UPDATE: New details on Game of Thrones season 7 run times.
Previous: One of the most frequent questions I get on Twitter — especially since officially confirming that the final season of Game of Thrones will be six episodes last week — is whether the remaining GoT episodes will be longer than usual.
There are seven episodes in the upcoming seventh season (debuting July 16) and six in the eighth and final season.
The remaining episodes are, for the most part, within the usual ranges. The upcoming seventh season premiere is 58 minutes. Three GoT premieres have been slightly longer than this one, and three have been slightly shorter, making the season 7 premiere’s running time perfectly normal (so this season will not have the show’s Longest Premiere Ever — as this headline and others are claiming). As is often the case, however, the finale this season will be super-sized, clocking in at well over an hour.
Here’s why the length of the episodes won’t change too much: If the producers needed significantly more time to tell their story, they would simply have made another episode — not lobby HBO for fewer episodes to close out the show and then make them all extra long. (Also, most people in television are generally paid per episode, so going around making super long episodes when a network is willing to give you more episodes wouldn’t make much sense either).
But hey: Why focus on how many episodes, and how many minutes each will be, when the entire Game of Thrones production has spent the last year focusing on what really matters — making every episode as awesome as possible?
And in case you somehow missed the season 7 trailer, see Darren Franich’s deep-dive analysis of every shot.
Game of Thrones debuts July 16 on HBO.
Note: This story was updated 6/8