Here at Watchers on the Wall we’re always concerned about what the running time in next season’s episodes will be, obsessing over minutes and even seconds, as we’d like to squeeze as much Thrones out of HBO as we possibly can. Okay, we’re a bit crazy. However, I believe it’s fair to say this has been a particularly contentious topic lately, so much so that even casual fans have jumped on board the worry-train, as season eight will only have six episodes, as opposed to the usual ten, or even last season’s seven. Thankfully, we were promised longer episodes, time and time again, but no one has been specific about just how long each episodes in the final season will be… until now!
Yesterday, in an event teasing their upcoming content, French TV network Orange Cinéma Séries, in which Game of Thrones is aired, announced the final six episodes will be “XXL,” as entertainment magazine Premiere live-tweeted. How “XXL”, exactly?
Précision utile : @OCSTV a expliqué oralement que les deux premiers épisodes de la saison finale de #GameOfThrones allaient durer 60 minutes, et les quatre suivants 80 mn d'après les dernières infos de HBO https://t.co/UIDwB7xtvU
— Première (@PremiereFR) 22 January 2019
You don’t have to read French to know what that means. Just in case, what the OCSTV representative said is that, according to what HBO last told them, the first two episodes of season eight will be an hour long, which is par for the course for Game of Thrones in terms of long-ish episodes… while the final four episodes will be about 80 minutes —as long as the longest episodes yet, last season’s finale, The Dragon and the Wolf.
Obviously, these are not official running times. In the coming months, as HBO adds the final episodes to their online schedule, we’ll learn their actual length, but in the meantime these are the closest approximations we’ve gotten yet. Though I’m sure final edits will result in changes, and the OCSTV rep was giving us round numbers anyway, not exact figures, if they hold more or less true it means the final season will be as long as season seven, at 7 hours 20 minutes, even though the latter comprised seven episodes instead of six, amongst which were the two longest yet in Game of Thrones:
As you can see, the average season eight episode should be about 73 minutes long, which is ten minutes longer than the previous record held by season seven, and almost twenty minutes longer than what the show’s average was before this revelation.
Before you go, have fun looking at that chart I’ve personally had in my files for years, now with the latest updates on it. However you look at it, it’ll be a mammoth of a season. Even if you’re only judging the season’s overall length, it’s a miracle that it only falls a few hours short of the usual, despite having little more than half the episodes.
H/t to WiC for picking up on the original tweets!