Earlier today, HBO announced that Game of Thrones will return for its eighth and final season in April 2019, more than 18 months since the season seven finale. We don’t know how long the episodes will be, exactly, but there will be six of them, and they’re reportedly “feature length.” That’s a pretty vague time range — Duck Soup and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King are both “feature length,” but one’s 68 minutes and the other’s 200 minutes — but in his Reddit AMA, director David Nutter gave a hint at the run time.
When asked how long should viewers expect the episodes to average this season, Nutter, who was behind the camera for “The Rains of Castamere,” responded, “Season 8 episodes will all I think be longer than 60 minutes. They’ll be dancing around the bigger numbers, I know that for sure.” Either he’s making a bad Dance with Dragons pun, or we should expect some extra-length episodes. Could “dancing around the bigger numbers” mean over 100 minutes?
Other highlights from the chat include Nutter describing the final season as “Spectacular, Inspiring, Satisfying” and his funniest moment from the series (“I think that probably Arya and the Hound and their journey to the north was interesting stuff that was done there and was a lot of fun”). He also described the challenges of directing the most anticipated final season in TV history.
[It’s] the importance of getting it right. There was not a second chance to get all of these sequences right, and a lot of sequences had many actors in them and some wonderfully intimate scenes as well. So really it was about taking these characters from point A to B to C to D to E in the various episodes that I did, and making sure that it all balances out properly. We had a lot of rehearsal time and that was really the thing that saved me more than anything else. I’m very happy with the chance to get in there and rehearse with the actors, and I think they were too, and I think it turned out quite well.
It’s not like Game of Thrones has a rabid fanbase, with over 16 million viewers, where even the guy who came up with Westeros can’t finish a book because of the show’s massive worldwide popularity. No pressure.