It’s been known for a long time that the upcoming eighth season of Game of Thrones will be much shorter than previous ones, comprising only six episodes. There was some suggestion that each episode would be extra long, possibly movie-length. We now have confirmation on the running times for Episodes 1 and 2, and it seems that both will be of regular duration.
The running times were revealed on HBO’s schedule, and were spotted by fan site Winter is Coming. Episode 1, which premieres on April 14, will be 54 minutes, while Episode 2 the following week is 58 minutes. Game of Thrones’ episode lengths always vary, but these are very much in line with the sub-60 minute running time of previous seasons.
However, fans expecting some epic-length episodes shouldn’t be too disappointed. There’s every reason to expect that the remaining four episode will be much longer. In January, Entertainment Weekly reported on a leaked report from a TV conference in France. The report stated that while Episode 1 and 2 would be around 60 minutes each, the next four will be approximately 80.
In any case, expectations are high for Season 8. Last week, the full trailer for the season was released, which focused on setting up the the epic battle against the Night King and his army of the dead at Winterfell.
Although Game of Thrones is nearing the end, there is a prequel spin-off on the way. X-Men: First Class’ Jane Goldman will serve as showrunner and has developed the story with creator George RR Martin. This week it was revealed that the show will start filming early this summer.
While it’s yet to receive an official title, Martin suggested last year that it would be called The Long Night. He subsequently walked that back, perhaps due to pressure from HBO that didn’t want that name shared yet. In any event, it does provide some insight into what to expect. It is expected to premiere in 2020 or 2021.