A few weeks ago, the runtimes of all the episodes of Game of Thrones season 7 went up online and it was revealed that the shortened seven episode season would be more like eight episodes, given all the extra time crammed into the episodes. The season is supposed to culminate in a pair of 70/80 minute episodes, and it seems that precedent might carry on all throughout season 8 as well.
The news comes from Con of Thrones, a Game of Thrones fan convention, where sound designer Paula Fairfield indicated that many if not most episodes of Game of Thrones season 8 could be closer to this 80 minute range, essentially making each episode a mini-movie. As Deadline notes, this would make Game of Thrones episodes closer in length to what we see from UK shows like Sherlock or Black Mirror, albeit with a much more enormous budget.
While I doubt that every episode in season 8 would be 80 minutes, if close to that mark on average, it would be something to behold. That would turn a disappointingly short six episode season into one with almost as much Thrones as a normal season, in total runtime. If an average Game of Thrones season is ten, ~55 minute episodes for a total of 550 minutes, a six episode, 80 minute season would be 480 minutes, just one overstuffed episode shy of a “normal” season.
Given that HBO was willing to shell out for ten or more seasons of Game of Thrones before the showrunner decided to end things at season 8, it stands to reason that for a blockbuster final season, they’re willing to give them all the room they need to make the finale one of the most epic television events in history. We are quickly approaching a final season where Lannister, Stark, Targaryen armies will all be clashing in massive battles with dragons and White Walkers thrown in for good measure.
More Details @ Forbes