While taking part at a panel at SXSW this weekend, Game of Thrones executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss confirmed what had previously been rumored, that the eighth and final season of the series will have just six episodes.
“It’s only going to be six episodes for the final season,” Benioff said (via EW). “From the beginning we’ve wanted to tell a 70-hour movie. It will turn out to be a 73-hour movie, but it’s stayed relatively the same of having the beginning, middle and now we’re coming to the end. It would have been really tough if we lost any core cast members along the way, I’m very happy we’ve kept everyone and we get to finish it the way we want to.”
The pair also confirmed that they won’t be involved with any prequel or spin-off series that HBO may pursue after the completion of the series.
“I think HBO might well do [another series] and I look forward to watching it and I think it be great, but I think they should get new blood in,” Benioff said.
Finally, as a fun bit of trivia, the producers confirmed that musician Ed Sheeran will have a cameo in the upcoming seventh season, something they’ve been trying to do as a surprise for star Maisie Williams for many years.
Game of Thrones‘ upcoming seventh season will consist of just seven episodes and is set to premiere on July 16, 2017.
The executive producers of Game of Thrones Season 7 are David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Carolyn Strauss, Frank Doelger and Bernadette Caulfield; co-executive producers are Guymon Casady, Vince Gerardis, George R.R. Martin and Bryan Cogman; and producers are Chris Newman, Greg Spence and Lisa McAtackney.