It was confirmed by HBO programming head President Michael Lombardo that Game of Thrones will have season 7 & 8 during a Television Critics Association’s press tour. When the reporter asked if season 7 is going to be the last as show-runners have repeatedly declared in the past to hit the ‘70 hour’ mark, he said “The question is: How much beyond seven are we going to do?
David Benioff told The Variety magazine “I think we’re down to our final 13 episodes after this season. We’re heading into the final lap. That’s the guess, though nothing is yet set in stone, but that’s what we’re looking at.”
In another Vanity Fair interview, one of the several directors of the show Jack Bender said “I don’t know the answer to that. They’re only doing seven [episodes], and they’ve got their regulars who have done it forever. I know that I had a wonderful experience doing the show and I know that Dan and David are thrilled with the shows, but I’ve got this series I’m mounting for the beginning of 2017 based on Stephen King’s trilogy of books, starting with Mr. Mercedes.”
HBO is following in the footsteps of AMC’s Breaking Bad, Mad Men and USA network White Collar which shortened their run. But the larger question is – What will be its impact on the story? One line answer would be – they can’t spend the big portion of 7th & 8th season on the “War for the Dawn”. The bad news for fans is that they would see the important storylines and character arcs being rapidly taken to their logical conclusions.
For instance, Dany’s plot in the East has moved forward, she has captured almost the entire Slaver’s Bay (an area on the Southern coast of Essos) and now possess a horde of Dothraki warriors. But she is still nowhere close to invading Westeros and sit on the Iron Throne, as she needs ships first. Hopefully, they will settle “The North Remembers” plot in season 6 and validate R+L = J theory. Another example would be the amount of time they would take to set up Arya Stark to kill a host of people to avenge her past. Till now, she has managed to kill only one person off her list i.e Meryn Trant. The fragile alliance between the Lannisters and Tyrells is about to explode causing chaos in the Kings Landing.
The final season will have six episodes, which are going to be aired in 2018.