Game of Thrones season seven finale to be “well over 1 hour” — what about the rest?

Photo: HBO / Helen Sloan

Photo: HBO / Helen Sloan

When the seventh season of Game of Thrones was announced to be three episodes shorter than that to which we are accustomed, there was worry, excitement and many questions, such as: would this affect the average episode’s running time in any way? Recently, we did learn the season premiere would be the longest first episode in years, but the question remained — what’s the deal with the season overall? At last, we know! As for the season finale, they are usually quite long… and this will be no exception!

EW reported on this very issue, giving the season premiere 58 minutes — which is what the HBO site originally claimed, before changing it to 59. I guess we’ll have to wait and see the truth. In any event, a minute here or there makes little difference, and EW has been able to confirm the average episode will not be significantly longer than usual. And the reason for that aligns with our speculation: the showrunners chose seven episodes (and six for the last season) because that’s what the story needed, and it allows them to devote more time and money on each episode. Hibberd raises another point: instead of making longer episodes, they would have just made more of them, not only because to do otherwise would defeat the point of making fewer episodes but because it would make little financial sense, as the cast and crew are largely paid per episode.

The EW article buries the lede a little bit, however: while it is true the average running time will not differ greatly from previous years, it is now confirmed the last episode will be one of the big ones: the season finale will run “well over an hour.” So far, the average finale is 62 minutes long, though the petite 52 minutes season one finale weighs down the average considerably. The four longest episodes ever are finales, including last year’s “The Winds of Winter”, at almost 68 minutes — the show’s record running time.

So, even at “well over an hour”, the season seven finale has some stiff competition. It’s now clear the episodes this year will follow essentially the same format as always, so if you were looking forward to super-sized episodes, you will be largely disappointed — the season finale is your only hope in that respect. If “well over an hour” means “more than 8 extra minutes,” it could still be the longest episode in Game of Thrones history.

105 responses

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    1. Wolfish:
      Hold the… Hound?

      He really needs someone to hold him, to be honest.

      Wolfish:
      Sigh. Maybe we’ll get a feature-film length finale.

      No, we won’t. “Well over an hour” isn’t one and a half hours, let alone two. If we get 75 minutes of finale I would honestly be shocked. I cannot imagine it’ll be longer than 70 minutes, to be honest. That would still be super-sized for GoT.

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    2. Wolfish,

      Well, just imagine the last season is composed of three feature films, each broken into two acts, and you’ll get your wish.

      Otherwise, I wouldn’t hold my breath 😛

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    3. Not surprised. Considering how much D&D trimmed the fat and how fast they’re galloping to the finish line, there’s probably not much story left. It’s all pretty straightforward.

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    4. What’s the average episode length for the series minus all finales? Is it roughly 54-55 minutes? So yeah, if episodes 1-6 averaged 60 minutes and episode 7 was 85 minutes then that would equal about the length of an additional episode. So I suppose we wouldn’t get that lucky. However, if 1-6 were to average ~58 minutes and the finale around 75 minutes that would only be around 33-40 more minutes longer than usual. That’s just too short for an additional episode! Just workin’ math, man! HA!! 🙂

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    5. Something not being considered is the episodes will FEEL significantly longer, because we won’t cut between so many storylines anymore. Each storyline will develop more in a single episode than they often did in a few of them (at least.)

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    6. 13 episodes over the final two seasons when there should be 20 🙄 D&D can’t get out of there fast enough. They just keep finding ways to give us the middle finger.

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    7. Wolfish,

      a feature film runs for 40 minutes or longer, while the Screen Actors Guild states that it is 80 minutes or longer. The majority of feature films are between 70 and 210 minutes long. So technically every episode has been a feature film!?

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    8. IMO it is all about the costs. Most of the cast signed for 6 seasons and they renegotiated for 7 and 8, with what one would assume were hefty pay raises for each actor per episode, either directly or indirectly. As is mentioned, the easiest way to stay on budget is reduce the number of episodes while increasing the run time.

