At this point, there’s really no tidbit of information about the final six episodes of HBO’s Game Of Thrones that the show’s hordes of slavering fans won’t set themselves upon, tearing them fact-from-fact in an effort to figure out what the hell’s actually going to happen once the final season kicks off next month. Well, good news, monsters: We’ve got some juicy new slabs of meat for you all to dig into, with the network releasing information today on the runtimes for this final set of shows.
The first, immediate takeaway is that there’s actually going to be a bit less Thrones this time around than was previously expected; HBO was making it sound like this last outing at the Wall was going to be a six-part series of near-feature-length presentations, each clocking in at around an hour and a half. Not so: The first two episodes of the season will instead be a spritely 54 and 58 minutes, respectively; it’s not until the third episode that things kick up into hour-plus mode.
That episode, airing April 28, is also the longest of the season, at an hour and 22 minutes, so presumably that’s where things are really going to pop off, Cersei murders half the cast, and Tyrion finally gets to ride a fucking dragon. (But really, we’re just guessing here, just like everybody else.) The final three episodes will be of a similar length, coming in at 78, 80, and 80 minutes respectively. All told, that’s a little more than 7 hours of content, so anybody bummed by the final season’s reduced episode order can hopefully put that angst to rest.
What do these numbers tell us about what’s coming? Pretty much nothing. But what do they allow us to baselessly speculate about? Well, there the sky’s the limit: Obviously, those short early episodes will be all about travel plans; the first will see all the show’s tertiary characters make their way to the site of the final battle, giving fans all that delicious travel montage-ing they were mad to have missed during the timeline shenanigans of season 7. The second episode, then, will just be introductions: “Sam, have you met Qyburn and Ser Gregor? It’s been seven seasons, and I really can’t remember anymore.” Episode 3 will be the aforementioned Cersei bloodbath, followed by a breather in Episode 4, when the surviving cast members all decide to say “screw this” to fighting ice zombies and fuck off to Braavos to relax. Episode 5 is the big action climax, and the finale will deal with its aftermath, as the show’s few survivors realize that they completely forgot about Bran for this entire season—just like the rest of us.
Game Of Thrones debuts for its final season on April 14.