Game of Thrones is back, but for how long? After a nearly two-year hiatus, the long-awaited eighth and final season of the HBO fantasy drama based on George R.R. Martin’s series of novels will premiere on April 14. But while the first six seasons of the show featured 10 episodes and Season 7 left fans hanging with seven, Season 8 will drop to a mere six episodes.
Still, even with the reduced episode count, GoT fans will get plenty of bang for their HBO buck with dense episodes that will increase in length as the season progresses.
According to Variety, while the final six episodes of Game of Thrones were originally rumored to each be 90 minutes long and play out almost like mini-movies, only the final few episodes will be longer than the show’s usual runtime. Former HBO chief Richard Plepler told Variety that showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss had exceeded expectations with the final Game of Thrones season.
Cosmopolitan posted the run times for the Game of Thrones Season 8 episodes. The good news is, the length will increase for the penultimate and finale episodes. Episode 1 will run 54 minutes, while Episode 2 is 58 minutes and Episode 3 is a full hour. Episode 4 clocks in at 78 minutes, while the final two episodes will each be 80 minutes long.
Game of Thrones fans knew that at least some of the Season 8 episodes would be supersized. Last fall, Liam Cunningham, who plays Davos Seaworth on the HBO fantasy drama, told TV Guide the episodes — which are based on new content not found in Martin’s books — “are definitely going to be bigger.”
“We’re filming right up until the summer,” the Game of Thrones star added. “When you think about it, up until last season we’d have six months to do ten episodes, so we’re [doing] way more than that for six episodes. So that obviously will translate into longer episodes.”
As for the episode titles, so far they are just numbers as HBO has not released the full title list yet. Game of Thrones Season 8 will premiere with Episode 68 and end with Episode 73. The Game of Thrones Season 7 finale was titled “The Dragon and the Wolf.”
Game of Thrones made its debut on HBO on April 17, 2011, and it will conclude May 19, 2019. As a bonus for fans, Game of Thrones: The Last Watch, a two-hour documentary that chronicles the creation of the series’ final and most ambitious season, will premiere May 26 on HBO.