LOS ANGELES: The executive producers of Game of Thrones are considering an abbreviated ending for HBO’s hit fantasy drama series. Showrunners David Benioff and DB Weiss have revealed that they are contemplating wrapping up the Emmy-winning television series with just 13 more episodes once the upcoming sixth season is over. This will include seven episodes for season seven and six for the eighth, and potentially final, season.
“I think we’re down to our final 13 episodes after this season,” said Benioff. “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,” he added. Sources later clarified the exact numbers were premature, given that the Benioff and Weiss are now just beginning to outline their plans. Nonetheless, they mentioned that any upcoming seasons may be shorter than the full 10 episodes of seasons past.
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HBO programming president Michael Lombardo acknowledged the showrunners’ plans to wind down the series within the next two years. “That’s my understanding from them right now. Such have been the conversations we’ve had because where these narratives go, it feels like another two years to them. As a television executive and a fan, do I wish they said another six years? I do,” Lombardo said. “But I’m always an optimist and I do believe we will figure this out.”
It’s long been speculated that Game of Thrones would end with season eight as HBO indicated earlier in January that it was in talks with Weiss and Benioff for just two more seasons.
To live up to the standard they have set for themselves and their fans, Benioff and Weiss said they cannot continue producing 10 episodes of the show in its usual, 12 or 14-month time frame. “It’s crossing out of a television schedule into more of a mid-range movie schedule,” Weiss explained. While the producers said the shorter-episode scenario is their hope, HBO executives made it clear that there is no deal yet in place. “We’re still in conversations,” clarified Lombardo.
The sixth season of Game of Thrones is slated for a global release on Sunday, April 24.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 18th, 2016.
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