you, I dont miss much. The dead on game of thrones are not like the walking dead zombies you can just push over and watch them struggle like a turtle on its back. Whats next,GoT’s season 8 will have commercials? I couldnt bare it.

  • It’s definitely not enough. The longest winter in thousands of years rushed in 13 episodes? I’m worried.

      • Which really flabbergasts me. These guys (D&D) dreamt of turning the books into a show and were lucky enough to get GRRM’s approval and even after failing miserably on the original pilot, they got another chance at said dream job. Yet now they want to rush it so they apparently can be done with it??? That’s beyond ridiculous. They have SO many avid fans and produce one of the best series ever, but want to just get it over with??? Gimme a break guys. Let someone else take your job then; for starters – ME! I will gladly take a massive pay-cut from what they are paid, will not rush said series, will not want it to end asap and would love to do a prequel. For two guys who I don’t recall were ever consistent earners in Hollywood prior to GoT, boy, they sure seemed to have changed in these recent years from ecstatic to be producing the show to primadonnas who could care less about carrying the torch to continue the series in a prequel and seemingly simply want this job to be over with. INCREDIBLE!!!

  • Great horrible plot point that one of the dragons will be killed and raised again by the night king confirmed by sh*tard benioff. I desperately hope they have nothing nothing to do with any future song of ice and fire spinoffs that may happen. They were blessed to get George’s work and have run it into the dirt every time they’ve altered something or ventured on their own because they were crap before George and they’ll be crap after George

    • Having read the books, I understand the frustration when plot points and characters get cut out or altered, but it’s also frustrating to hear fans moan and complain about the supposed sh*tty adaptation that is Game of Thrones.

      Trust me when I say that I have watched some truly heinous adaptations in my lifetime and this isn’t one of them. The problem here is that as a book fan, you should have resigned yourself long ago to the fact that cut or altered storylines were going to happen. This was never going to be a perfectly faithful adaptation because that would be impossible.

      Also, I’m not envious of DB and Weis in trying to adapt a series not yet finished, with a writer who’s unwritten storylines can change at any moment to something different.

      The problem here is not being thankful for the adaptation you have when it could have been truly butchered by others. I hear LOTR fans destroy the LOTR films and Harry Potter fans do the same with their films. Some people in each fandom simply cannot be pleased. Some fail to understand that while the adaptation of their beloved series may not be perfect, it’s leaps and bounds better than say, Legend of the Seeker, or The Golden Compass and countless adaptations that really failed.

      So, why not be thankful for a network that puts up large sums of money to create a beautiful show with some stunning CGI and actors that work their tail off to do the material justice. Trust me, it could be so, so much worse than it is.

  • It’s cause all the actors got famous and want you to do other stuff … we can pray for a prequel….that should definitely happen.

  • I am really bored with the evil Benioff and Weiss garbage. The book as written could not possibly have transferred to drama. Each chapter is Point of View. We learn what the PoV characters are thinking. Those things have to be dramatized/

    How do we know what Tyrion was thinking at the beginning. The first season we learned a lot because of Tyrion’s chats with his favorite prostitute. We would never have gotten much into Theon’s head, etc.

    The people really angry now seem to be the ones who are infuriated by Seasons 5 and 6. Let’s face it, the first three books are classic. The fourth and fifth wander. At the end of “Dragons”, Tyrion has not met Danaerys, for example. Martin’s last two books wander. There are far more characters than we see in the TV show.

    Yes, there are changes. Cry over Sansa instead of Jeyne Poole but that made the Stark gal a kickass. In Book 6 from what we’ve seen she’s still a Littlefinger pawn.

    And by the way Renly’s Other Lover, if we were simply doing Martin, the series would be over already. We could hope Book 6 would be done this year so we might get Season Six in 2019. And, going beyond that, we could have a five year or so wait.

    Perhaps we’ll see a geriatric Arya along the way.

    Enjoy the show for the show’s sake. Perhaps when the final book has been written, HBO can do the whole series YOUR way. Of course, that might be in seven or eight years, perhaps longer now that Martin has hinted at an eighth book.

    And remember that without Benioff and Weiss we probably would have no Game of Thrones at all.

      • If not for the show, I probably would have lost interest in ASOIAF. I’ve read all the books numerous times, and am thankful for GoT.

    • We just have to hope Martin’s health holds up. Let’s face it, while he is off editing other projects and signing autographs his health does not seem to be improving. His poor heart may explode before book 7.