      From what I have gleaned, they filmed as long as a regular season, and even with the extra costs of what are assumed to be 2 large battles, the only logical reason to reduce/expand would be the expense of the cast. It would have been interesting to overhear all the financial discussions, i.e. D&D saying to HBO… “Sure, you can have 20 more episodes, but we will need 150 million per season instead of the paltry 100 million we get now,” and HBO’s response of…”nah, 7 and 6 is fine.”

      Assuming the above is true, logic would also dictate that everyone who is a main – i.e., expensive – character survives until the last episode, thus I am fairly certain Jon, Sansa, Arya, Cersei, Jamie, Tyrion, Denarys, along with quite a few others will all be around in episode 806.

      Personally, I would like to see them all kill each other in interesting and humorous ways at the end of this season. Thus freeing up season 8 to focus on Pod ascending to the Iron Throne, naming Bronn his hand, and the shenanigans that ensue. =D

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    9. Luka Nieto:
      Something not being considered is the episodes will FEEL significantly longer, because we won’t cut between so many storylines anymore. Each storyline will develop more in a single episode than they often did in a few of them (at least.)

      The Northern storyline, Dany and her group, and the Lannisters/kingslanding.
      did I leave anything out ? I’ll be honest, I’m very interested in seeing how these episodes are going to play out ^^

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    10. Ashara D,

      how could I have forgotten, Thank you ^^
      Sam/Gilly/Baby sam/ and Jorah ^^ that’s one of the storylines i’m really interested in ^^

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    11. a.fray,

      Not really. Five years ago after they had their meeting with Martin to map out the unwritten material they said seven seasons 70 hours. They even stuck to that before season six. The fact that they are pushing it out to 73 is a major increase not reduction. They were asked point blank a few years ago and they said that they would never be as many 80.

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    12. Sounds like the Season 7 finale will be the longest episode yet. “Well over an hour” has to be more than 9 minutes past the hour (enough to beat the current record of 69). Honestly, though, if all the episodes are under the hour but great, I’ll be happy.

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    13. ‘Well over an hour’ probably mean 2-3 minutes more that last year finale. Hopefully the S8 grand final will be a movie length.

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    14. MC Gendry,

      I’m thinking the last episode of the series might be 90 minutes, but no more than that.

      A two-hour episode just doesn’t make sense (though we would love it).

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    15. Aceklub97:
      a.fray,

      Not really. Five years ago after they had their meeting with Martin to map out the unwritten material they said seven seasons 70 hours. They even stuck to that before season six. The fact that they are pushing it out to 73 is a major increase not reduction. They were asked point blank a few years ago and they said that they would never be as many 80.

      Aceklub97,

      I see somebody isn’t familiar with old interviews. Around Seasons 2 and 3 they used to say they envisioned it as an 80 to 90 hour story.

      “One of the things that attracted us most to the project is that it’s 8 or 9 seasons and it’s one story, with a beginning, a middle and an end. On other shows, the writing staff just come up with the story for the next season. The idea that we’re telling an 80 or 90-hour story appealed to us, so I can’t see why we wouldn’t want to see it through.”

      “You know, we loved it from the beginning, and when we met HBO and pitched the project we told them that it was a potentially eight or nine season story—it’s all one story, with a beginning, a middle, and an end. Virtually every show on television, even the great ones in the past, the writing staff comes up with the bible for the season ahead. There may be some exceptions—I think Matt Weiner (Mad Men) and Vince Gilligan (Breaking Bad) have an end in mind—but we’re telling potentially an 80, 90 hour story that we’d love to see through to the end.”

      “And for us what is most enticing about this series is, if we’re lucky enough to get to the end, there will be 80 hours of screen time with a beginning, middle, and a real end. Not something that feels like 80 separate episodes, but instead something where, if you were masochistic enough, you could go into a theater and watch a marathon of the whole thing.”

      I posted this comment with all the links a few minutes ago, but for some reason it’s being moderated.

