The sixth season of Game of Thrones just wrapped up, with the 60th overall episode of the series having been a glorious season finale — likely one of the best episodes in the entire series. Fans are eagerly waiting to see what’s going to happen next, but season 7 won’t debut until next year. And HBO showrunners confirmed what we already feared: There are just 15 episodes left in the series at most, meaning season 7 and season 8 will have less than 10 episodes each.

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In an interview with Deadline, David Benioff and D.B Weiss talked about season 6’s finale and how it sets up for the upcoming season. But they also confirmed what we dreaded, that there are only 15 episodes left in the series, at most.

“It’s two more seasons we’re talking about,” Benioff said when asked about how long Game of Thrones will continue. “From pretty close to the beginning, we talked about doing this in 70-75 hours, and that’s what we’ll end up with. Call it 73 for now.”

Benioff doesn’t mention the number of episodes in the upcoming two seasons. But since an episode lasts almost an hour, with the season finale being slightly longer, we can easily conclude that 73 to 75 hours means we’re looking at a lot less than 20 episodes for the upcoming two seasons.

Benioff also said that Game of Thrones is unlike any other TV show in this regard. It’s not trying to score more episodes than it needs.

“We’re trying to tell one cohesive story with a beginning, middle and end,” Benioff explained. “As Dan [Weiss] said, we’ve known the end for quite some time, and we’re hurtling towards it. Those last images from the show that aired last night showed that. Daenerys is finally coming back to Westeros; Jon Snow is king of the North and Cersei is sitting on the Iron Throne. And we know the Night King is up there, waiting for all of them. The pieces are on the board now. Some of the pieces have been removed from the board, and we are heading toward the end game.”

He continued, “The thing that has excited us from the beginning, back to the way we pitched it to HBO is, it’s not supposed to be an ongoing show, where every season it’s trying to figure out new story lines. We wanted it to be one giant story, without padding it out to add an extra 10 hours, or because people are still watching it. We wanted to something where, if people watched it end to end, it would make sense as one continuous story. We’re definitely heading into the end game now.”

The full interview with the creators of Game of Thrones is available at this link.

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