There are no "Thrones" about it, the world of #GeorgeRRMartin has been violently brought to life since 2011 with HBO's #GameofThrones. Now, with only two seasons left, our march into the frosty depths of winter is well underway and we are sadly counting down the remaining episodes until "Valar Morghulis" (all men must die). We have already been punished with an extended wait between the explosive Season 6 finale and Season 7's upcoming start date, but it looks like Game of Thrones is upping the ante (and the runtime) when it returns.
There are officially only 13 episodes of the fantasy epic left — and an achingly short Season 8 — so some fans had hoped for longer episodes to make up for the loss. The Old Gods may have answered our prayers slightly, but don't settle in for some Titanic-length viewing, this isn't exactly anything to write home about.
The Time Has Come
#HBO's official GoT site has revealed Season 7's opener will clock in at a beefy 59 minutes. While this may not sound like much, it does make it the longest premiere since the the very first episode way back when. In comparison, Season 6's premiere, "The Red Woman," notched up a minuscule 50 minutes of dead Jon Snow and Melisandre's witch tits. Season 7 may start with a couple of extra cock-shots or an extended death scene, but it still doesn't join the hallowed halls of the nine episodes that have made it over the hour mark:
- "Winter Is Coming" (S1E1)
- "Valar Morghulis" (S2E10)
- "Mhysa" (S3E10)
- "The Children" (S4E10)
- "High Sparrow" (S5E3)
- "Hardhome" (S5E8)
- "Mother’s Mercy" (S5E10)
- "Battle of the Bastards" (S6E9)
- "The Winds of Winter" (S6E10)
Looking back at the Season 6 finale, "The Winds of Winter," we had a blood-soaked 69 minutes of dragons and demises to enjoy, and the episodes do tend to get longer as the season goes on. It may be a bit of a knock that showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss aren't likely to give us any more than 13 hours left in Westeros, but there are several reasons why this is the grim fate we must accept.
Most of the people working on shows like Thrones are paid per episode, and as the recent attempts at a writers' strike have shown, tensions are already high; to pay the same wage to do twice the work would be like a middle finger to those working on the show. Secondly, if you added up all the extended runtimes, surely it would make sense to just lobby HBO for an extra episode or two rather than drag everything out? Reassuringly, all involved have a clear vision for how the show should end and are content in telling that story in just 13 episodes.
Shows like The Walking Dead are known for their supersized episodes, with Season 7 throwing in several 90-minute episodes, however, it doesn't look like GoT will be following suit. Some news outlets are holding out for a Game of Thrones season finale that will clock in at the 75–80 minute mark, but don't hold your breath.
Check out the trailer for Season 7 of Game of Thrones and don't forget our poll below!
Should 'Game of Thrones' have extended episodes?