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    16. Luka Nieto,

      I see. Should I make a separate post for each of the three interviews I wanted to link ? That way people can go to the source instead of just taking my word for those quotes.

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    17. mau:
      Who watched S5 of House of Cards knows what it’s like to have a show last longer than it should.

      could be worse, it could be the walking dead.
      no offense, I do watch the show myself for fun.
      that’s a show with no end game in sight, and will probably last for years to come XD

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    18. Markus Stark: but we’re telling potentially an 80, 90 hour story that we’d love to see through to the end

      Really? You’re going to hold them to an estimate they made 5 years ago? Key word in the above quote being “Potentially.” Unfortunately GRRM hasn’t finished the books which they were probably counting on.

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    19. mau:
      Who watched S5 of House of Cards knows what it’s like to have a show last longer than it should.

      I think of Dexter when I think of shows that went too long.

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    20. All this news should make us all very happy.

      We are getting a Hollywood movie quality TV series. Even prior seasons were the gold standard of television and now HBO is stepping it up another level to become the platinum standard that I doubt any pay for cable TV can match.

      (Except Netflix is attempting to make their GoT series now with ‘The Witcher’)

      So we will get at least 2 more years of awesome GoT, at least 1 GoT spinoff and also Netflix will try to court the GoT fandom and get us to watch their ‘The Witcher’.

      If you don’t know anything about ‘The Witcher’, it is kind of like GoT in the sense its based in Medieval times with a pinch of fantasy, not full LotR high fantasy, more like GoT fantasy. Also, the team that does all the game cinematography will be on board to film the Netflix series, and guys, that means amazing fantasy goose bump scenes.

      Here is a taste for those who don’t know…

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehjJ614QfeM

      and

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sr-DKyAVU34

      Basically we are going to see some amazing series in these next few years, GoT has paved the way for all of us to enjoy things like this.

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    21. Arthur,

      And the cool thing, is even the monsters and witches he hunts are amazing characters in their own right, like this witch he is after… Imaging a Netflix series having a cold opening like this…

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    22. Arthur,

      Good post. GoT has raised the bar. Audiences rightfully expect quality shows, not the generic crap studios have been content to churn out in the past. Nor will it suffice any longer to put out a good season or two, and then coast on auto-pilot with no destination in sight.

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    23. Wolfish:
      Matthew The Dragon knight,

      In addition to Ashara D’s response, the Brotherhood traveling north and Arya heading home (via some circuitous route that will hopefully include a Hot Pie reunion).

      That’s on my wish list too.
      And I’m even more psyched about Arya’s story line in S7 because in every promo picture and trailer scene, they show her alone: they don’t give away who or what she will interact with. (The EW article says her story line is “top secret” and doesn’t give any clues.) All I know is that I’m loving her S7 costume in the EW photos.

      About the Brotherhood: One thing I’ve found striking is that Melisandre and Kinvara are both aware of the imminent WW threat – but these two firebugs seem more preoccupied with “purifying” nonbelievers first. Meanwhile, the Brotherhood fighters also know that “cold winds are rising on the north”, yet are the only Lord of Light followers who are making a beeline to the battle zone.
      And they’ve got The Warrior of Light — I mean The Hound — with them. (If they show Beric teaching Sandor the flaming sword trick in E1 I’ll be a happy camper.)

      I haven’t heard any news about Hot Pie reappearing in S7. Maybe they’re saving that for a big reveal – similar to the cold open in S6e7.

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    24. Ten Bears,

      Uuuhhhmmm… Why do you think Sandor would be interested in the flaming-sword trick? He winced when that thing came anywhere close to him. It would be awesome, but I can’t see it happening.

      Excellent point about Thoros and Beric heading to the battle zone!

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    25. Luka Nieto:
      Something not being considered is the episodes will FEEL significantly longer, because we won’t cut between so many storylines anymore. Each storyline will develop more in a single episode than they often did in a few of them (at least.)

