We’ve known for awhile that the upcoming seventh season of Game of Thrones will be a shorter run of episodes than usual—as will its follow-up, the (presumably) final season of the series. But now, after some umming and ahhing from HBO, we finally know that season eight will be six episodes long.
The confirmation came from Game of Thrones SXSW panel this weekend, where producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss confirmed the writing lineup for the next season:
The news isn’t really that surprising—Benioff and Weiss have frequently discussed that the show is heading into its final batch of episodes, but there was some hope that the final season of the show could end up being slightly longer. HBO even held out renewing the show for its final season on the off chance more episodes could be produced, but it seems like after season seven’s seven-part run this summer, we’ll be left with just six more episodes in Westeros.
We’re well and truly in the show’s endgame now. Game of Thrones is set to return to HBO for its penultimate season July 16.