In Westeros, all men must die, but if Game of Thrones ends soon, all people in the real world must cry.
While no show is immortal, the endgame of HBO's most popular series might be sooner than you think. In fact, the upcoming sixth season could be the last in the show that's a full 10 episodes. At least that's the latest plan from showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. The pair said in an interview with Variety that they envision 13 more episodes in the series after this season. That could lead to seasons seven and eight split into seven and six episodes each, respectively.
"I think we're down to our final 13 episodes after this season," Benioff said. "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."
While no Thrones fan wants to hear the inevitable, the basis behind the showrunners' claims has some merit. For starters, the productions are at such a grand scale — with shoots across multiple countries based on Westeros' wide-ranging landscape — that filming the show is more comparable to "a mid-range movie schedule" than anything else, as Weiss told Variety.
What's more, it would be a commendable move on HBO's part to end the show properly, rather than drag out additional seasons based on its popularity. Such a notion has hindered series from other networks; Showtime's Dexter never again lived up to the excellence of season four, but still dragged on for another four seasons. Moreover, a current competitor to Thrones, AMC's The Walking Dead, doesn't have an endgame in sight, which could prove troublesome given the show's latent propensity to anger its fanbase.
Rather than sulk with this news, fans should be grateful for the historically successful product Benioff and Weiss have provided — and cherish the time we have left in Westeros and Beyond the Narrow Sea.
Game of Thrones returns to HBO on April 24. Watch the trailer for what could be the final 10-episode season below.