The Hollywood Reporter reported Thursday what the world has long suspected but not wanted to believe: The final season of Game of Thrones, to air in 2018, will feature only six episodes.
Added together with the seven episodes planned for this summer’s penultimate season, that means there are only 13 episodes left of the Game of Thrones saga.
Last year, HBO executives suggested the final two seasons might be short but indicated they hoped to talk showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss into a few extra episodes. Apparently Benioff and Weiss won out, however, meaning our time in Westeros is nearing a close.
When HBO first announced that Season 7 this summer would have only seven episodes, they tried to soften the blow by telling us about all the crazy special effects they had planned. But as much as Thrones fans love dragons and white walkers, they also love the show’s politics and palace intrigue. Most of the Thrones audience would much rather watch 20 episodes made on a slightly smaller budget than 13 with a barrage of special effects.
The saving grace for those who can’t bear imagine a life without Thrones is that HBO is tinkering with pilot scripts for five different spinoff series.
And besides, we can all also take solace in the fact that Season 7 is only six weeks away, and it looks freaking amazing.