“Game of Thrones” fans have been preparing for a final season made up entirely of feature-length episodes, but unfortunately that’s not going to be the case. Entertainment Weekly confirms the final season of “Thrones” kicks off with two episodes that don’t even break the 60-minute mark. The season premiere, directed by “The Rains of Castamere” helmer David Nutter, clocks in at 54 minutes, while the second episode, also directed by Nutter, will be slightly longer at 58 minutes. HBO has yet to announce titles for these or any episodes in the show’s final run.
Speculation around the runtimes for the last “Thrones” episodes has been raging for well over a year. Nutter himself said last November that all six episodes in the show’s final season would go beyond the hour-mark. “Season 8 episodes will all I think be longer than 60 minutes,” Nutter said. “They’ll be dancing around the bigger numbers, I know that for sure.” Ironically, the first two of Nutter’s final season episodes will be under 60 minutes. Nutter is also behind the camera for the show’s fourth episode.
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While the final season will not begin with feature-length episodes, extended installments are still expected to make up the latter half of Season 8. The series’ penultimate episode, directed by “Battle of the Bastards” Emmy winner Miguel Sapochnik, will feature the highly anticipated battle at Winterfell against the Army of the Dead. Sophie Turner previously said she’s heard the episode will be 90 minutes long. While the runtime is not confirmed, the episode is expected to be the longest in “Thrones'” history and has been teased as a massive event by the show’s cast and crew.
“This final face-off between the Army of the Dead and the army of the living is completely unprecedented and relentless and a mixture of genres even within the battle,” “Thrones” co-executive producer Bryan Cogman told EW. “There are sequences built within sequences built within sequences. David and Dan [wrote] an amazing puzzle and Miguel came in and took it apart and put it together again. It’s been exhausting but I think it will blow everybody away.”
“Game of Thrones” Season 8 begins April 14 on HBO.