D.B. Weiss and David Benioff talk about the “brutal” production for season 6 and their disinterest in a GoT spinoff

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Source: Variety

Showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff discuss the pressures of going off-book for Game of Thrones season 6 and their desired timeline for ending the show.

Mere days away from the highly-anticipated season 6 premiere, Weiss and Benioff spoke to Variety about the rigors of making season 6 and their confidence that the long wait will be worth it for fans.

“I honestly believe this is the strongest season we’ve had,” Benioff said, though he also admitted that he and Weiss are facing unprecedented scrutiny as their show finally surpasses the progress of George R.R. Martin’s series.

“Now there’s a new kind of pressure of, ‘Can we keep it going even though we’ve gotten past the books?’” Benioff said. “Time will tell.” Weiss concurs: “[This season] is us carrying the story forward from the end point of the final book. That was both very exciting and a bit terrifying at times.”

As the narrative complexity and the scope of the world of the show grows, so does the scale of production. “I think back to season one, and the big vfx was the
baby dragons … but baby dragons grow up, and they get violent,” Benioff said.

Indeed, from a production standpoint, this upcoming season was the most “brutal” yet. “It became a real endurance test for everyone on the crew,” Benioff said. “We never quite knew where we were going every day.”

So, are Weiss and Benioff intimidated by their responsibility to continue creating quality episodes for a show of such magnitude and cultural significance? Yes. Yes, they are.

“I’ll start to be afraid when we stop being afraid,” said Weiss. “If it feels like there’s anxiety over what you’re doing, it means you’re constantly pushing yourself.”

danytrion

However, Weiss and Benioff do have a sense of how they’d like to wrap up Game of Thrones. They reiterated their desire to shorten seasons 7 and 8 to only six episodes each.

HBO marketing president, Michael Lombardo said he approves of Weiss and Benioff’s goal. “As a television executive, as a fan, do I wish they said another six years? I do. But they respect the characters, they respect the writing, and they respect the truth of the storytelling. So whatever decisions they make come from a place of integrity — however disappointing it might be to me as a television executive.”

It’s over this concern for quality that Weiss and Benioff say they’re not interested in a Game of Thrones prequel or spinoff.

“At a certain point,” Weiss said, “especially if it’s a serialized story, it falls apart and loses its heat and its momentum because there’s a carrying capacity even a world the size of ours has … we want people to hate the fact that it’s over and wish that there was more of it coming.”

127 responses

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    1. I respect their decisions in regard to the show. Those people who want 10 seasons and five spin offs have no idea what they’re talking about. The point is to leave the series on an extreme high and let that be its legacy.

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    2. Toats agree with D&D, and I cannot wait for season 6. I am sure they did an excellent job moving past GRRM’s books.

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    3. The point is to serve the story. If fewer eps is the way they see it going, then I guess I’ll be fine with it. As long as the story is told in a satisfying way. It doesn’t have to be happy, just satisfying.

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    4. I prefer six good, tight episodes to ten slower ones, same as I prefer ASOS to AFFC+ADWD combined. After this season, I expect that there will be very little worldbuilding remaining (mostly about the motives of the White Walkers, if indeed they do have any beyond ‘kill all humanity’). So, we might as well move on to the meat of each season. It’s about bringing the many-year arcs to a graceful conclusion now.

      Also, I’ve been predicting a split slightly longer Season 7 for some time now – since before Season 5, I think. And 6+6 is essentially the same thing. So I’m pretty happy that I seem to have a similar vision of what’s coming as DnD do. ?

      e: I just hope I don’t die before this Sunday evening. Fingers crossed. ?

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    5. I won’t criticise them whatever they do. They know how much story there is left to tell, and I can see how difficult it is to film 10 episodes already with this only becoming more difficult in the last two seasons. Personally, I’d love 7 episodes each for the last two seasons, with a two hour finale in season 8 (effectively 15 episodes), but they should do what they feel is best; they’ve done a remarkable job so far, so I’m not going to criticise them at all.

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    6. Some simple math: If the showrunners are saying they can’t produce 10 episodes a season any longer given increasing per-episode load, then they won’t just make fewer longer episodes. It has to be fewer minutes total, people! (I recall from the other thread people saying, well, if we get 7 episodes, they should be 90 minutes apiece…)

      Also, if the story is barreling towards a conclusion, then it has to run its course. This isn’t Two and a Half Men, it’s a singular story. It’s not the kind of show that determines which season to end on based on contracts and popularity. They’ve known the story from the start, and seem diligent in moving it along. (I do suspect some pacing issues in Season 5 were related to then-indecision on how long they’d give themselves.)

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    7. They know whats left more than any of us so whatever they decide I am ok. But of course I’d like longer episodes (1h each?), and maybe season finales with 2h? We’ll see.

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    8. Newbietothegame,

      They could pull a Sherlock and have 90 minute episodes, which would be ok with me, but not six 50 minute episodes. I would have a negative attitude going into season 7 if the episodes would be shorter than 80 -90 minutes each.

      I understand them wanting to say farewell to GoT after season 8, they will have worked on the show for a decade, they have families and want lives apart from television. But HBO should not pull the plug on spinoffs, the worst thing to do is depart the world for any length of time. My belief is that a yearly limited anthology series should be the route HBO takes, for the time being; each a self contained 8-10 episode story arc. This would prevent the shows from becoming serialized, redundant and disinteresting. GoT had the benefit of GRRM’s books, but an HBO anthology would attract the best writings, producers, creative talent and actors to the shows, but HBO needs to get the ball rolling while they have the production crews from all the departments together, before the exodus begins to do other work after GoT ends.
      Imagine one year a story set in Highgarden, then next up Dorne, followed by the Summer Isles, etc.

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    9. Also, the only adaptations I can imagine that doesn’t suck is Dunk&Egg (Robert’s Rebellion, the Ninepenny Kings, The Dance of Dragons, Ancient History etc.etc. would be awfully risky) and I think for it to work HBO will need not only a different format, but also a different feelings and atmosphere, thus different executive producers. But I’m pretty sure that we’ll never see anything else GOT related on Tv, and that’s probably for the best.

      In other news, I think I just had a glimpse on Gendry rowing nearby Windfall Island..

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    10. Off-Topic Otto,

      Agreed. I mean I’m sure they could do ten 30 minute episodes if people really want 10 episodes per season.

      Some people have also noted that the upcoming season is the shortest to date. This should not be a surprise given the constraints that they’re under. I don’t care how long the episodes are; I care solely about the quality

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    11. The smartest people always know when to end things on a high note. A show like The Walking Dead will probably continue for another 30 seasons. Christ.

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    12. There’s the old adage “All good things come to an end”. I concur with those who opt for quality rather than quantity. Having come to the books through the show I’m not one of those people who have been waiting 20 years for an ending but I’m also at an age where I don’t want to have to wait another 20 years for an ending.

