On Thursday, HBO released a paper confirming a rumor that previously flooded social media. The American premium cable and satellite television network informed that the eighth and last season of the medieval fantasy, Game of Thrones, will only include six episodes and be premiered in 2019.

This is the first time that the billionaire series alters its regular calendar to skip one entire year since season one was launched in 2011. However, it’s not the first time that it’s decided to reduce the number of episodes and to increase the duration of each of them. That didn’t happen for the first six seasons, which consisted of ten chapters.

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The final and eights season will introduce only six episodes in 2019. Image credit: HBO

The previous season, the seventh, introduced just seven chapters, and the longest lasted around 80 minutes. Additionally, it was premiered in July 2017 rather than the traditional spring start date.

Fans previously thought that the Game of Throne’s team was going to reduce the number of chapters again – besides delaying the final season’s release date – due to the amount of time and money it takes to film and produce such a series.

Some actors from the cast suggested that this decision was taken because of the length of each shoot, which is estimated to be longer than the Season 7’s chapters.

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The creator of the show, David Benioff, along D.B. Weiss, David Nutter, and Miguel Sapochnik, are going to be the directors of this final season. But Mr. Benioff and Mr. Weiss – both American writers and television producers – are also going to be the writers, joining Bryan Cogman and Dave Hill.

It’s been years and several seasons since the last time that Mr. Benioff and Mr. Weiss directed an episode. The last time that David did one was Season 3’s “Walk of Punishment,” while the last of D.B. was the Season 4 premiere “Two Swords.”

The Emmy winners Nutter and Sapochnik, on the other hand, have directed several pivotal episodes.

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The episode where Jon Snow is killed gave David Nutter his 2015 Emmys. Image credit: HBO

Nutter, American film, and television director won his Emmys thanks to the Season 5 finale “Mother’s Mercy,” where Jon Snow – Kit Harington – was killed by members of the Night’s Watch. Sapochnik, also film and television director, but from London, got his Emmys after Jon Snow battled Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon) to regain control of Winterfell, the location of the Stark family castle, at the Season 6’s “Battle of the Bastards.”

“Our production people are trying to figure out a timeline for the shoot and how much time the special effects take,” HBO programming president Casey Bloys told The Hollywood Reporter. “The shooting is complicated enough — on different continents, with all the technical aspects — and the special effects are a whole other production period that we’re trying to figure out. That is a big factor in all of this.”

Experts estimated Game of Thrones to be one of the most-watched and most-discussed series. HBO once informed that each chapter was seen by 30 million viewers across all platforms.

Source: The New York Times