Game of Thrones' upcoming sixth season could be its last to reach a double-digit episode count. In an interview with Variety, showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss confirmed that the show's seventh and eighth seasons — its two final ones, according to the current plan — would have fewer episodes than the typical 10, a consequence of the show's increasing scope and demanding production needs. "I think we're down to our final 13 episodes after this season," said Benioff. "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."
The exact number of episodes is still up in the air and production on the seventh season doesn't start until July, meaning there's still time for the details to shift. And while the exact episodic breakdown of the show's final seasons hasn't been determined, Benioff and Weiss have made it clear the show has become too vast and too ambitious to cram 10 episodes into a standard production cycle. "It's crossing out of a television schedule into more of a mid-range movie schedule," said Weiss. The haggling over final details just serves as a reminder that HBO's flagship drama is going to ride off into the sunset sooner rather than later. When the sixth season premieres on April 24th, try not to take it for granted.