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    13. I think there is a misconception from fans that D&D cut down season 7 and 8 from 20 episodes to 13… I think they LEGITIMATELY think the story will end in 13 episodes, and can service those 13 episodes best by splitting it into smaller seasons.
      If they thought the story needed 20 more episodes, they’d do 20 more episodes.

      and b4 we begin to discuss spinoffs, lets just finish the damn series…

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    14. What i read out of that is they are afraid to be creative! I see this problem a lot anymore coming out of Hollywood for proof of this look at all the dang remakes being done, same story little twist different actors, its as if creativity is gone.

      In this case however we have GRRM himself still around and kicking and I would be willing to bet a great deal of WOW is complete for them to have used for at least this season. I could understand if it was “A time for Wolves” book being shot but not WOW.

      This is why I firmly believe HBO should not renew D&D contract if its really in negotiations and bring in People who will finish the series off giving the story justice, I just do not believe D&D’s hearts are in it anymore.

      There will be 6 books when its complete minimum of 12 seasons available I thought when the show started 10 for certain then we hear 8 and now an abbreviated 8 more like 7.5, this IMO can only be the fault of D&D being tired of it and wanting to move on. Hell there is almost 4500 pages already published and i could see Winds and Time bringing it close to 800 pages. And yet they are afraid, Guys you have the Author and a script for at least 2 more season Quit your crying and do the story ALL of it justice if you cant let someone who can.

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    15. Makes me a bit sad to think the story is that close to the end. Only 12 episodes? I hope the end doesn’t have a “rushed” feel. C’mon, guys! How can you not do 7 episodes? It’s such an appropriate number for this franchise. 🙂
      Plus, I already want 13, 60 min episodes for the other seasons. I’m greedy and I don’t care. I don’t want it to end. I also don’t want to think about waiting for a book without the show to distract me.

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    16. Maceless Fan,

      Yeah one of my favorite shows was Castle; it jumped the shark two seasons ago and is now unwatchable. Don’t want that to happen to GOT

      Id prefer just one more season with 12 episodes but understand if they can’t do that. Its going to make for a much longer off season, not sure I can stand it!!!

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    17. tyjon: They could pull a Sherlock and have 90 minute episodes, which would be ok with me, but not six 50 minute episodes. I would have a negative attitude going into season 7 if the episodes would be shorter than 80 -90 minutes each.

      They’ll only produce 6 episodes next year because they won’t have the time and the money to produce more than that given how big (in terms of CGI and battles) those episodes are bound to be. They physically won’t be able to produce more than ~300 minutes of content.

      So, no, those episodes won’t be 90 minutes long… cause if they were able to produce 6*90 min (540 min total) episodes, then they would just stick to their 10*54 min (540 min total) formula.

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    18. I think it’s debatable if there even is enough material for 20 more episodes. We had one book each for season 1 and 2, and then books 3,4 and 5 were told across seasons 3,4 and 5, which leaves us at roughly one book for each season. So season 6 may as well cover most if not all of Winds of Winter. There is no reason to belive the contents of A Dream of Spring can suddendly provide material for 20 episodes. I’d rather see it wrapped up in 2×6 episodes than having 8 whole episodes worth of filler.

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    19. I’m kind of glad they’re doing what they think is best for the story, instead of dragging it out. We also have to remember that as both the war of the White Walkers and the government reform/throne war happens, a significant amount of CGI and manpower will be used. Even with 6 episodes a piece, I’m sure a giant budget will be utilized. They’re gonna have White Walkers, a wolf pack, wargs, armies, magic, and dragons to put in there. All of that equals $$$$$

      Would we rather have 6 super awesome, crisp episodes for each season, or seasons that basically have multiple mini-movies that are just decent? I’m perfectly ok with 6 episodes each if it means each episode will be super crisp and magical. They’ve been in their line of work for quite a while and know more than I on the matter. Plus, they know how the story ends.

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    20. Mustangride1,

      I, for one, am happy they’re compressing material from the book. Reading through book 5 was a bit painful in many parts. I still haven’t bothered to read it all. I’m also glad they didn’t include a lot of stuff from prior books. I don’t think anyone wants to see the weird stuff Ramsay did with his dogs, all of the pointless stuff on the way to Mereen and throughout the book, or Dany crapping herself.

      D&D likely have a huge salary from this show. They bring in millions of viewers (and these are just the ones who are subscribed to HBO) and they bring in a lot of money. The series is so popular that tons of merchandise are made with every season. Obviously, D&D are doing something right. The only reason GRR Martin’s series is popular is because of the show D&D made. If they think it’s best to cut the episodes down, to me, that shows extra care and attention to detail, unaffected by greed. They want to tell the best story possible.

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    21. Mustangride1,

      From 2011 :

      “I think it’s a legitimate concern because it’s potentially 60-70 hours of your life you’re investing,” Weiss says. “It’s fair to want to know that there’s somebody at the wheel and that it’s going to lead you to a place where you feel that ultimately it was worth investing that time.”

      D&D have always been clear that they knew the ending and that GoT’s journey would be about 70 hours long. That has always been their vision, and they’re still sticking to it even though their show has now become a cash cow.

      I, for one, admire them for that.

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    22. Going out on a high is the way to go. Re-watching later is so much better when the whole thing is good.

      Seinfeld and CYE went out on highs…their last seasons were “Gold, Jerry!”

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    23. Deesensfan,

      You are so positive and I love that…I am sure it will be awesome also. I think they have tried very hard to take a very long piece of work and put it onto the screen without the “clutter” and they have given it their best shot. I know they have a lot of respect for ASOIF so who better to have brought it to the screen? I also will miss the show but I wouldn’t want it to drag on like so many do and be spoiled.

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    24. As a fan, part of me is seriously bummed to only have (possibly) 12 more episodes after this season.

      But when I think about how exemplary a show they’ve made for 6 years now, I come to the conclusion that I trust them to make the right calls at this point.

      It really comes down to where the story sits at the end of this season. If we end where I expect it will end (Houses Bolton and Frey destroyed, Daenerys embarking for Westeros, Cersei as firmly headed into Mad Queen territory, and the White Walkers at or just about to bring down the Wall), I can see 12-15 episodes as all we need to wrap up the story.

      I like to think of The Walking Dead as a cautionary tale for going in the opposite direction. The producers of that show wish to see it continue for as long as it remains profitable, and story concerns come second. This resulted in a sixth season that was punctuated with recycled plot points and cheap tricks to manipulate the audience. I would be greatly disappointed if GoT followed a similar course. Give me 12-15 more episodes and a satisfying final act, and let it live in TV history as one of the best shows ever from beginning to end.

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    25. If there’s only 12 episodes left after this season then the Wall must be coming down and Dany must be sailing for Westeros in the finale.

      Also, Euron must be a big endgame player if they are introducing him now.

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    26. Mustangride1,

      Sorry, you feel that way. I want quality, not quantity and I’m sure you’ll disagree, but ASOS and ADWD dragged on FOREVER and I didn’t think I’d ever finish it. Did you actually read them?
      I’m with whomever said that it’s like TWD, drag it out too much and we will all hate it for being “dragged out just to keep it going.” The work involved with putting out an episode like Hardhome is grueling…obviously you have never known someone in the industry. They are giving us a quality show based on great books overall and doing a bang up job. We need to all remember that.

