The penultimate season of Game of Thrones is just around the corner. Unfortunately, at a svelte seven episodes, it’s going to be much shorter than any other season in the franchise. Turns out, the eighth and final season will be even shorter.

During a panel at SXSW, showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss revealed Game of Thrones season 8 will be just six episodes, four episodes less than the show’s usual ten (season seven notwithstanding). We already suspected these final two seasons would be shorter than normal, but now we have definitive confirmation.

Benioff and Weiss said they’d be writing four episodes between the two of them, with Dave Hill and Brian Cogman taking the season premiere and episode two, respectively. Now that the show is in the home stretch, Benioff and Weiss are apparently feeling the pressure to deliver a fitting conclusion to the show, which first began airing all the way back in April 2011.

Ed Sheeran will have a cameo

Weirdly, Benioff and Weiss also confirmed that singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran is set to cameo in season seven. Will he die? That remains to be seen.

We’ll see how the Great War unfolds when season seven returns to HBO in just a few months. With just two seasons and roughly 13 episodes left, the show is rapidly coming to a close. At least until HBO decides to greenlight a prequel series.

Game of Thrones returns on July 16.