      Actually, the reverse is more likely, psychologically speaking. Lots of scenes, even if they only last a few minutes, trick the brain into thinking a lot of time has passed because many things have happened. The example I’ve seen quoted most often is a date–two people who go on a date where they do a variety of things together subconsciously feel like they have known each other longer than a couple that only, say, had dinner, even if both dates lasted the same amount of time.

      GOT has always reminded me of this with its pace, because I regularly think “wow, it’s got to be over soon, we’ve seen so much” and then I check the time and it’s only 45 min in, and I’m like “YES! More Time!” Longer, slower scenes may have a different means of achieving the same effect, by lingering and making it seem drawn out, but that sounds like less entertaining tv, so let’s hope we keep the pace, just in a different way.

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    26. I would rather have 7, badass episodes that have had lots of time and money spent on them , than longer episodes that had to be watered down because of the budget. 🤘😎🤘

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    27. Wolfish:
      Ten Bears,

      Uuuhhhmmm… Why do you think Sandor would be interested in the flaming-sword trick? He winced when that thing came anywhere close to him. It would be awesome, but I can’t see it happening.

      Excellent point about Thoros and Beric heading to the battle zone!

      Because in order to fulfil his destiny as Azor Ahai (gesundheit!), Sandor must overcome his ironic fear of fire, of course! 😉

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    28. Pigeon,

      I know, I know. I just don’t want him to have to kill anyone else, unless it’s an ice zombie. The man’s alternately numbed/grieved enough. I don’t see him being able to find peace unless he can finally stop killing, and the gods know… plunging a sword through a loved one’s heart will do him in.

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    29. Wolfish:
      Pigeon,

      I know, I know. I just don’t want him to have to kill anyone else, unless it’s an ice zombie. The man’s alternately numbed/grieved enough. I don’t see him being able to find peace unless he can finally stop killing, and the gods know… plunging a sword through a loved one’s heart will do him in.

      Oh I agree, and I think that both you and I have a mutual appreciation for ol Houndie’s…heart. *cough…Rory is hot…cough*. I do think he’ll get over his fear though. Perhaps even if it’s only due to freezing his ass off unless he makes some custom bun warmers.

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    30. Pigeon,

      LMAOOO!!!

      I like the reverse scenario better: chaps. Only chaps. Have chaps been invented yet on Planetos?

      But I digress.

      In all seriousness, though, I love the character in the books, too—despite being much rougher than the TV version and not nearly as, ehrm, scorching.

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    31. Pigeon: Because in order to fulfil his destiny as Azor Ahai (gesundheit!), Sandor must overcome his ironic fear of fire, of course! 😉

      Precisely.

      There’s been too much build up about his fear of fire for it to serve no purpose.

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    32. Wolfish,

      Sandor’s fear of fire

      3×9

      Arya: “I knew fear when I saw it in you. You’re afraid of fire. When Beric’s sword went up in flames, you looked like a scared little girl. And I know why, too. I heard what your brother did to you. Pressed your face to the fire….
      _____________

      4×7 (Sandor stitching bite wound on his neck)

      Arya: “… I know you don’t like fire, but if you don’t do it right– ”

      Sandor: “No fire.”

      Arya: ” It’ll only take a second. It won’t hurt that much.”

      Sandor: “No fire!”

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    33. Wolfish,

      Beric ignited his sword with blood by slashing the palm of his hand. Guess who slashed the palm of his hand and left his blood on Oathkeeper aka Ice?

      (*Takes off tinfoil fedora*)

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    34. Westworld’s last episode season 1 was 90 minutes . episode 1 was 68 minutes a majority of the episodes were 59 minutes, Westworlds first first season is probably more expensive than GoT’s.
      I figured in the beginning it was GoT’s budget, but by season 5 that could not have been the case.
      As I have said many times HBO is not a regular network channel with fixed time slots so the episode lengths pass beyond my understanding.
      I have not liked the short episodes because the narrative is hurt by the lack of elaboration. I don’t mean that they have to be a expansive as GRRM but 10 min. or so more would have helped a lot, has always seemed like a rushed story. Considering the amount of material that seems the nature of this adaptation, more time would have helped.

