(Photo: Helen Sloan/HBO)

After what we can only imagine were a series of increasingly desperate corporate “Please”s and “Aw, come on”s, HBO has conceded that the final season of Game Of Thrones will only be six episodes long. That’s in line with what the network initially told reporters last year, but those announcements always included the caveat that HBO hadn’t given up on wheedling a few more episodes out of showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss before anything was set it stone.

But now, it’s official: Season 7 of Game Of Thrones (which premieres July 16) will run for seven episodes, and season 8 for six. We have to imagine that the network’s cravings for more of that bloody Westeros content were slightly abated by plans for a number of GoT-based spin-offs, ensuring that even after the main series ends, the carnage will be able to continue.

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[via The Hollywood Reporter]