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    27. Benioff & Weiss don’t want to do D&E spins…. OK.

      Let someone else do it. Then 15 years from now let another producer(s) do She Wolves of Winterfell.

      Viewership will always be there for anything ASOIAF.. just need the budget and personnel. Well… and the content..

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    28. Elizabeth,

      Thank you 🙂 Totally agree with you.

      It boggles my mind some times when people complain about the silliest things and when some people think they know better than D&D.
      Last week on the Ellen show and on Conan’s show they could not stop talking about how HUGE Game of Thrones is. I honestly think it is more hyped and talked about then 95% of the movies that come out. Before Star Wars episode 7 came out, every where I went, I saw or heard something about it. This is what happens to GoT but every year that it has aired (mostly since season 3). I mean come on, we should consider ourselves lucky to be blessed with such art on TV (separate from the books), and D&D have done an EXCELLENT job. There has never been and I don’t think there ever will be anything on TV at the same caliber as GoT

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    29. I don’t want 10 seasons and a spinoff show. I just want two full final seasons. That means 10 episodes. 10 episodes is short enough as it is and making people wait 10 months for 6 episodes is rather cruel tbh.

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    30. I’m very glad most people are cool with this… Really hasn’t hit me that THIS is the last full season.. But a thing isn’t beautiful because it lasts..

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    31. Ross Doherty:
      I don’t want 10 seasons and a spinoff show. I just want two full final seasons. That means 10 episodes. 10 episodes is short enough as it is and making people wait 10 months for 6 episodes is rather cruel tbh.

      This exhibits a fundamental lack of understanding of what goes into creating a 10-episode season of Thrones.

      They aren’t doing any of this to be cruel. They’ve been saying for years that they are physically incapable of writing, shooting, and post-producing more than 10 episodes in a yearly cycle.

      Like he said in the article above, the big VFX item in season 1 was 10 seconds of baby dragons. Seasons 7 and 8 will have full grown dragons and lots of them, direwolves, armies, pitched battles, heavy amounts of screen time for White Walkers, and other things I’m sure we don’t know about yet.

      I don’t understand how 10 episodes is such a line in the sand for you.

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    32. Maybe someone who works in the industry here would know – do D&D own the rights to GRRMs works or does HBO? HBO might want to work on something later with new producers. Lots of love out there for these stories…

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    33. Judging from minute counts on HBO.com of the seven listed episodes of GOT, the first seven episodes of Season 6 are 376 minutes in length total. The first seven episodes of Season 5 were 390 minutes. 6×01-6×07 is a full 14 minutes shorter than 5×01-5×07.

      I agree with the “simple math” comment upthread. If D&D do fewer episodes for GOT, they’re not just going to make those seven episodes accordingly longer to make up for the lost episodes. The whole point is that D&D are already struggling under the production schedule for 10 episodes, especially with bigger and bigger set pieces and that difficulty is motivating them to do fewer episodes in a season. I’m guessing there will even more jawdropping set pieces as we move towards the end–GRRM when talking up a possible movie a few years ago said as much–that will be even more complicated to film.

      It seemed for several years that D&D wanted seven seasons, and HBO wanted as many as possible. D&D said seven a few years ago, and HBO later came out and said at least eight. Now we’re hearing seven and extra from D&D. HBO hasn’t publicly denied that yet except to say that no decisions have been made.

      With all that said, assuming they’re sticking to the usual production schedule, Season 7 was mapped out months ago and is being written now, isn’t it? If Season 7 is going to be only seven or six episodes, I’m guessing that decision has already been made.

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    34. It seems like every year they’re right up till the deadline for filming, and by all accounts everyone involved in production really kills themselves working so hard on the show.

      And if indeed the Wall falls, if there are some huge epic scene like we all imagine or assume, I wonder if it’s reasonable even possible to do it within the timeframe they have for 10 episodes. If cutting it short leads to some incredible television, giving them time for effects and massive set pieces – I’m all for it.

      And there’s no obligation for them to kill themselves and their sanity for us.

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    35. tyjon,

      You realize 6 90 minute episodes is LONGER than 10 50 minute episodes? They’re shorting the seasons to 6 episodes so they have more money and time per minute of the show they produce. There would be no point whatsoever to to go from 10 episodes to 6 if they’re then going to make each episode longer.

      Think of each season in terms of total minutes rather than episodes. Let’s say, on average, an episode is 52 minutes. That’s 520 minutes per season. They need to cut this number down. Most likely, the number will become 312 minutes per season, keeping episode length the same while cutting episode numbers. MAYBE they’ll bump it to 62 minutes per episode, which would give us 372 minutes per season, but I doubt it.

      No way they’ll make 92 minute episodes. That’s 552 minutes a season, longer than what they’re doing now. Incredibly unrealistic. Even 70-80 minute episodes is pushing it. If they’re going to do that, they wouldn’t cut the episode number down.

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    36. Deesensfan,

      Here, here my friend!! I couldn’t have said it better…but I will whine about one thing. THIS WEEK IS DRAGGING!!!! My hype train has left the station and I’m probably going to have a heart attack before Sunday and die without knowing…well, I’ll know nothing…haha.

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    37. Dis:
      I respect their decisions in regard to the show. Those people who want 10 seasons and five spin offs have no idea what they’re talking about. The point is to leave the series on an extreme high and let that be its legacy.

      Can’t agree more. I read the comments on this interview at WIC and it was very unrealistic what they were asking for. And they are mean. My point isn’t to criticize them in particular, but just to voice my support for the creators and to say I think it’s realistic to shorten the seasons.

      Personally, I’d rather have something substantial for the next two years than have to wait two years for 12 episodes.

      Also: I think this means the next two seasons will redefine epic television.

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    38. Well I am bummed but for the longest time we only expected a final 10 ep 7th season so we are getting 2 bonus hours. Silver lining and all. 🙂

      If the final episodes are just balls to the wall out of the gate, it will be ok. But man, waiting 10 months for those 6 eps and then another 10 for the final 6 will be torture.

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    39. Dis,

      I just want 8 full seasons with 10 episodes each. I feel cheated if seasons 7 & 8 have just 6 episodes each. I think there is enough material for full seasons but that D&D are burned out and want to end it. A series this great should not be shorted at the end.

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    40. “But they respect the characters, they respect the writing, and they respect the truth of the storytelling.”

      This, the quote of a delusional man who has made a lot of money…it makes me sad that George’s vision has been suffocated into what we’re watching, yes it’s great TV, but the potential it had if it followed the line of the books, is absolutely beyond compare.

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    41. It’s far better for them to end the show on a high note with a satisfying ending that people will remember, rather than just dragging things out until people become oversaturated and bored with anything GoT-related. I’ve seen that happen to so many good series where the creators couldn’t bring themselves to step away from their cash cow, and it’s always such a disappointment.

      As for people worrying about a rushed ending, these fears are pretty baseless. D&D have been consistent about needing 6 or 7 seasons to wrap up the story since it first started. It was only a couple of years ago that word came out about HBO wanting them to do more – obviously HBO has a financial interest in keeping the show on the air as long as they can. I would imagine that this was an influence for the 6+6 final seasons idea, as it neatly compromises between D&D’s vision of a 7 season story and HBO’s desire to get at least another season out of GoT.

