At seven episodes, season 7 of Game of Thrones will be the shortest yet. Unfortunately, season 8, the final season in the series, will come in at a svelte six. And it’s all according to plan, said showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss.
The news shouldn’t come as much surprise for Game of Thrones fans. Over the past several months, Benioff and Weiss have indicated the show’s last few seasons would be short. Now, thanks to Entertainment Weekly, we have definitive confirmation that our time in Westeros is coming to an end—at least until the inevitable spinoff.
With only 13 episodes left, that’ll bring the show’s total to 73—something Benioff and Weiss apparently had planned all along. As the premiere of season 7 approaches, the two showrunners are frantically working to complete season 8.
We got our first good look at the upcoming season of Game of Thrones this week, which showed the main characters preparing for a great war. Like chess, it appears the characters are making moves with an eye toward what’s on the horizon.
Season 7 is getting a later-than-usual start this year, so don’t expect the final season to run anytime soon. Chances are, it’ll air next summer at the earliest—weather permitting, of course.
Game of Thrones season 7 hits HBO on July 16.