Just a few days after the Season 7 premiere date was revealed and the first teaser for the upcoming season was announced, the Game of Thrones team revealed some juicy tidbits about the final season airing next year at their SXSW panel. On Sunday afternoon, hundreds of adoring fans gathered in Austin to hear show stars Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner talk all things Thrones with showrunners David Benioff and DB Weiss. While there are obviously secrets that the GoT team aren’t allowed to spill just yet about the final two seasons, a few interesting tidbits did come up.
The biggest news is that HBO and the show’s team finally decided on a final season episode order, and it’s smaller than some fans probably want. Season 8 will only be six episodes long, which paired with Season 7’s seven upcoming episodes leaves only 15 total episodes for the story of Daenerys Targaryen, Jon Snow, and everyone else about to be caught in the battle between fire and ice as the story concludes.
Those final six episodes will also have an interesting guest star joining in on the fun, and the guest is a bit of an out of left field choice on a show not known for stunt casting. Ed Sheeran will have a part on the final season, and it’s mostly because Maisie Williams is a huge fan of the singer. During the panel, Benioff teased “for years, we tried to get Ed Sheeran on the show to surprise Maisie, and this year we finally did it.” HBO would only confirm the singer is appearing at all, not the size of his role or any other details. Fans of both the show and the artist will just have to wait a year until more details are available.