“Thrones” Crew On Spin-Offs & Final Season

“Game of Thrones” executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss showed up in Austin, Texas over the weekend to take part in a panel at SXSW, one in which series stars Sophie Turner (Sansa) and Maisie Williams (Arya) served as moderators.

Benioff and Weiss confirmed what had only been previously rumored – that the eighth and final season of the series, which goes into production later this year ahead of a 2018 airing, will have just six episodes:

“It’s only going to be six episodes for the final season. From the beginning we’ve wanted to tell a 70-hour movie. It will turn out to be a 73-hour movie, but it’s stayed relatively the same of having the beginning, middle and now we’re coming to the end.

It would have been really tough if we lost any core cast members along the way, I’m very happy we’ve kept everyone and we get to finish it the way we want to.”

Dave Hill and Bryan Cogman will pen the first two episodes, Weiss and Benioff will handle the last four. The pair also confirmed that they won’t be involved with any prequel or spin-off series that HBO may pursue. Benioff says:

“I think HBO might well do [another series] and I look forward to watching it and I think it be great, but I think they should get new blood in.”

The producers also confirmed that musician Ed Sheeran will have a cameo in the upcoming seven-episode seventh season which is set to premiere on July 16th 2017.