      And honestly, there’s nothing inherently bad about a 6+6 season idea. If the full budget and shooting time is allocated to a smaller number of episodes, it allows them to make each one of them better and packed full of bigger events. The only downsides are that we have to wait an extra year to see the finale (instead of it ending after season 7), and that we get less total minutes of showtime (which isn’t really a negative, as more minutes doesn’t mean they’ll be *good* minutes).

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    42. Red Nightmare:
      Dis,

      I just want 8 full seasons with 10 episodes each.I feel cheated if seasons 7 & 8 have just 6 episodes each.I think there is enough material for full seasons but that D&D are burned out and want to end it.A series this great should not be shorted at the end.

      Scene: Brienne, Podrick and Sansa are trying to get to Eyrie but encounters 5 consecutive Lannister Roadblocks. Sixth road block turns out to be a trap and Cersei with Ser Robert Strong shows up. After a very long speech, Ser Robert Strong swings his sword, camera switch to POV and blood in camera. End scene

      There is your season 8 episode 9 filling up an hour of television

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    43. I’ve been lurking on here through the long nights between seasons, but this is my first post! Having followed this show from the beginning, it’s sad to know that the end is so close. But I really think the short seasons idea is best.

      We know that Season 6 is quoted as being “north of 100 million”. Let’s just say 110 million. That is 11 million per episode. Cut the season down to 6 episodes, distribute that money around, and we could be looking at a couple of episodes in the 30 million dollar range per season. Remember that GRRM himself has said for the ending he has in mind, we’d be looking at a feature budget, “100 million for two hours.” Now I understand that we won’t be getting his exact ending, but it’s clearly going to be VERY costly, and far more time consuming.

      In the meantime, I’m gonna enjoy the hell out of Season 6! I’ve got my fingers crossed for the wall drop, as well as for an ice dragon appearance this season. I have a tinfoil theory that episode 6 of the game series was named “The Ice Dragon” just in case it leaked that an ice dragon would be included in season 6. So if people were to google “Ice Dragon Season 6”, they would more than likely be directed to the game.

      Sorry for ranting! *Takes tinfoil hat off and crumples it up in disgust*

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    44. With all the endless rubbish Hollywood churns out for who knows how many wasted millions, a pity when quality entertainment is just too difficult for the professionals to sustain.

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    45. Ice Dragon Rider,

      Hello long time lurker and welcome. I believe we are in for an epic season 6.
      True, let’s enjoy those ten episodes.
      And don’t worry about the tinfoil. The floors around here a littered with it. ?

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    46. Elizabeth: Sorry, you feel that way. I want quality, not quantity and I’m sure you’ll disagree, but ASOS and ADWD dragged on FOREVER and I didn’t think I’d ever finish it. Did you actually read them?

      I hope you meant AFFC, not ASOS. ASOS was the third book (with the Red & Purple Weddings and the respective aftermaths). AFFC was the fourth book, the one that featured only half of the characters we had grown to know and love (or hate) and wandered around aimlessly before realizing “oh crap, we’ve used up a ton of pages, let’s just randomly end here, ‘k?”

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    47. “You know when you see something that’s so good you can’t see the complexity in how difficult it is to make it that good, because it looks so easy?” the actress posits. “Sometimes I think that’s what happens with their writing. I think people can underestimate its power. They have absolutely spoiled me rotten for reading any other kind of script because they’re so good at what they do.”

      I love that quote from Emilia Clarke in the article. It’s so true. Benioff and Weiss have sure as hell spoiled me for pretty much any other project after their work on Game of Thrones. And I’m not an industry professional, just an enthusiastic viewer. 🙂

      I’ll be looking forward to seeing their next project after GoT wraps up. They’ve optioned Dirty White Boys as a film, I believe. I haven’t read the book, but after reading the summary, it sounds like the kind of story I would enjoy, especially with those two writing it. It looks like it will play to their strengths of mismatched and disreputable characters traveling together.

      Benioff, in particular, isn’t just an accomplished screenwriter – he’s a great author as well. City of Thieves is a wonderful book. So is The 25th Hour. Benioff adapted the screenplay for the film from his own novel, which Spike Lee directed, and I think that movie is excellent. As for his freelance work, I really like The Kite Runner and even Troy. X-Men Origins: Wolverine, not so much, but I don’t lay that at Benioff’s door. He was a hired gun, and that film was a mess on every level of the production.

      Weiss is an author as well, but I haven’t read his book yet.

      And before anyone says anything about Clarke’s work outside GoT, no, Terminator: Genisys isn’t exactly the highest bar to clear. (Though I thought her Sarah Connor was the best thing about that film). I’m really hoping that Me Before You will be good. I want Emilia to have a long and successful career after Game of Thrones ends.

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    48. It seems that the actual story content is coming to an end pretty rapidly. Therefore, Season 6 will be very important in pointing towards the end game of the series. GoT is a wonderful show, it’s very important that it not live past its prime, as so many, many shows do. I trust that D&D’s vision.

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    49. For those who are worried about the “six episodes per season” comment, check the Variety article itself. They still say seven episodes for Season 7, at least, then six for Season 8. And that the plan isn’t yet set in stone.

      HelloThere,

      This. Benioff and Weiss have mostly been consistent in their public statements that the series would run around 70 hours (“Seven kingdoms, seven gods, seven seasons”, or something to that effect). It was only when HBO started circulating the idea that the show would run for more than seven seasons that the idea of eight full seasons became entrenched in the fandom’s consciousness. Hell, I wanted to believe it to. But Benioff and Weiss have never given the impression that they needed 80 to reach the endgame that GRRM shared with them. They would know better than anyone. If they believe they only need 13 more episodes after Season 6 to complete the story, then I trust them completely.

      That being said … 73 episodes is a weird number, if only because the nerd in me appreciates symmetry. If they were to increase that order by only one hour to reach 74 episodes, so that the two final seasons could be an equal 7 & 7, I would be content.

      They can do whatever they want with that extra hour. Go heavy with the flashbacks to Robert’s Rebellion or the Long Night. Explore the origins of the Night’s King, if that isn’t already in the cards. Make it an anthology hour where we spend a few minutes checking in with every surviving character who we haven’t seen for a few seasons (Gendry! Hot Pie! Salladhor Saan! Mostly Sallador Saan. I am in favor of anything that gets Sallador Saan back on the show at least one more time. The Sex Pirate Extraordinaire must be allowed to sail the high seas once more!)

      Hell, just dedicate the episode entirely to Hodor sitting in the godswood, banging on a weirwood tree with a stick. I’m sure as hell wouldn’t object. Maybe he likes the sound and gets the idea to become Westeros’s first-ever DJ. Hell, there’s your spinoff. Get Kristian Nairn to reprise the role, cue up the full set list of Westerosi songs, and have him tour the Realm to spread joy and rhythm after the Long Night ends and spring returns. He could go from Casterly Rock (“The Rains of Castamere”) to Maidenpool (“The Bear and the Maiden Fair”), from Sunspear (“The Dornishman’s Wife”) to the Wall (“The Last of the Giants”) You’re good to go. You’d get at least a few hours of content out of that. I know I’d watch.

