For a few years now, there has been a tense standoff between HBO and Game Of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss over just how long the show should run. Game Of Thrones is still a huge hit, so HBO wants it to go on forever, but Benioff and Weiss would rather not keep dragging out the various storylines until everyone loses interest. Just last July, HBO’s Michael Lombardo suggested that the show could go on past the rumored seven seasons, with the only question being “how much more after seven [Benioff and Weiss] want to do.”
Now we may have an answer to Lombardo’s question, but it’s not going to be one that he likes. In an interview with Variety, Benioff and Weiss not only suggested that they might be interested in stopping after eight seasons, but also that the final two seasons could have fewer episodes than the usual 10. They noted that “nothing is yet set in stone,” but what they’re “looking at” is doing seven episodes for season seven and then six episodes for the eighth—and final—season. That means there might only be 13 episodes of Game Of Thrones left once the upcoming sixth season (which has 10) ends.
Lombardo, of course, seems cautiously optimistic that Benioff and Weiss will change their minds, though. He told Variety that there have been “conversations” about doing two more abbreviated seasons, but “as a television executive” and “a fan,” he hopes they’ll do another “six years.” Either way, he thinks they “will figure this out” at some point.