It feels like Season 7 of Game of Thrones only just began, but we're already at the season finale. No, you're not crazy for thinking this season when by super quickly — with only seven episodes, Season 7 was the shortest season of Game of Thrones to date. And I have even worse news for GoT fans: Season 8 (the final season) will be even shorter. But although we're getting fewer episodes in the farewell season, Game of Thrones Season 8 episodes will actually be much longer than the hour-long episodes we're used to!
Prior to Season 7, every Game of Thrones episode clocked in at around an hour, but with the episode count shortening this season, the show has notably extended a few pivotal episodes. For example, Sunday's Season 7 finale will clock in at a whopping 82 minutes, making it the longest episode to date. But apparently, this episode length will be the norm in Season 8. Sound designer Paula Fairfield told Vanity Fair back in July that all the episodes in Season 8 could be clocking in beyond the 80-minute mark, meaning that even though we're only getting six new episodes to round out the series, the new season will still be as long as the previous one due to the increased episode length.
As for when we can expect to see those final six episodes, Game of Thrones fans will probably be saying goodbye to the long-running series next summer. Thrones has followed a steady schedule of releasing a new season each year in early April, up until this year when it surprised fans with a late release in mid-July. If the show sticks to its normal pattern, Season 8 will premiere sometime next summer. And although it will be the show's final season, it's not exactly goodbye to Game of Thrones. HBO is currently developing five prequel spin-offs from its mega-hit series, so fans will be back in Westeros soon enough.