Thrones Has Only 13-15 Episodes Left

As fans patiently wait until next year for the seventh season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff have given a post-finale interview about the future of the show and confirmed reports that there aren’t many hours left in the story of the battle for the throne of Westeros.

Benioff and Weiss have indicated that they want to finish their adaptation at around the 73 episode mark – the most recent finale bringing that total up to 60. All indications are now that the show will go out with two shorter seasons, and the pair are sticking with that plan for now. Weiss tells Deadline:

“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. What Dan says is really true, but it’s not just trying not to outstay your welcome. We’re trying to tell one cohesive story with a beginning, middle and end. As Dan said, we’ve known the end for quite some time and we’re hurtling towards it. Those last images from the show that aired last night showed that…

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. The thing that has excited us from the beginning, back to the way we pitched it to HBO is, it’s not supposed to be an ongoing show, where every season it’s trying to figure out new story lines. We wanted it to be one giant story, without padding it out to add an extra 10 hours, or because people are still watching it. We wanted to something where, if people watched it end to end, it would make sense as one continuous story. We’re definitely heading into the end game now.

Weiss says the Night King is cut from a different cloth to other villains in the series:

“I don’t think of the Night King as a villain as much as, Death. He is not like Joffrey, or Ramses. He’s not really human anymore. To me, evil comes when you have a choice between that and good, and you choose the wrong way. The Night King doesn’t have a choice; he was created that way, and that’s what he is. In some ways, he’s just death, coming for everyone in the story, coming for all of us. In some ways, it’s appropriate he doesn’t speak. What’s death going to say? Anything would diminish him. He’s just a force of destruction. I don’t think we’ve ever been tempted to write dialogue for the Night King. Anything he said would be anticlimactic.

One complaint that has come up in discussion of the finale has been about the way some individual characters such as Varys and Arya are seemingly able to cross vast distances at rapid speed – unlike other characters who have taken whole seasons to get from one place to another.

The show’s writer/producer Bryan Cogman has taken to Twitter to answer the question, saying: “The timelines of the various story threads don’t necessarily match up all the time… This is to avoid things like, say, Arya spending four episodes on a boat.”

The quotes come as the sixth season finale pulled in a 4.4 rating and 8.9 million night-of viewers, beating last year’s season finale by over 800,000 viewers. When original telecasts, DVR, encores, on-Demand and streams on both HBO Go and HBO Now are added up, the series grossed 23.3 million weekly viewers over this season.