  • The final battle might well be on the big screen. You could either film two 10-ep seasons or two shortened seasons with a feature length film (essentially a super sized episode) in roughly the same time frame. If sex and the city and entourage get a movie, HBO has to be at least considering it. December 2018 (about three months after last ep season 8). Never had a better chance to make a ton of coin, remaining cast/crew make jump to films, same time commitment.

    Just a thought.

  • It will never be enough :( but if they make the episodes 65/70 minutes each from now on we could get more out off it…it really is many plot lines that needs wrapping up.
    And to the critic of Weiss and Benioff, they are the reason we got the show at all and I’m for one am thankful.

  • It feels a little rushed to me at this point, but in the last season do we want to see just the WW and Jon/Dany and company fighting for six episodes. I for one do not. Let them finish the way they want, then we will be better able to judge whether what they gave us was adequate.

  • GOT would become boring and predictable like many of the USA tv shows that been running for decades. It took 2 moths to film one episode, so actually there needed over 2 years to complete each season, which can be financially draining for the show. Time for every actor to move on from their GOT roles to other projects.

  • The last episode of season 6 covered a few months worth of activity. The show is contracting as all the action will take place in Westeros and all the characters are being drawn together. The focus of the show will clearly be on the important moments of Winter so each episode could easily take place over months like the last episode of season 6…I don’t think there is much room left for character development.

  • There should be no argument that what they are rushing to do in 13 could be done better in 20 episodes. But unless we were all willing to wait an extra six months per season that wasn’t in the cards unfortunately. Darn you Father Time!

  • So, is all the leaked plotline essentially confirmed? You seem to list as mandatory all the spoiled plotpoints. None of them had to be taken for granted before the leaks, but now you consider it as obvious.

  • BOO to only 6 episodes for Season 8. I say that mostly because I’m just going to miss the show like most of you — BUT last season did feel a little rushed. They could’ve at least gone the full hour for each episode. 👸🏼🐉

  • I assume that it means they will be embracing a more cinematic feature-film style of pacing things. Instead of the long conversation scenes and extended sequences like the Purple Wedding, we’ll be getting more briskly paced set pieces and more to-the-point conversations that don’t wax poetic about philosophy or character backstories the way they often did in previous seasons.

    It makes sense, really. The third act of a story is always the shortest. It’s the act where characters have to take action and make decisions instead of biding their time, building character or just brooding. On a visceral level, the third act has to be the most exciting. It’s where the payoffs come and payoffs usually don’t take as much time as the set-up did.

    There’s certainly audience members for this show that enjoy the long conversations and slow builds in this show more than the action scenes… and for good reason. Many of this show’s strongest scenes are just people talking. But as good as those kind of scenes can be, it would be inappropriate to have them during the climax. Just because Obi-Wan sitting down and telling Luke about the Force is a great scene, it doesn’t mean you should have Luke take a timeout from the Death Star trench-run to have a long deep conversation about the Force with Obi-Wan’s disembodied voice. It’s the climax. We want to see X-Wings and Tie-Fighters shooting at each other, and there’s a fucking ticking clock to get that thing blown up! Move it!

    That’s the point we’re at in the overall story of the series in seasons 7 and 8. This isn’t the point where we should be taking our time with character-development and world-building and atmosphere-creating. We’re at the end now. The characters are developed, the world is built and the atmosphere is created. Now it’s time to actually put those things into full-tilt action. That’s what we’ve been building to this entire time. And doing less episodes per season helps them be able to put as much production value into said full-tilt action, so the climax can actually be… y’know, climactic.

    I know everybody wants this show to last for as long as possible, but shows/stories that try to last longer for the sake of lasting longer almost always end up feeling drawn out, they go off-point and feel meandering/bloated… I’d rather a story speed up towards the end and feel like we’ve actually built to something, picking up pace as we go along. After six years of winding up the catapult… it’s time to let it loose and really fly into a climax. Seasons 7 and 8 being shorter is… while frustrating for my consistency-loving OCD… a choice that makes a lot of sense. These final seasons are likely to be the most cinematic, so cinematic pacing will take us on a wild 13-hour ride over the next couple years. I can’t wait!

    • “Just because Obi-Wan sitting down and telling Luke about the Force is a great scene, it doesn’t mean you should have Luke take a timeout from the Death Star trench-run to have a long deep conversation about the Force with Obi-Wan’s disembodied voice. “

      Well, it worked for Harry Potter … However, you make some excellent points. Thanks!