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    35. I hope people who love the book series will accept this as my honest opinion and not take it as a personal criticism. I discovered the show first and read watched the first two series without reading the books. I enjoyed them on the whole though I did find the Talisa telling the king (Robb) what she thought of him incongruous. A woman travelling alone in a strange country would NOT have cheeked a king in feudal times. I listened to the audio books after that and read ADWD from a REAL book. I really liked the first three books but although there were parts of AFFC and ADWD that caught my attention (Dany riding Drogon, Jon Snow’s stabbing, and the walk of shame actually made me feel a little sympathy for Cersei which I didn’t think was possible – those made their way into the show of course even if tweaked somewhat) I did find myself wanting to skip ahead sometimes. I’m not saying they were horrible books, far from it, but (to me at least) they were not as absorbing taken in their entireties as GoT, ACOK and ASOS. I haven’t minded some of the sub-plots being cut – I’m okay with no river trip and wondering where ladies of the night go and no Faegon and I didn’t mind them giving JP’s storyline to Sansa. I suppose what I’m saying in my rather Heath-Robinson* way is that I don’t want the show to become too bloated and I don’t really see how a show can be said to be being ‘rushed’ when it’s taken 7 years in the telling. Of course it is likely that anyone who has read the books will find something they think could have been handled better in the transition to the show but on the whole it has worked for me (but like I say it’s just my opinion). I’ve said before that if I worked as a dramatist* I don’t think I would touch an unfinished series of books – especially one with as large a fandom as ASOIAF – with a barge pole. Another factor is that if the adaptation were to keep GoT going almost indefinitely they would have to recast the Stark kids. If show Sansa were to be played (at this stage of the game) as the same age as book Sansa in ADWD – I don’t think anyone would find Sophie Turner credible as a 13 or 14 year old.

      * I don’t.

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    36. Wolfish and Pigeon, you will have to get behind me in line to Hold the Hound! ;-D

      And everyone knows it’s not about length, it’s about girth, so we should be greatly enjoy these episodes!

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    37. Dame of Mercia: I’m not saying they were horrible books, far from it, but (to me at least) they were not as absorbing taken in their entireties as GoT, ACOK and ASOS.

      You don’t need to be apprehensive in saying so as that isn’t an uncommon feeling. There are many, many people that feel AFfC and ADwD were a big step down from the first three. I personally thought ADwD was better than AFfC, but still, just not the same. Part of my problem was the change in primary pov characters, but most of it had to do with a focus on new characters altogether while nearly or entirely shelving favorites up to that point. Another big issues was the non-chronological order to things between books 4 & 5, which is a reason we ended up with the chronological chapters lists such as boiled leather’s. While I still burned through those two books like I had the first three I definitely didn’t enjoy them as much. I have a friend that did the same through 4 1/2 but just got burned out in the fifth and has yet to finish. The show caught and passed her sitting on it so now she has less desire to get through it.

      Arthur: Except Netflix is attempting to make their GoT series now with ‘The Witcher’

      Don’t forget that there’s a series moving to production based on The Wheel of Time as well. In the proper hands that also has potential. I just don’t know if Sony Television is the “proper hands.”

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    38. Boojam,

      Well yes, it’s fantasy so GRRM could have had spaceships in it if he wanted (though I’m glad he didn’t). I always thought on the whole GoT/ASOIAF had a crude sort of plausibility for a fantasy story – I preferred GRRM’s version of Robb marrying the young girl from a family who owed feudal loyalty for honour and then came to love her to the TV version of him marrying Talisa Twitface for true “lurve”. It just didn’t ring true for me. I’m not someone who thinks the books are always automatically better than the show – like I wondered why someone who WASN’T sold to the BWB in the books didn’t tell LS that he had met with Arya and last time he saw her she was still alive.

