With Game of Thrones’ shortened but super-sized final season just around the corner, we now finally know about how much of it will be in store.
Days after Game of Thrones fansite Winter Is Coming first spotted the lengths of the first two season 8 episodes on HBO’s schedule (as well as the other four episodes), HBO confirmed the dates and estimated runtimes for the entire season.
The Game of Thrones season 8 premiere is April 14 and each episode will debut Sunday night at 9pm ET/PT, which takes us from mid-April to mid-May with no breaks for major national holidays like Easter. None of the episode titles have yet to be released.
- Episode 1: April 14 (54 minutes)
- Episode 2: April 21 (58 minutes)
- Episode 3: April 28 (82 minutes, one hour and 22 minutes)
- Episode 4: May 5 (78 minutes, or one hour and 18 minutes)
- Episode 5: May 12 (80 minutes, or one hour and 20 minutes)
- Episode 6: May 19 (80 minutes, or one hour and 20 minutes)
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What does it tell us? With just the numbers, not much. They’re just episode lengths, and as HBO noted in the same email that it confirmed the season’s runtimes, it’s just an estimated running time; the final episodes that air might vary by a few minutes here or there. The first two episodes are consistent with most of the episodes in Game of Thrones’ run at under an hour. The final four episodes are more consistent with the runtime of the season 7 finale, “The Dragon and the Wolf,” which came in at 79 minutes and 43 seconds; three out of those four episodes are longer.
We know a few things about the final season. The season premiere will consist of Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen returning to Winterfell and there will be one episode that has a “play-like intimacy” that’s directed by David Nutter. We know that from actor Vladimir Furdik, who plays the Night King, that the upcoming Winterfell battle (which will be directed by Miguel Sapochnik) will take place during episode 3, which will be the longest and most ambitious episode in the show’s history. And showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will direct the series finale, which clocks in at 80 minutes.
Are most of those episodes longer than we’re used to seeing, both from Game of Thrones and most dramas? Certainly. But there’s no question of whether we can sit through them; the show’s long since hooked us. All we need to do is schedule our bathroom breaks accordingly so that we don’t miss a big twist or character moment in those episodes.
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