  • There are scenes in season 2 that were foreshadowing season 7. Littlefinger shows up to broker a deal with Tywin when Arya was there as his cup bearer. He definitely noticed her as resembling Arya, but didn’t say anything. Next time he sees her, I bet he won’t recognize her at all!

  • Your list has a lot of “musts”. They’re more properly “wishes.” Yes, you’d like to see Cersei collecting allies – but if that’s not in her character, we’ll instead see a more rapid decline of her power, and that’s important. You’d like to see Littlefinger dealt with, but apparently only Sansa has an idea of his perfidy – and she’s still somewhat under his influence: Queen on the Iron Throne! Etc.

    For the record, I do hope these wishes are addressed. But “musts”? Probably not.

  • My question is are they spending the 10 episode season budget over the 6 episodes? If they are saying the wars, the extras, the CGI are making it more expensive so we are giving you 6 movie quality episodes rather than 10 okay episodes, I am okay with it. However, I have never bought into there is only 6 more episodes worth of material. As many on this site pointed out there are numerous other story lines that could be explored deeper. While I would like longer episodes, HBO is in the subscription business. I don’t see them doing episodes that are 25-40 minutes longer and sacrificing the number of episodes. I have friends the only pick HBO back up when GOT is on. HBO has to know there are these type of subscribers. So, 6 episodes only gets them 2 months of subscriptions. If HBO could make more episodes thus extending the GOT season out over 3 months or more, I believe they would go in that direction.

    • Yes, there are definitely storylines they could explore, but if all that does is go off-point in relation to the main point of the series, then it would just be extra storylines for extra storylines’ sake. It would muddle up the overall arc of the series’ story. Benioff and Weiss have a more focused approach to the story, as opposed to Martin’s more sprawling (some would say meandering and unfocused) approach. Sprawling can work better in books, because it only takes ink and paper to do it. Reading a book is a more leisurely way to digest a story. You can wander through multiple storylines and unconnected or loosely connected chapters just fine. Literature works like that. The motion picture medium is different. It demands a more refined storyline, because it can’t just go on for however long you want it to, like a book series can with a single author’s desire to keep typing. A tv show going on for years and years requires the cast to stay on board… hopefully the same showrunners and writers, because otherwise it tends to change the show in undesireable ways (look at what happened to Dexter after the initial showrunner left after season 4… show just felt different and not as good). There’s also a law of diminishing returns. The longer you try to keep a show going, the less and less gas it has in the tank. We’ve already seen people waffling about the show in seasons 5 and 6, because the storytelling techniques of the show become familiar and more noticeable… I think the reason a lot of people reacted so negatively to Ramsay raping Sansa is that by the time we got to season 5 and we’d been through Ned’s death and the Red Wedding and Drogo raping Dany and Jaime raping Cersei and a bunch of other rapes and murders throughout the show, it started to feel like “Okay, we get it! Enough!” in season 5. Season 6 changed things up, where good things like Sansa and Jon hugging or winning back Winterfell and Arya killing Freys and such started happening. Cool! How refreshing! But if we keep that going for too long, guess what! It’ll get tiring too. There’s a natural sense of pacing/timing in well-constructed motion picture storytelling. Most television shows end around 8 or 9 seasons, and most of them tend to be notably more stale in their later seasons. Most of the BEST television show, the cream of the crop like The Wire or Breaking Bad or Sopranos… they have only 5 or 6 seasons. And they seem to pack a more potent punch the whole way through because of it. Good motion picture storytelling tends to require a sense of building/escalation of tension and intensity. You can only keep that going for so long before it wears thin. Game of Thrones honestly seems to be reaching that point with a lot of people. Season 6 recovered due to the last two episodes being masterpieces, but for most of it, I saw a lot of people complaining that the show had lost its touch. I even started to feel that way at episode 8. Season 5 certainly received a lot of those complaints as well. If HBO were to extend the series for the sake of extending the series, then I can practically guarantee we’d be seeing more and more of those complaints. If the show started meandering, going off into unimportant storylines just because book fans like them, or just making up stuff to fill time… it would definitely feel like it’s lost its focus. The sense of pacing and escalating tension would be killed. It would get boring for anyone who isn’t a rabid fantasy-world delver… which, whether you like it or not, is most of the audience. Most people watch tv and movies to be told a story that has a beginning, middle and end with a natural, satisfying pace that doesn’t waste their time and actually reaches a damn point before they lose interest. When you’re producing an expensive tv show, you have to take the mentality/attention span of your average workaday joe or jill into account. It can’t just be for the fans.

