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13 more hours of Game of Thrones….

eye-clockThe countdown has begun…

Game of Thrones show creator David Benioff has told the world: “It’s two more seasons we’re talking about[.] 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.”

We’ve already had 60 hours, so this means that across the next two seasons we’ve got 13 hour-long episodes left. This has been speculated upon for quite some time. The current thought is that we will have either 2 x 6 episode seasons with a 2-hour finale, or a 7 episode season in 2017 and a 6 episode season in 2018 (most likely and most hinted towards).

The suggestion is that the shorter seasons will allow an increased budget per episode and a faster pace in each too; which seems sensible based on the fact that the majority of what we are expecting now is action-battle-dragon-action-battle-death-action-Night King-action-action and repeat.

Westeros MapI think fans will appreciate why the creators have decided upon this. They tell us: “It’s not just trying not to outstay your welcome,” Benioff explains, “we’re trying to tell one cohesive story with a beginning, middle and end.

“We’ve known the end for quite some time and we’re hurtling towards it. Those last images from the [season six finale] 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.”

One of the criticisms of the A Song of Ice & Fire books was that George R.R. Martin didn’t seem able to get all the pieces on the board in a way that the end game ever looked in sight. Rather than line up pieces and remove others, as this series of A Game Of Thrones has done very well, Martin seems to be moving pieces about and adding extra ones to the extent that the board seemed locked up and was becoming less like a game than a chore for many readers. Indeed, books 4 and 5 get more negative comments via social media and the forums than they do positive.

Despite this, the majority of us will still read the remaining books Martin writes, so what Benioff said next will likely please Westeros fans: “We’re in this territory where you are walking on your own and can’t rely on the written material anymore.” What this probably means is that the remainder of the television series isn’t going by much that George Martin has written or planned. Indeed, the creators have said they’ve got their own ideas about how the show will end. For those worried that the books will have been spoilt, this should give some relief.

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