It feels like Season 7 of only just began, but we’re already at the season finale. No, you’re not crazy for thinking this season when by super quickly — with only seven episodes, Season 7 was the shortest season of to date. And I have even worse news for fans: Season 8 (the final season) will be even shorter. But although we’re getting fewer episodes in the farewell season, Season 8 episodes will actually be much longer than the hour-long episodes we’re used to!
Prior to Season 7, every episode clocked in at around an hour, but with the episode count shortening this season, the show has notably extended a few pivotal episodes. For example, Sunday’s Season 7 finale will clock in at a whopping 82 minutes, making it the longest episode to date. But apparently, this episode length will be the norm in Season 8. Sound designer Paula Fairfield told back in July that all the episodes in Season 8 could be clocking in beyond the 80-minute mark, meaning that even though we’re only getting six new episodes to round out the series, the new season will still be as long as the previous one due to the increased episode length.
As for when we can expect to see those final six episodes, fans will probably be saying goodbye to the long-running series next summer. has followed a steady schedule of releasing a new season each year in early April, up until this year when it surprised fans with a late release in mid-July. If the show sticks to its normal pattern, Season 8 will premiere sometime next summer. And although it will be the show’s final season, it’s not exactly goodbye to . HBO is currently developing five prequel spin-offs from its mega-hit series, so fans will be back in Westeros soon enough.
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