game of thrones season 8 episodes

Back in 2017, sound designer Paula Fairfield teased that the Game of Thrones showrunners were considering extending all six episodes of the upcoming final season from the traditional hour-long run times to the length of feature films. Now we have word that the scope of the season is slightly smaller than that, because the lengths of the first two episodes of season eight have been revealed.

Collider points us to Game of Thrones fan site Watchers on the Wall, who noticed that HBO had updated its site with official run times for the first two episodes of the final season.

As you can see, season 8 episode 1 will be 54 minutes long, and season 8 episode 2 will be 58 minutes long. Traditionally, Game of Thrones episodes have clocked in at around an hour in length, so this is nothing out of the ordinary.

Episode run times beyond the season’s second episode haven’t been officially revealed yet, but back in January, French entertainment site Premiere attended a presentation about upcoming TV shows and learned that the first two episodes of Game of Thrones season 8 would be around 60 minutes, while the remaining four would be around 80 minutes each:

The filming of the eighth season required a legendary amount of effort from everyone involved, resulting in what is likely to be the longest battle scene in the history of entertainment – even longer and more intense than the Battle of Helm’s Deep in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. It makes a certain amount of sense that the first two episodes could be moving pieces around on the chessboard to get everyone in place for that huge episode, and then for the remainder of the season to keep that momentum going with mega-long run times as the show hurtles toward its series finale.

While some may be disappointed that the whole season won’t have movie-length episodes, there’s no cause to pad out the length simply because it’s the show’s last season. Game of Thrones has always been at its best when it’s slicing through storylines efficiently instead of letting added unnecessary bloat drag the rest of its story down (examples: the whole “Reek” subplot, and Arya’s training at the House of Black and White), so hopefully we’ll see more of that efficiency put to use as the board is set for The Wars to Come.

Game of Thrones season 8 premieres on HBO on April 14, 2019.

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