      Having said that, there is a British legend (probably apocryphal) that the man who later became Alfred the Great of England took shelter with a peasant woman while he was lying low. (I don’t know where you are from Boojam, if you are from the UK you probably know the story anyway). She gave him a job to watch her cakes cooking and his mind wandered off to battle strategy – or whatever future kings thing about when they are travelling incognito – and let the cakes burn. On her return the peasant woman berated him – though the chances of that being a true tale are not 100%.

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    39. mau,

      Yeah, for sure. They probably thought the final act would be longer than it ended up being. And at the time they might not have known that they were going to go trough most of AFFC and ADWD by the end of Season 5.

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    40. hexonx: Really? You’re going to hold them to an estimate they made 5 years ago? Key word in the above quote being “Potentially.”Unfortunately GRRM hasn’t finished the books which they were probably counting on.

      Oh, calm down. I’m not “holding” them to anything. I’m just pointing out what their original plan was, because someone here said that they never spoke of it being 80 episodes, which isn’t true, since they envisioned it going for as much as 9 seasons originally.

      That’s all.
      Obviously I would love more episodes, but I have no issue with the final count being 73. I didn’t say anything disparaging about their choice in my comment, so I don’t know why you’re being defensive and assuming that I expected them to stick to their original estimate.

      I know what the word potentially means, thanks buddy.

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    41. I should have said ‘think about’ not ‘thing about’ in my post above. My internet connection has been slow these last couple of days so sometimes what I type shows up a little while after I type it – so that’s my excuse BTW it’s probably my connection not this site because I’ve noted it on other sites as well. I also should have said that Robb’s book wife’s family owed fedual loyalty to the Lannisters and not that they just owed feudal loyalty (which implied they owed loyalty to the Starks).

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    42. This is only fitting as it’s my 50th birthday the day this airs (2am start here), so I need something special to mark it. I intend to go fully GoT on some cake.

      LEAK SPOILERS

      If this is the episode a certain person gets it I will yelling “****ING YES DIE YOU BASTARD!!” at the screen, through mouthfuls of cake. I have been waiting a looooooong time for that and will consider it a very worthy present.

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    43. I think S6E10, “The Winds of Winter” made the pivot to the end game, where 13 episodes seems like the right amount to end the series.
      One of the reasons its the best episode in the series IMO, is that it made good on promises and plot lines being constructed since season 1, and successfully turned the tides of the story towards the final act… something which I cannot for the life of me imagining happening in the novels… Don’t get me wrong, I love ASOIAF, and I have spent many hours on forums obsessing over whether Septa Lemore is really Ashara Dayne… But the show has its sights set clearly on finishing the story they have been telling for 6 years, and I am just happy for that.

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    44. Lulus Mum,

      For a split second there I thought you’d written “through mouthfuls of coke,” and I thought “Damn, Lulu’s Mum is going to have an epic half-century celebration.”

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    45. Wolfish,
      A sugar rush and being completely psyched up for the episode are all I need tbh. These days standing up too fast and feeling really dizzy as a result are excitement enough! 😉

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    46. Mr Derp,

      It is indeed coding but certainly not nonsensical. I did in fact mention it was real nice detective work. You don’t seem to be one 😉

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    47. Clob,

      Very sure they are. The HBO schedule has proven to be an accurate source for this kind of info multiple years now.

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    48. Mr Derp,

      It was a joke, but evidently you didn’t detect that either XD.

      Anyways, I’m sorry you’ve taken offense to my comment. Wasn’t intended as such. Hence the wink.

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    49. Dutch Maester,

      An episode that isn’t the finale going over 60 minutes seems odd, but The Leftovers had done that a couple times this season and last, so who knows.

      If these are true, then that Entertainment Weekly article was wrong about most episodes being of regular length. With the finale, that’s 4 very long episodes. Out of 7.