      Not 72 and 6 & 6, however. Don’t go taking any more hours away. 😉

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    50. Edmond Dantes: Viewership will always be there for anything ASOIAF.. just need the budget and personnel. Well… and the content..

      I wouldn’t be so sure of that. Simply slapping a “Game of Thrones” label on something is not going to guarantee it’ll do blockbusters.

      Case in point, compare “The Walking Dead” and “Fear the Walking Dead.” TWD is a cultural phenomena. Most people will know who Rick, Darryl, C(o)arl, Michonne, Glenn, etc. are even if they don’t watch the show.

      But ask them to name a character from “Fear the Walking Dead” and you’d most likely get blank stares and maybe a “oh yeah that dumb guy who sorta looks like young Johnny Depp.”

      A GoT spin-off runs the risk of being the Westeros equivalent of “FearTWD.”

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    51. While I’m disappointed in the fact that the show will only have 12-13 more episodes (after this season), I’ll be very happy if they wrap the story well. I’d rather have fewer episodes of fantastic television over many more episodes of ‘meh’ tv.

      Given that they’re only going to make 12 or 13 more episodes, I’d rather have all of those episodes in a final season. They could start the season in October 2017, break for the holidays (a la TWD) and finish up the final episodes in Feb through March 2018.

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    52. ash,

      I watched and loved Castle for seven seasons before falling behind this year. What’s happening to that show right now is just sad. It was just a light-hearted procedural most of the time, and frequently quite silly (though there were some excellent dramatic arcs as well). But God, it was fun. I started watching because Nathan Fillion has earned a lifetime of goodwill from me for Firefly, but I stuck around because I loved the chemistry between him and the wonderful, absolutely gorgeous Stana Katic as Kate Beckett. That was the show. That was all I needed.

      With the recent news that Stana Katic won’t be returning for a theoretical Season 9, I’ve lost any interest I might have had in catching up on Season 8, or any future seasons. I understand why ABC wants to keep it alive, but they’re trying to pump life into a dying corpse. That show should end.

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    53. Mustangride1,

      I take your point. The article says D&D are weary and afraid to venture beyond published story. The claim is there is little story left to tell before conclusion. I would say there is plenty of story yet unmined in work already published and more story known to D&D but not yet to readers in WoW. And even more story sketched to D&D in volume seven.

      Another claim is that viewers require each season to exceed previous seasons in bloody shock and awesome CGI. I would say that viewers will happily settle for simpler storytelling to have episodes to view.

      Surely there are creators in the entertainment biz who would relish the opportunity to pick up the gage and meet the challenge of producing engaging episodes for years to come.

      Thank you D&D. Time to pass the torch.

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    54. Kingbreaker: This, the quote of a delusional man who has made a lot of money…it makes me sad that George’s vision has been suffocated into what we’re watching, yes it’s great TV, but the potential it had if it followed the line of the books, is absolutely beyond compare.

      Oh I agree. The potential it had to completely and utterly suck if it had followed the line of the books is absolutely beyond compare. Can you imagine three seasons to tell the story that we got in AFFC/ADWD? The joys of seeing Brienne wandering around aimlessly constantly asking people if they had seen “a highborn maid of ten-and-two”! The sheer thrill of Tyrion asking “where do whores go?” 57 times each episode! The exhilarating adventures of Quentyn Martell as he crosses Essos to get his hot date! And talk about cock merchants, think about how the audience would enjoy the metaphorical blue balls when they follow Tyrion across two-and-a-half seasons in Essos, eagerly anticipating his ultimate meeting with Danys, only to have Danys fly off on Drogon right before Tyrion meets her! That’d go over so well.

      But at least the horndogs would get to see Arianne’s dark brown nipples, as well as Cersei exploring some Myrish swamp, so there’s that. (They, however, might have to suffer through Sam’s fat pink mast as well … but hey, #freethepenis!)

      And you think the SJWs were outraged when Sansa got raped on her wedding night? I imagine they’d totally enjoy it more when it happens to Jeyne Poole, but with the bonus of Theon also being forced to participate in the rape *and* with Ramsay’s dogs involved! But hey, at least Sansa will be safe in the Vale, babysitting Robin Arryn, and eagerly anticipating Harry the Heir. So enthralling!

      And by the time we’re done with the AFFC/ADWD storyline (three whole seasons without a decent climax!), maybe GRRM will finally have finished TWOW, and “Game of Thrones” will be entering it’s highly anticipated 8th season. HBO would have high hopes that GoT S8E1 might get an overnight rating of 2 million viewers.

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    55. Jared:
      ash,

      but they’re trying to pump life into a dying corpse.

      Whoa whoa whoa. Let’s not criticize this particular action. We’re kind of counting on a little of this at Castle Black!

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    56. OT: Vanity Fair made up GoT dissertation titles and they are beyond hilarious. http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2016/04/game-of-thrones-academia

      I hope my future kids do their PoliSci dissertation on “‘Undisciplined Boys and Tired Old Men’: The Night’s Watch as Metaphor for Legislative Restrictions on Birth Control (Yes, That Means White Walkers Are Semen).”

      Also acceptable, “You’ve Said ‘Winter Is Coming’ for a While: Paranoid, Delusional Seasonal Affective Disorder in Game of Thrones”

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    57. Ice Dragon Rider,

      Welcome to the Wall! 🙂

      While I don’t like the idea of the show ending, it has to, eventually, and like so many others here, I’ll take quality over quantity. While, yes, there are parts of the books I would have loved to see onscreen, I think, overall, D&D have done a terrific job trimming the fat from AFFC and ADWD, at least from what we’ve seen so far, and I trust their overall decision making.

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    58. Jared,

      Couldn’t agree more. Castle was one of my favorite shows, but with the creator leaving the show after season 7, they really should’ve just ended it then and let it have nice legacy. Instead they brought in a new direction for season 8 and are now trying to completely retool it for season 9 just to keep ABC’s ratings afloat. Looking like a disaster…

      I mean, I could see them retooling it if they kept the Castle+Beckett dynamic that the show is built around. They could honestly move those two to some completely different environment and maybe have a shot at something because of the relationship and its interplay. But dropping Beckett? One of the leads? *shakes head*

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    59. This is a dumb story but I’m telling it anyway:

      A couple seasons ago I transitioned from casual watcher to obsessed fan and started listening to the Watch the Thrones podcast. Andy Greenwald talks a lot about Weiss and Benioff, except he always says “Benioff and Weiss.” He’s also a very fast talker. For at least three months I thought the show had a single producer named Benny Offenweiss. Eventually I read the names in print and figured it out.

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    60. Jared:
      ash,

      I watched and loved Castle for seven seasons before falling behind this year. What’s happening to that show right now is just sad. It was just a light-hearted procedural most of the time, and frequently quite silly (though there were some excellent dramatic arcs as well). But God, it was fun. I started watching because Nathan Fillion has earned a lifetime of goodwill from me for Firefly, but I stuck around because I loved the chemistry between him and the wonderful, absolutely gorgeous Stana Katic as Kate Beckett. That was the show. That was all I needed.