      Imagine if they’d approached this show from beginning the way Martin approached the books and said, “Well, we’ll get there when we get there. In the meantime, we’re gonna spend a few episodes with Night’s Watchmen #43, and then an episode or two with Lannister soldiers #456 and #785, and then go down to Dorne and set up an entire elaborate subplot that will take an entire season to do justice but ultimately just be a subplot anyway… and then do a bunch of dream sequences with Dany that just serve to give away what’s probably gonna happen in the story… and then introduce a bunch more characters that only about 5% of our audience will even be able to keep track of… and then do some death fakeouts and have even more dead characters come back in various ways that it pretty much just completely dillutes the importance of Jon Snow coming back… and spend even more time placating Stannis’ storyline even though he’ll never sit on the Iron Throne anyway… and then spend some time on a fake-Arya storyline and spend even more time in Meereen and bring more people to Meereen and wrap that Meereeneese knot really tightly until there’s no more rope left… and then once that’s all done, we’ll just have some scenes of people eating and describing their food as they eat it and talking about things that may be interesting and make the world feel more full, but don’t drive the story forward whatsoever… and more bastards! Bastards everywhere. Fuck making Jon and Ramsay and Gendry feel important… they’re just three bastards among many… bring in Edric and Mya! The more bastards the merrier! Who needs a story that feels like it’s actually going somewhere when you have so many bastards?!”

      Again… this stuff works fine in a book, where copious detail and sprawling worlds make for a more interesting read that fuels your imagination. But for a television show with a runtime and a budget and a production schedule that is a lot of tiring work year after year and an audience that is waiting on the edge of their seat to see what HAPPENS… it’s just not the right way to tell a motion picture story.

  • There are a lot of issues but a few points have to be made

    1. Budget- yes, it might be a hundred million for seven episodes instead of ten but it is likely that we’ll have a lot more action because that is the most expensive. We really had only one real battle episode in Season 6…Number 9. It probably cost triple what the other ones cost.

    Season Seven is likely to have several battles. We KNOW of two: the battle where Dany’s forces with dragons attacks Jaime’s forces and the battle on the ice. There might be more of them. Those cost.

    But as for the movie thing. Movies cost far more than the TV show. Rogue One cost more than double what all Season Six did. And it was a bit over two hours. And I would guess ships are far cheaper than dragons.

    2. HBO has made it clear they will give D & D whatever they want to make the show great. Can you imagine running out of cash at the end and as the final scene of Season 8, Episode 6, a few survivors sit in a tavern eating with a band playing in the background as they fade to black?

    3. If the writers wanted more episodes, HBO would be thrilled to give it to them. If Benioff called HBO tomorro and said, “Hey, we think we need another six episodes so we’ll have a Season 9”, the top execs would be breaking out the champagne. The original estimate was 70 episodes and it’s turning into 73. Would you rather have six great episodes or ten mediocre ones? (Actually, that is a good question!).

    4. As a quick guess, episodes four and five of season eight will be huge battle scenes, with the final episode settling everything with the survivors, sort of an epilogue. And probably those stars with the huge payments who don’t survive will get it then.

  • Is it enough? Well, it is what it is. I think some of what we’re experiencing with the show is a byproduct of a TV show that is now having to complete a story that even the original author (GRRM) has not yet completed. I can just imagine that the show-runners had to plan out the overall character arcs to get to an ending based primarily on vague outlines provided by GRRM a few years ago. So now they’re at a point where they can’t drag this thing out because they don’t really have all the details anyway. They’re just trying to get the story to a sensible ending based on limited information. Apparently they’ve decided that 13 episodes gets them to the ending.

    • And yet, I felt like the last 10 mins were the most powerful. The motion picture medium actually excells on brevity. It’s a visual medium. Cersei sitting on the Iron Throne and looking at Jaime as he stares back with a conflicted expression… says more than a thousand words could (and god, the music during that scene is more emotionally stirring, conveying power yet darkness yet machinations yet excitement… so effective). Jon standing with a surprised yet noble expression as the lords chant “King of the North!” and then Sansa and Littlefinger stare at each other with their telling expressions… more effective at conveying where they are in their stories than a 10-minute dialogue scene would be. Finally seeing Dany set sail for Westeros with the large army and large dragons she promised she’d have, as well as Theon and Yara and Tyrion and Varys… more exciting and satisfying that the entirety of extended action episodes like Blackwater or Watchers on the Wall.