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    50. Markus Stark,

      It is uncommon, but not unprecedented. S5’s “High Sparrow” and “Hardhome” both ran for an hour for instance. There might be more, I don’t recall.

      I think it depends on how you interpret that EW article. Some people might’ve hoped for “longer” episodes as in: 7 episodes of 70 minutes. But that’s something we’ve all deemed unrealistic (for reasons stated in this article). What we mean with “long” is 58/59/60 minute episodes as opposed to 51/52/53 minute episodes, of which we’ve seen quite a few as recently as last season. It’s a matter of only 5 minutes, but as someone else’s mentioned: that’s 15 minutes per 3 episodes!

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    51. Dutch Maester,

      Well, similar to what I somewhat jokingly commented earlier in the thread ( Clob ) if they average 58-60 minutes for 1-6 plus a finale of 70-75 minutes it would remain less than doing a full additional episode 8. 🙂

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    52. Dutch Maester,

      Yeah, Maybe Hibberd considers anything that fits within the regular one hour time slot as regular or average length. We’re different since we’re concerned about every minute, every second.

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    53. Dutch Maester,

      In fairness to my detective skills (or lack thereof), I’m much better at detecting funny jokes, not bad ones. I’m all for jokes (most people who know me on this website can attest to this and my posts are usually not very serious), but throwing a wink at the end of a perceived insult doesn’t suddenly make it a joke to me. I don’t know you at all. In fact, this is the first time you’ve commented to me, so it doesn’t take a detective to understand why I didn’t see the sense of humor you were going for.

      If you honestly didn’t mean anything by it, then fine, I have no desire to hold some stupid internet grudge or back and forth on something so stupid, but I think my reaction was pretty understandable. I didn’t take it as a joke. It seemed straight up disrespectful to me.

      Shaking hands and moving on sounds about right to me. What say you?

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    54. Correct me if I’m wrong or if there has been some new info on this matter, but weren’t they talking about having 13 episodes and roughly 15 hours worth of story to tell sometime last year or something? Having slightly longer episodes (a few minutes) and considerably longer finales (10-15 minutes) could make sense to me this close to endgame when a lot of the characters are in the same area. Some of the scenes might have to run longer and they can’t just end the episodes in the middle of the scene to fit some time frame.

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    55. “But the question remained — what’s the deal with the season overall? At last, we know!”

      No, we don’t really know anything. You are speculating that “well over an hour” might mean more than 68 minutes.

      As for the premiere being 59 minutes instead of 58 – I think that extra minute matters a great deal to many people. It’s actually troubling to me that it doesn’t matter to you.

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    56. Masspsychosis,

      Iain Glen who plays Jorah did say a few months ago that there are 15 hours of story left. He might have been speaking loosely, or maybe not.

      And in any case, I fully expect the series finale to be longer than usual, possibly 90 minutes.

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    57. “the showrunners chose seven episodes (and six for the last season) because that’s what the story needed”

      To rush through the story needlessly…

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    58. Lulus Mum,

      Mother of Cats, that’s awesome! Have the best celebration ever! Are there places where you can order GOT-themed cakes? If the answer is yes, I’d suggest a Littlefinger-shaped cake, because you’ll have the pleasure to eat him and feel like a Thenn! If this happens, I’ll feel free to amend Karsi’s and Tormund’s lovely saying: “I fucking hate Thenns!” with a well-deserved “except for Lulu’s Mum, whose a sweetheart!”

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    59. .

      Pigeon:
      I don’t care about the number of minutes, I just want them to be great ones.

      Amen, sister (or brother). But don’t forget perfect pacing–a series of great moments upon great moments is exhilarating but exhausting, as we found out in S6E10. GoT without periodic quiet or transitional moments would feel rushed.

      Ten Bears,

      I haven’t heard any news about Hot Pie reappearing in S7. Maybe they’re saving that for a big reveal – similar to the cold open in S6e7.

