'Game Of Thrones': Could A Shortened Season 7 And 8 Mean More Dragons And White Walkers?

Many fans were disappointed with the announcement that Game of Thrones would run shorter for the final two seasons. But, could there be a reason HBO are running Season 7 and 8 shorter? Could the reason be epic CGI?

SPOILER ALERT: This article contains information and speculation about the end game for HBO's Game of Thrones. Please proceed with caution if you wish to avoid spoilers.

HBO's Game of Thrones white walkers
[Image via HBO Inc.]When you know your favorite show has a finish line in sight, it is never easy to say goodbye. And this is where fans of HBO's Game of Thrones sit right now. It feels like Season 6 has only just started, but, in reality, one quarter of the season's episodes have already aired. Knowing it is likely Game of Thrones will only run through Season 8 also means you can now count the number of episodes left. Twenty-nine is the number fans were expecting until Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss announced to Variety this year that the epic fantasy show would now likely run an abbreviated Season 7 and 8. "I think we're down to our final 13 episodes after this season. We're heading into the final lap, " Benioff told Variety. While sources later told Variety this was a preemptive statement, it is a figure that seems to have stuck, along with the two-year frame. While HBO programming president Michael Lombardo would really love the show to run for another six years, even he admitted the two-year frame was the likely course of events for Game of Thrones.

But what if there was a reason for 13 episodes instead of the usual 20? Well, a Game of Thrones fan has come up with a reason why HBO may be considering truncated seasons leading up to the end of the show. And, if she's right, fans can look forward to Game of Thrones going out with an epic splash of visual delight.

HBO's Game of Thrones dragon
[Image via HBO Inc.]Cassidy Frazee suggests HBO could be planning to shorten Season 7 and 8 of Game of Thrones while still maintaining the $100 million dollar budget already in place for the show. This would mean that with the plan to have seven episodes for Season 7 and six episodes for the final season, HBO would have more money to splash out on episodes rather than the average of $10 million per episode. Or, alternatively, if HBO already has the total budget for Season 7 and 8, they could allocate the funds as needed over the entire two seasons rather than $100 million per season.

Benioff has stated before that Game of Thrones is starting to step over the line from TV series to movie-like proportions already with filming schedules becoming harder to fit into the allocated time frame. Having more time to spend on fewer episodes as well as having more money to use to greater effect, Season 7 and 8 could end up pretty spectacular.

HBO's Game of Thrones Jon Snow battles a white walker
[Image via HBO Inc.]But why would HBO want to have more money per episode rather than give fans more episodes? Why, for dragons, white walkers, and massive battle scenes, of course! CGI is not a cheap part of the TV or movie game. It takes time as well as skilled personnel to create believable CGI. And, even before you add dragons and white walkers, there is still a lot of CGI that goes into every episode of Game of Thrones, as you can see in the video below from BuzzFeed.

But, if you consider the most popular theory for where the end game for Game of Thrones is headed, the L+R=J theory, it is likely the show will end amid a monumental display of dragons and epic battle scenes. And, to be honest, this is exactly where Game of Thrones should end up!

To view Cassidy's full rationale on why HBO have decided on a shorter Season 7 and 8 of Game of Thrones, you can click here or search for the hashtag #GoTTheEnd on Twitter.

Of course, this is all speculation so far, but wouldn't it be fantastic if HBO were doing something like this with the end of Game of Thrones?

Which would you prefer, 20 regular episodes over two seasons or 13 episodes packed with epic CGI? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below!

Season 6 of Game of Thrones returns to HBO with Episode 4, titled "Book of the Stranger," on Sunday, May 15 at 9 p.m. ET.

The official synopsis for Episode 4 is as follows.

"Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) strikes a deal. Jorah (Iain Glen) and Daario (Michiel Huisman) undertake a difficult task. Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Cersei (Lena Headey) try to improve their situation."
[Image via HBO Inc.]