Though the previous six seasons all ran for ten episodes a piece, the upcoming seventh and eighth will run for seven and six respectively. On the surface the reason is said to be due to the story only requiring that many more episodes to wrap up.
It turns out though that physical production though might have played a hand in the decision to shorten these final two runs. Actor Iain Glen, who plays Ser Jorah Mormont, explains that the overall budgets of the seasons haven’t been decreased – meaning the production team has extra time and money to craft each episode. He tells Radio Times:
“They are taking the length of time it takes to shoot ten episodes to shoot just seven this year and six next year. There are fifteen more hours left in Thrones as we understand it, but that may change, but that’s as far as we know.
I think the scale and size of the set pieces, the world that is being created it’s just getting more and more extraordinary and they feel they need that time to shoot seven hours as opposed to ten.”
Shooting also factored in as winter weather is required for more scenes than usual next year, including places that have previously shown to be more temperate. “Game of Thrones” is slated to return sometime during the Summer.