      TB, you’ve just described the scene of my dreams. Hot Pie carrying a telephone pole-size baguette of French bread toward the campfire to share with the men and women of the brotherhood. 🙂

      Speaking as a former editor, length, pacing, and placement make all the difference. Ep 1 needs to be a bit longer to catch us up, set new scenes, and progress a few story-lines. I suspect Ep 3 is the Field of Fire 2 battle scene, and battles take a while. But Ep 7 must be long, maybe 70-90 minutes? It is the Millenium scene, a change of centuries. It transitions from the Game of Thrones to the Great War, making the old background the new foreground. Exclusively Game stories should be satisfactorily tied up or put in cold storage to brought out in Season 8 as needed.
      And the ultimate caesura is surely what fans have predicted for years: the Wall will fall. Maisie said there’s going to be a huge cliffhanger; maybe that’s it. In any case, it’s such a Game changer that IMO it will probably be the final scene! Preferably with the NIght King slowly walking over the rubble.

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    60. Ten Bears: I haven’t heard any news about Hot Pie reappearing in S7. Maybe they’re saving that for a big reveal – similar to the cold open in S6e7.

      I haven’t seen anything we can confirm either; no pictures or spottings of Ben Hawkey during filming. I think we all just expect him when we see an image that’s probably at an inn, assuming that it is everyone’s favorite inn.

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    61. Mr Derp:
      Jack Bauer 24,

      Awesome.I was wondering when HBO would start up with the GoT marathon

      Yeah I love when they start the marathon. We’re getting closer and closer. The trivia should be fun to. Love interacting with the community. They will be using the hashtag #PrepareForWinter

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    62. Young Dragon,

      That’s true, but you can’t judge things in the abstract. What if it was 8 seasons of 4 episodes ? The number of seasons in and of itself is meaningless.

      The point is that it’s odd to think that the first act of the story was roughly 40 episodes (the end of Storm being generally taken to be the end of act 1), and the remaining two acts combined will have only been 33 episodes.

      Clearly, the pacing has sped up since the end of Season 4. While I personally have no issue with there being only 13 episodes left, I could see how someone might think that’s a little rushed. Obviously we need to see how it plays out, but if they really wanted to flesh things out properly, they could probably go for another 20 episodes, making the final count 80. There’s an awful lot for them to wrap up.

      That said, given budget and time constraints, I understand the need for shortened seasons. Some might say they could have done 3 seasons of 6 episodes each after season 6, or something like that, but I think adding a 9th season would have really killed the momentum of the story. The hype is ripe for things to end next year.

        Quote  Reply

    63. Shy Lady Dragon,
      Aww thank you so much Shy One! 😀 If I had a cake shaped like a GoT character I could choose how much to torment them. From a quick, pain free decapitation for anyone I like to a s…..l…….o…….w lingering torment from the feet up for those who most deserve it.

      I think I’d be a rubbish Thenn though, wildling life seems to involve a lot of running around, dodging ever present danger and being really cold. I’d prefer a more sedate lifestyle, nibbling cake in a warmer climate. Present problems aside I might make a good Tyrell, wafting around in elaborate outfits enjoying the finer things in life.

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    64. ygritte,

      Sophie turner likes to speak a lot of nonsense to troll people.
      Sansa is indeed being set up to have tension with jon, but she will choose her family in the end.

        Quote  Reply

    65. HelloThere,

      I agree. At least, I hope that’s what will happen when all is said and done.

      I gotta be honest, that scene with Sansa and Jon in BOTB about battle tactics was annoying when I saw it, but it’s gotten even more frustrating over time because now they’re going out of their way to try and use this stupid conversation as a wedge between Sansa and Jon. I don’t see any compelling drama there. It’s just kind of obnoxious and feels like drama for the sake of drama.

      I’m praying to the Old Gods and the new to end this stupid Littlefinger/Sansa storyline as quickly as possible.

        Quote  Reply

    66. [sarcasm] Pretty stoked to see how much screentime we get dedicated to Grey Worm and Missandei’s romance and courtship. [/sarcasm]

        Quote  Reply

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