Game of Thrones: Showrunners confirm final season will be six episodes

Season 7 will also consist of just seven episodes, as opposed to the usual ten 

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Though SXSW is usually associated with the fringe worlds of independent music and film, sometimes the big dogs drop in for a visit.

Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss sat down for a panel at the festival, moderated by none other than stars Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner (via CNN), who grilled the pair on what surprises the show's upcoming seasons may be hiding. 

That included confirming that the very last season of Game of Thrones, season 8, will consist of only six episodes; which between this and the just-wrapped season 7, doesn't give the team a huge amount of time to conclude what's been such an expansive storyline.

"We have a 140 page outline for what's only going to be six episodes for the final season," Benioff revealed; having previously stated there were only 13 episodes left for the show, with season 7 consisting of just seven episodes, instead of the usual ten.

It's a lot of pressure on the show's creative team, with the shortened seasons slyly indicating the next run of episodes may start to narrow the narrative focus down, essentially creating the build-up for a final, epic battle - and the eventual victor (or victors). 

Game of Thrones Season 7 teased in new, opaque trailer

When asked how they've managed to deal with the ever-looming threat of leaks and spoilers, Benioff simply replied: "People had the spoilers of Ned's death in a f***ing book and somehow that season still worked."

Game of Thrones season 7 debuts 16 July.

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