The executive producers of Game of Thrones are considering an abbreviated end game for the hit HBO fantasy drama TV series that is set to debut its sixth season this month.
Showrunners David Benioff and DB Weiss told Variety.com that they are weighing wrapping up the Emmy-winning TV series with just 13 more episodes once this sixth season is over -- seven episodes for season 7 and six for the eighth and potential final season.
“I think we’re down to our final 13 episodes after this season. 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,” Benioff said.
Watch the season 6 teaser trailer here
Sources later clarified those exact numbers were premature, given that the showrunners are now just beginning to outline their plans, but said that any upcoming seasons may be shorter than the full 10 episodes of seasons past.
HBO programming president Michael Lombardo acknowledged the showrunners’ plan to wind down the series with two more years.
“That’s my understanding from them right now, those have been the conversations we’ve had because where these narratives go, it feels like another two years to them. As a television executive, as a fan, do I wish they said another six years? I do,” Lombardo said.
But, he added, “I’m always an optimist, and I do believe we will figure this out.”
It’s long been speculated that the show would end with season eight as HBO signalled earlier in January that they were in talks with Weiss and Benioff for two more seasons.
And here’s the full-length trailer
To live up to the standard they’ve set for themselves and fans, Weiss and Benioff said they can’t continue to produce 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 said.
While the Game of Thrones showrunners said the shorter-episode scenario is their hope, HBO executives made it clear there’s no deal yet in place. “We’re still in conversations,” said Lombardo.
Game of Thrones season 6 will air in India on Star World Premiere HD on April 26.
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