With Game of Thrones's sixth season fast approaching, the HBO show's EPs are thinking about how the end will unspool. As far as episode layout, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss told Variety they're considering shorter season orders, in the form of seven episodes for season seven and six for eight (which could be the last), to cap the story of the Iron Throne. "I think we’re down to our final 13 episodes after this season. We’re heading into the final lap," Benioff told the trade Thursday. "That’s the guess, though nothing is yet set in stone, but that’s what we’re looking at."
The interview quickly led to an HBO statement clarifying that "conversations about the end of Game of Thrones and the number of episodes of future seasons is purely speculative. As is customary, HBO will sit with Dan and David to discuss the details once a decision has been made to go forward with season 7." (GoT's renewals are still unofficial.) But the showrunners want the structure switch so they can "live up to the standard they’ve set for themselves — and fans." The normal ten-episode order might also prove unruly, because once they fully move past George R.R. Martin's source material, Benioff and Weiss will have the added pressure of creating more original content. "Where these narratives go, it feels like another two years to them," HBO programming honcho Michael Lombardo confirmed with Variety. "As a television executive, as a fan, do I wish they said another six years? I do."