After six seasons of being told that "winter is coming," winter is indeed finally here (on TV at least). Game Of Thrones Season 7 premieres this Sunday, July 7 at 9 p.m. on HBO. The epic George R. R. Martin book series turned Emmy winning television show has gripped audiences since it premiered in 2011. What began as a myriad of separate character stories, has become one intricately woven tale of power, consequences, and the ultimate fight between good and evil. Though fans may want the show to extend forever, the series is actually pretty close to a conclusion. How many episodes does Game Of Thrones Season 7 have? According to Entertainment Weekly, the season is a bit shorter than usual, clocking in at only seven episodes.
Every season of Game Of Thrones up until this point has been 10 episodes long. The decision to split the final 13 episodes into two seasons of seven and six episodes respectively is a break from tradition for the series — but for fans who don't want it to end, maybe a more welcome choice.
For creators David Benioff and D.B Weiss, the choice to limit Season 7 to seven episodes came out of a desire for a conclusive end. As Benioff told Deadline:
With the book series as a guide, the map of the story has been written for quite some time. Even though the book series isn't fully published yet, author George R.R Martin has had personal conversations with the creators, detailing his vision for the end. In 2014, Benioff spoke to Vanity Fair about getting all the info about the end from Martin.
So, it seems that the show creators have been writing towards a specific end since the very beginning.
And, while the show might have the fan power to last longer, the creators believe it's better to go out on a high than a low. As Weiss said to Deadline, "Like President Obama, we want to leave while all the people watching this show are really into it. Get out at a high point and not have it be, well thank god that’s over."
And, if you're worried about there not being that many episodes to bask in this season, fret not. Some of this season's episodes will even be longer than ever before, which helps make up for the shorter season. In the same Entertainment Weekly article from above, Benioff said of Season 7's episodes, "One will be our longest episode ever — it’s coming in around 90 minutes." So, you're basically getting a Game of Thrones movie at that point.
For fans that want to keep the fun going long after Season 8, there's also hope. There have been rumors of spinoff series almost since the show began, and HBO president of programming Casey Bloys spoke to Rolling Stone about the future of the show in a way that should please fans.
Our world may be in the middle of summer, but in Game Of Thrones, it's about to get real chilly. It may only be seven episodes but Season 7 is sure to be just as good as those that have come before it. So settle in and watch it all unfold.