‘Game of Thrones’ final season will be even shorter
The “Game of Thrones” end is nearing.
Season 8 of the HBO fantasy drama — its final outing, which will debut in 2018 — will only have six episodes, co-creator David Benioff revealed at Austin’s SXSW festival on Sunday. (Season 7, which premieres July 16, has seven episodes).
While that may be a major bummer for superfans who will face a vast personal wilderness once the show has completed its run, what it really means is that we are this much closer to knowing who will take the Iron Throne.
The showrunners, at least, have revealed their choice. “We identify most with House Lannister. We want to win,” Benioff said of he and co-creator D.B. Weiss, according to coverage of the panel on Vulture. When actress Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark and was co-hosting the panel, asked him, “Is that a spoiler?” Benioff reportedly covered his face with his hands.
In casting news, singer Ed Sheeran is going to do a guest spot in Season 7, playing an unspecified role that he apparently has another cast member to thank for. “For years we were trying to get Ed Sheeran on the show so we could surprise Maisie [Williams],” who is a huge fan, Benioff said. “And this year we finally did it.”
Williams, who plays Arya Stark, also co-hosted panel and Benioff revealed that he and Weiss tested over 300 girls for the part before they downloaded her audition tape in a hotel lobby in Morocco. “There was a little thumbnail picture of Maisie Williams [on our laptop],” he says. “She looked about 7. Like she was 12, but going on 7. So we clicked on the audition video and waited about 40 minutes for it to download. When we saw that audition video she was just f - - king awesome.”
As for a potential spinoff series, the showrunners said they won’t stick around should HBO decide it can’t exist without some element of “Thrones” on its schedule. “There’s always going to be an urge for the characters who maybe will survive to do a spinoff show or a sequel show,” Benioff said. “And I think HBO might well do one. And we’ll watch it. I think it’ll be great, but I think it’s important to get new blood in. New vision.”