Season six of "Game of Thrones" still hasn't premiered yet, but showrunners are already mapping out the series's end -- and it may be a shorter goodbye than fans would like.
In an interview with Variety, "Thrones" executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss said that their current vision for how the show should end entails two more seasons after the upcoming sixth, but only 13 episodes between them. Season seven would have seven episodes, they said, while season eight (the potential final season) would have six, down from the usual 10 that the show has produced each season so far.
"I think we're down to our final 13 episodes after this season. We're heading into the final lap," Benioff told the trade. "That's the guess, though nothing is yet set in stone, but that's what we're looking at."
Variety also spoke to HBO programming president Michael Lombardo, who confirmed that he had discussed this abbreviated two-season plan with the showrunners.
"Because where these narratives go, it feels like another two years to them," Lombardo told Variety. "As a television executive, as a fan, do I wish they said another six years? I do."
But the exec left some room for fans worried about saying goodbye over such a short episode count.
"I'm always an optimist, and I do believe we will figure this out," Lombardo said.
The timeframe in which to do so is shrinking, though, since season seven of "Game of Thrones" begins production in July. We hope Benioff and Weiss will have some more concrete answers for fans soon.
In the meantime, season six of the series debuts on HBO on April 24.
Photo credit: Helen Sloan/HBO