      With the recent news that Stana Katic won’t be returning for a theoretical Season 9, I’ve lost any interest I might have had in catching up on Season 8, or any future seasons. I understand why ABC wants to keep it alive, but they’re trying to pump life into a dying corpse. That show should end.

      I only just caught up with season 5 and that was enough for me. Show kind of lost it for me when Castle and Beckett became an item as the UST was pretty much it’s raison d’être for me.

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    61. Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      Agreed…I love this show and would happily watch it for several more seasons…but it is refreshing to see a top show end on a high note and on their own terms. A lot of the good british shows are only 6-10 episodes per season, and that really adds to their quality of the storytelling in my opinion.

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    62. Nadia: Wait why are people saying 90 minute episodes – where did they even suggest this?

      Wishful thinking by fans who can’t do simple math.

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    63. HousePotterz: Whoa whoa whoa. Let’s not criticize this particular action. We’re kind of counting on a little of this at Castle Black!

      Hey, Jon’s already dead. Haven’t you heard? That’s been well-established by our esteemed writers and cast members. He’s totally gone. Trying to pump life into him now is useless. 😉

      Breathing life into him, on the other hand … that’s a method of revival that won’t break his ribs. He’s going to need those to be intact when he wakes up so he can drive his sword through the mutineers’ necks. And potentially Ramsay’s as well.

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    64. Deesensfan,

      From the article

      I’ll watch the new “Game of Thrones” as soon as it airs (HBO is not sharing it in advance with critics). I’ll read Mr. Martin’s final books whenever they come. It doesn’t matter which gets there first, because there is no single “there.” They share the same world, but they’re two different continents, separated by a narrow sea.

      You are right, very good article

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    65. Given that this story has an actual end – the one GRRM is planning when he eventually gets there – I’m glad D&D want to tell that story in the best possible way for television. Not drag it out over endless seasons just to keep the cash flowing. Too many shows continue past their “best before” date and end with a whimper, not a bang. If D&D think there’s 12 episodes’ worth of story after season 6, I take their word for it.

      As to two shorter final seasons (as opposed to a longer one final season). Given the expected level of complexity of battles, dragons, white walkers, wights, direwolves etc., it’d just be physically impossible to produce 10 episodes in the time that they have. They’ve been working with four units some of the time for season 6. Adding a fifth or sixth unit isn’t an answer. Somebody (D&D) has to oversee the thing and make sure it it forms a unified whole. I’d much rather have 6+6 great episodes than 10+10 (or 7+7 or any number) so-so episodes.

      I love the books (even the much-maligned Brienne chapters!) but a TV-show cannot be a talking, moving illustration of a book. The different mediums need different approaches, and I’m fine with that. I’m glad that I’ll be getting not just one but two versions of my favourite story. (And, sadly, I’m not that confident I’ll ever get the ending in the book medium. It seems to me that after TWOW, GRRM will need at least two more books to bring it to an end, and knowing his writing pace…)

      What I find really amusing is howls of protest around the internet from “book purists” that supposedly hate the show – to have the show continue for 10 or 15 seasons or whatever. I love the show and want it to end, they hate the show and want it to continue. [confused smiley here]

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    66. Jared: That being said … 73 episodes is a weird number, if only because the nerd in me appreciates symmetry. If they were to increase that order by only one hour to reach 74 episodes, so that the two final seasons could be an equal 7 & 7, I would be content.

      Let’s make that 8 & 8 and you have a deal! 🙂

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    67. Thanks for the warm welcome, guys!

      One concern that I have with the shortened seasons is the growth of the dragons. By the end, their skulls should be as large as the one that Arya hid inside (with extra room for friends) in season 1. That means we have only 22-23 episodes for the dragons to grow MUCH larger! Drogon was nowhere near endgame size in Daznak’s Pit, and the captive dragons are even smaller. It could be covered with a time gap between seasons, or Tyrion “knows things” about dragon puberty growth spurts, but that is a LOT of growing they have to do in a short stint of episodes.

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    68. umuckurlife,

      Given that they’re only going to make 12 or 13 more episodes, I’d rather have all of those episodes in a final season. They could start the season in October 2017, break for the holidays (a la TWD) and finish up the final episodes in Feb through March 201

      8.

      That would be ideal for me as well. Again tho that would be a really greuling year for all involved. But it would be nice for us!!

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    69. Jared,

      Yeah we tried watching season 7 and just couldn’t stomach it. I’d check the synopsis now and again but nothing sounded the least bit plausible enough for me to watch it. And with Beckett leaving, well then, I think we should put a fork in it and call it done

      I looooooved all of the Firefly references in the show, and loved how Castle was such a kid in so many ways. It was fun to watch them work together and ultimately fall in love I can just pretend that wedding in season 6 went off without a hitch and they are still on an extended honeymoon on an island somewhere….

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    70. Ice Dragon Rider,

      Unless there is a time jump, I don’t think they will become that big in both the shows and/or the books. I also doubt all three of them make it to the end, I actually count Drogon as a likely casualty long before the ending.

      talvikorppi,

      Exactly what D&D are trying to do. It actually instills some confidence in me that the ending will be good, since they have been more or less had to the total amount of hours right. Those advocating 10 episodes per season for many more years, would be the first ones complaining about the loss in quality most likely.

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    71. Just thought, with 6 episodes each year, thats gonna wreck (sp) havoc on the Sue and company here! Cant imagine they want to add one more month on to a looooooong off season. Hope they can tho,they have been a life saver during the long dark winter …..

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    72. Benny Offenweiss,

      Hahaaa! That’s not a dumb story, it’s a hilarious one. Thanks for sharing!

      I thought for two decades that the line from Blondie’s “Atomic” was “Your hell is beautiful” which I thought was very poetic. Until I found out that Debbie Harry sings “Your HAIR is beautiful” which is frankly quite dull in comparison 🙂

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    73. ash,

      Yeah, Castle’s Season 6 finale was the first real “uh oh” moment for me. The previous episode, where they wrapped up the series-long arc regarding the murder of Beckett’s mother, was great (of course, they undid that tidy resolution and opened it back up again later by adding another layer to the conspiracy. Sigh). But the finale itself was terrible for most of the hour, and then they pulled that cheap nonsense at the end where the wedding gets ruined by Castle’s car crash. That started a new conspiracy subplot which made little to no sense.

      I pushed on through Season 7, and we eventually got to see Castle and Beckett’s wedding, which was nice. I even pushed through the whole Castle-as-a-PI arc, silly as it was. The Season 7 finale actually would have been a pretty good series finale … and it will be the series finale for me I haven’t watched Season 8, and everything I’ve heard about it sounds like utter dreck. If the show gets renewed for Season 9 without Beckett, it will only be worse. Let it die.

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    74. Mustangride1,

      You misunderstood (on purpose) the quote about “fear”. If you read the comments you would see that most all posters would love for this to never end, but understand that all things end..all good things end at the perfect time and place. D & D know that, you don’t.

