"Game of Thrones" showrunners Dan Weiss and David Benioff caused a stir earlier this year when they suggested that the next (and final?) two seasons of "Game of Thrones" would be shorter than seasons past, encompassing just 13 episodes between them. Now, one of the show's directors has confirmed that an abbreviated season seven is indeed in order.

Jack Bender, who helmed two recent season six episodes, "The Door" and "Blood of My Blood," spoke with Vanity Fair about his work on "Thrones." When asked directly whether or not he'd return for the recently-ordered season seven, Bender told VF, "I don't know how to answer that."

He continued:

They're only doing seven [episodes], and they've got their regulars who have done it forever. I know that I had a wonderful experience doing the show and I know that Dan and David are thrilled with the shows. ... I haven't been asked yet and I also don't know what their schedule is going to be. But under the best of circumstances, schedule and everything, I had a great experience doing the show. If available and they wanted me to, I would love to do that."

Bender also noted that his availability for season seven is up in the air because he's working on launching a TV series based on Stephen King's "Mr. Mercedes" book trilogy. But we can't imagine he'd say no to "Thrones" if given the opportunity to return to Westeros.

Still, the takeaway for fans is that "GOT" really is coming to an end, and it looks like it will be approaching a lot sooner than viewers would like. At least we can take solace in the fact that the show has been on fire lately -- literally -- and will likely continue its excellent recent run of episodes through to the series's finish.

[via: Vanity Fair]

Photo credit: ​Photo credit: Helen Sloan/HBO