      This is what I feel a lot of people (especially book fans) don’t seem to fully appreciate about motion picture storytelling. It’s the “show, don’t tell” philosophy. It’s the power and seeing and hearing and FEELING what is happening instead of being guided along with words. It’s the effectiveness of brevity in creating an expressionistic sense of happenings, which would actually be ruined by over-explaining or drawing out runtimes with non-essential material.

      Think of it this way: what would be more effective as the climax of Jurassic Park? For Grant to come up with some clever plan to lure the raptors towards the t-rex that takes like 10 minutes to set up and unfold, and then have the raptors and t-rex fight out in the forest or an open field which would technically make more sense and be smarter from a traditionally narrative point of view… or just have the t-rex jump in unexpectedly, smash those raptors into skeletons of prehistoric dinosaurs and roar as the banner comes falling down in an epically memorable and meaningful visual? It may be more brief and feel “rushed”… it may take some leaps in logic or make you have to work out details like how the hell the t-rex got in there for yourself… but the visual, in a visual medium, is worth it. The in-the-moment surprise and excitement of the t-rex suddenly saving them is worth it. Spielberg obviously knew this was the way to go and it’s still to this day one of the most famous and effective climactic visuals for a movie, because the t-rex standing inside a man-made building and roaring in triumph as a promotional theme-park banner falls to the floor in front of him… says in one image what the entire movie is about. That’s the power of compacting an entire story into ONE motion picture moment. And that, to me at least, is more impressive and memorable than using long dialogue scenes or drawn-out pacing to get a point across. Don’t get me wrong… I love a good dialogue scene. I love long extended quiet moments when appropriate. I love a well-done sequence that gets into the nitty-gritty of what’s going on… but when a movie or tv show manages to create a single powerful MOMENT that says so much like when Cersei takes the throne or Jamie sees King’s Landing with smoke rising from where the Sept once stood or Jon standing to cheers of “King in the North!” or Dany staring at her destiny with an army of ships and dragons at her back… sorry, but there’s just nothing that can compare to that type of storytelling for me. If we’ll be getting more of that in seasons 7 and 8… then it’s gonna be the best motion picture storytelling that television has ever seen. The Winds of Winter already has that honour, IMO.

  • In short: 6 eps waaay to short.

    There is still sooo much content to “wrap up” standard episode lengths is simply not enough.

    I do understand the want to finish GoT the series considering costs, time, keeping actors current and not having to replace however, considering the lengths of all six seasons… What is another 2 (S7 is all but complete) to stick it out and finish what was started properly? Each episode would require an extra 20 minutes (at least) to circumnavigate the issue.

    Perhaps things could be wrapped up in the cinema? I actually wouldn’t mind seeing GoT on the big screen as long as continuity maintains. Actors do not change etc etc.

    Another personal feeling that I just cannot shake is S6 way simply rushed and bar a few short scenes from most episodes reminded me why I don’t watch television. My personal enjoyable moments from S6 can be condensed to around 53 minutes (I still re watch S1 – S5 without skipping).

    All I want is the remaining two seasons done properly. To follow AND finish the television series as it was set up.

  • I fully expect the series finale to be 2 hours along. I suspect that’s actually the reason for one less episode than season 7, because the last episode will basically be 2 episodes in one. Essentially a feature-length film to finish off the series. And with the size and complexity of production that the climax to this story is going to require, they wouldn’t be able to do this if they had any higher of an episode count. This is the kind of stuff that goes into deciding how many episodes they can do. It’s not just “Fuck it, let’s do less because we’re lazy and tired!”… there’s actual reasons that these decisions are made.

  • I think that next season after a couple of battles, Bran will have figured out a way to communicate with people in the past. So someone kills Dany and her dragons in the middle of the night on her first funeral pyre. The Night’s Watch will learn about dragon glass and dig up the hoard of weapons, sneak into the WW’s home and kill all the leaders….game over. Money saved, on to other projects.

  • So, I don’t understand. They’ve made at least some of the episodes longer than an hour. Instead of doing that, why couldn’t they take that extra content and give us ten episodes? Ten weeks always goes by in a flash. Seven will really suck. Six even worse. I’m not on board with the plan but I guess my opinion doesn’t matter. Filming for S7 has wrapped. In the famous words of Walking Dead’s Negan, not cool, D&D. Not cool at all!

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