      In D & D I trust!

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    75. So we were getting 13 episodes (7 + 6)

      Now they are saying 12 episodes (6+6)

      People better stop asking them how many episodes as with a couple more interviews we’ll be down to 10 episodes spread over two seasons

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    76. Cersei’s Brain:
      Maybe someone who works in the industry here would know – do D&D own the rights to GRRMs works or does HBO? HBO might want to work on something later with new producers.Lots of love out there for these stories…

      Usually one only sells the rights to a particular book or a particular series. I’ve never heard of one selling all works. I do think what D and D do isn’t necessarily what HBO will do.

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    77. Mr Fixit,

      Sounds good to me! I wouldn’t be surprised if that actually winds up being the number that HBO gets them to settle on. I’m just trying not to be greedy, given their stated intentions. But I want my lighthearted variety hour centered around Salladhor Saan and/or Hodor, goddamn it. 😉

      whatever,

      The executive producers are considering concluding the saga of Westeros and the battle for the Iron Throne with just 13 more episodes once this sixth season wraps: seven episodes for season seven; six for the eighth and final season.

      “We’re down to our final 13 episodes after this season. We’re heading into the final lap,” says Benioff. “That’s the guess, though nothing is yet set in stone, but that’s what we’re looking at.”

      That’s the quote from the Variety article. 13 episodes, same as they were reportedly considering in the article from a few days ago. In fact, I think that article was based on an excerpt from this one.

      I know that Petra mentioned that both seasons could be six episodes in the main text of this post, but I can’t find evidence for that anywhere in the Variety article itself.

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    78. Red Nightmare,

      What material are you talking about? The last two books aren’t even out yet. All they have to go on are the broad plot points that GRRM has given them. Even GRRM doesn’t know what the intricacies of the last two books will be. He’s said as much himself. They’re not adapting the books anymore, they’re adapting an outline.

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    79. M:
      The whole point is that D&D are already struggling under the production schedule for 10 episodes, especially with bigger and bigger set pieces and that difficulty is motivating them to do fewer episodes in a season. I’m guessing there will even more jawdropping set pieces as we move towards the end–GRRM when talking up a possible movie a few years ago said as much–that will be even more complicated to film.

      I’m not in the least convinced that more time will produce better quality. Look what they’ve said in this very article: we were pushed to the breaking point this season and this is our best season yet. The quality could actually decrease when the pressure of time is released enough for everyone to relax and get too comfortable.

      That said, the producers do deserve a break after being pushed so hard fo so very long, and I’m being selfish in wanting the best quality show in the shortest possible time.

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    80. Cersei’s Brain,

      I don’t work in the industry, but you can be sure as hell that HBO owns the rights to the show, not D&D. HBO pays for it, so HBO owns it. – As for other works of GRRM, that would be HBO as well, if he sells the rights to them of course. D&D are “just” showrunners, they are (high ranking) employees of HBO.

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    81. Ginevra: I’m not in the least convinced that more time will produce better quality. Look what they’ve said in this very article:we were pushed to the breaking point this season and this is our best season yet. The quality could actually decrease when the pressure of time is released enough for everyone to relax and get too comfortable.

      That said, the producers do deserve a break after being pushed so hard fo so very long, and I’m being selfish in wanting the best quality show in the shortest possible time.

      I don’t think bigger set pieces automatically represents an improvement in show quality: the SOTH attack at the fighting pits with Drogon’s appearance was a huge set piece on a large scale and it was…decently received, but it didn’t blow anyone away. Hardhome did. The thing is that Hardhome didn’t blow people away just because it was a battle on a large scale; it blew people away because it was perfectly written and perfectly filmed, hitting all the right beats for an action sequence and maintaining the tension throughout. Just like the show in general, the big, flashy set pieces can be bad, good, or even great.

      My point wasn’t that the Season 7/8 episodes will be better for being part of a shorter season, necessarily, just that they will be bigger, because, as D&D have said, they feel the need to keep outdoing previous seasons’ offerings. I’m guessing that there will be more extras, bigger battles, more VFX, more, more, and more. We know from casting leaks that there were multiple scenes shot for Season 6 requiring in excess of 500 extras, some even requiring in excess of 1,000, so if they’re ramping things up even more, we can expect even bigger scenes. And that’s fine and all, but from a production standpoint, it will mean that there just won’t be the same room for 10 episodes as there was before if they’re trying to get the episodes to air before the Emmy deadline cutoff rolls around in 2017.

      I think many hope that if D&D are only writing seven episodes per season, then we can expect an increase in episode quality, since they’re trying to tell less story and can take their time a little bit more, but I’m skeptical as to whether that will prove to be the case.

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    82. The Sopranos had a split final season, and it worked beautifully. Quality not quantity.

      D&D i think have earned the right to decide when the tv show ends…If they feel they only need 13 extra episodes to tell GRRMs’ story, split up, for filming/budget reasons/whatever, then so be it. 13 great episodes will always always always be better than 20, 30 decent ones.

      ‘leave the crowd wanting more, not less*…..’

      ……*Fewer’

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    83. Josh L.,

      Well said!!! I found AFFC the most boring book I have ever read in a looong time…and I have read many,many bricks…I do not know how I got through it…After it, I found positively exiting ADWD 🙁

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    84. There’s a George article out there where he says HBO has the rights to Westeros, so he can’t go sign with someone else to adapt Dunk & Egg or Robert’s Rebellion. Nothing about GRRM’s other works.

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    85. Benny Offenweiss:
      He’s also a very fast talker. For at least three months I thought the show had a single producer named Benny Offenweiss. Eventually I read the names in print and figured it out.

      Ha! I thought you were quoting my daughter, who corrected my grammar unnecessarily when I said “Benioff and Weiss” because she thought I’d said “Benny Offenweiss.” I even shared the story on here last week, with exactly that spelling. So you are not alone.

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    86. M: The thing is that Hardhome didn’t blow people away just because it was a battle on a large scale; it blew people away because it was perfectly written and perfectly filmed, hitting all the right beats for an action sequence and maintaining the tension throughout. Just like the show in general, the big, flashy set pieces can be bad, good, or even great.

      Brilliantly said, M! Hardhome was hardcore awesomeness, and I don’t usually enjoy battles at all. My favorite part of they way they filmed, though I’m by no means an expert, is how they showed the massive scale of the entirety of Hardhome and then zoomed in to show only on what was inside the gates, providing both mystery for the havoc going down outside and focus so that our minds do not try to take in more than we can process. And then we get beautiful key elements with fighters and wights, with Karsi’s story, with Wun Wun, and with Longclaw and the Other! So much goodness. I hope that we get this epicness to smallness variation in all of the battles from here on.

      I’m sorry I mistook your lines. That sentiment that we’d get better quality in place of the quantity seemed to be a big theme the first time this news was posted, and I thought that’s what you were saying.

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    87. HotPinkLipstick,

      Ah! Okay. That makes sense, then. I forgot how closely tied D&E is to the ASOIAF series. I’m sure the same is true of Warner Brothers with HP and the new spinoff movie and play.

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    88. Cersei’s Brain,
      Not an expert in this area but I do know that the answer to your question fully depends on the terms of the contract between GRRM and HBO (and Time Warner since it owns HBO). Book series that are opted for adaptation usually give up a lot (if not all) of their rights and franchise to film or production studios. But GRRM is a smart man who had dealt with Hollywood long before HBO. My guess is that he owns the rights to the characters and universe and licensed HBO exclusive rights for merchandizing, TV, etc (for ASOIAF only, as previously mentioned). Obviously, literary rights remain with GRRM and he made it clear that only he will finish the series (and that he wont allow others to create fan fiction).

      I remember reading he renegotiated his deal with HBO a few years ago. Don’t quote me but I believe GRRM still has feature film rights and HBO owns all television rights to the characters and universe for ASOIAF. Clearly it was a lucrative overall deal as he is supposedly producing Captain Cosmos for HBO (and possibly Skin Trade for Cinemax, HBO’s dirty sister network lol).

      Its tough when authors of book series give up too much or all of their rights to the characters and universe they created. They will make a lot of money but they can lose control. I mean look at J.K. Rowling – she owns nothing of Harry Potter or the characters she created. Warner Bros has complete control and she is incredibly rich.

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    89. So, they haven’t really changed anything-other than adding 2-3 episodes lol
      D&D had already stated that 7 would be the end, then HBO came out and said 8, then they apparently said, “Oh yeah? Fine. 6 episodes per season.”

      Personally I’d rather have one more season with 12 episodes because I hate waiting, but it’s not up to me.

      I could grump but all I can think about right now is Tower of Joy! More Davos! Jon Stargaryen! Cold-Benjen! Cleganebowl! Gendry? Maybe? Yoohoo, Gendry?
      And if we’re heading toward the end where the real world in jeopardy story lies-then we need to clean house and somebody will probably kill Ramsay & Roose/Pycelle/High Sparrow/Qyburn/All the darn Freys/The Mountain/Daario/Lancel/ Tommen/All of Dorne and maybe even LF and Cersei!
      So…there’s that to look forward to. 🙂

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    90. Well, personally I hope they change their minds. 6 roughly 50-minute episodes, then another year for another 6? What an awful idea. I really don’t buy that they wouldn’t have enough time to film it – they haven’t even written the scripts yet, surely they can make it workable.
      Unless they make the episodes longer I think this is a terrible idea. After season 5’s slightly rushed feel I really think they need to slow it down just a little. There’s still so many places the narrative could go and lots of characters who deserve a bit more screentime…
      Frankly I’ll be quite let-down if this plan eventuates. Gonna keep my fingers crossed for 20 more episodes after this season.

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    91. I personally think it would really suck if they shortened season 7 and 8 to only 6 episodes… 10 barely seems to be enough! not to mention the year long wait just for 6 episodes… i don’t like that personally

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    92. e: I just hope I don’t die before this Sunday evening.Fingers crossed.

      GRRM, after years of killing characters you love, is gunning for you now.

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    93. D&D were never the people to do a prequel/spin off series. They have always been quite vocal about wanting to end it before everyone else was thinking. They also made it clear that they wanted to move on to other things. Just because they aren’t involved doesn’t mean the world of Westeros cant continue on HBO though. I’m willing to bet that there are other team members that would be interested in taking over to keep the GoT monster going.

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    94. I trust that they’ve all done amazing work this season. They will not disappoint! I also agree with their decision for two more seasons with six episodes each. They’re the expert, not us 🙂 I can’t wait for Sunday!

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    95. Elizabeth,

      Yes I read them and why i believed and still do that 12 seasons was possible. CERTAINLY 10. They have imo blown several good plot lines “Dorne I felt was all filler” Sam and Gilly was certainly filler. Maybe it is because i enjoyed the books i feel the way I about the seasons. But when it comes to my opinion on D&D I stand by it, but then i have no sympathy for people in Hollywood who cry about grueling work, try being a single mom or firefighter soldier construction worker etc those are jobs I would understand.

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    96. This has been a huge chunk of their lives for near on a decade soon. I have faith in their direction and vision for the show.

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    97. Good for them. If 12 or 13 or whatever number they think it needs to tell the story is it, then so be it. Nobody wants this to wind down like True Blood or Dexter where nobody cares, or The Simpsons, where it goes from being a cultural icon to a time slot squatter that almost no one watches anymore.

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    98. I can’t imagine them not being able to come up with enough budget “filler” material that’s interesting for a full 10 episodes each year. Can budget really be an issue for HBO’s most successful show ever? My guess is D&D are simply burned out on GOT.

      BUT

      If you take what they say at face value, why not a 10 episode season 7 and 2-3hour movie finale?

      Also, the spinoff(s) will happen with or without D&D, no way HBO will pass on that potential.

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    99. Mustangride1:
      What i read out of that is they are afraid to be creative! I see this problem a lot anymore coming out of Hollywood for proof of this look at all the dang remakes being done, same story little twist different actors, its as if creativity is gone.

      In this case however we have GRRM himself still around and kicking and I would be willing to bet a great deal of WOW is complete for them to have used for at least this season. I could understand if it was “A time for Wolves” book being shot but not WOW.

      This is why I firmly believe HBO should not renew D&D contract if its really in negotiations and bring in People who will finish the series off giving the story justice, I just do not believe D&D’s hearts are in it anymore.

      There will be 6 books when its complete minimum of 12 seasons available I thought when the show started 10 for certain then we hear 8 and now an abbreviated 8 more like 7.5, this IMO can only be the fault of D&D being tired of it and wanting to move on. Hell there is almost 4500 pages already published and i could see Winds and Time bringing it close to 800 pages. And yet they are afraid, Guys you have the Author and a script for at least 2 more seasonQuit your crying and do the story ALL of it justice if you cant let someone who can.

      just no no no! As much as I would love a “10” season I think it will be overkill. More doesn’t always mean better. A Smart person will know when to end it and that’s what their doing so quit with your crying and let them go out with a bang!
      Picture Breaking Bad still on the air? Geez!!! I think their 5 seasons to finish was a great way to end it.
      This is legacy when people will look back years from now and it needs to end on a high note and not milking it. Don’t forget D&D aren’t the only only ones involve on the project. Actors and actress are too

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    100. I hope that, before the show wraps, GRRM gets to write another episode (I’d love to see how he tackles material beyond his own books) and finally gets his cameo. That’d be cool, and would probably put in a pin in the conspiracists who think there’s a cold war between GRRM and the show.

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    101. Valaquen: That’d be cool, and would probably put in a pin in the conspiracists who think there’s a cold war between GRRM and the show.

      Hah! He obviously was forced to do it under contractual obligation. Or it obviously was not him. Or GRRM is a sellout who does not know and love his material as much as do I, his one and only truest and bestest fan.

      Now, my mom wants me to clean up the basement, I mean, my bedroom….

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    102. Picture Breaking Bad still on the air? Geez!!! I think their 5 seasons to finish was a great way to end it.

      While I do agree….Better call Saul is on season 3 now. New stories, same world…

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