Watchers on the Wall has been keeping an eye on the HBO schedule, and today, the site pulled out the episode lengths for the new season of Game of Thrones.
Most of them look like they’ll be ordinary lengths. Episodes one, two, and five are all 59 minutes — pretty long considering an “hour” of broadcast TV without the commercials is 43 minutes, but not unusual for prestige TV. Other episodes vary a bit: episode three is 63 minutes long, episode four is 50 minutes.
But the final two episodes qualify as short feature films. Episode six is 71 minutes long, and episode seven, the finale, is 81 minutes. That last installment will be the longest episode of Game of Thrones to date, though it’s still shorter than the 90-minute episodes of other HBO shows, like True Detective or Westworld. (Which were, in my opinion, boring. You can’t say that about Game of Thrones, even when it’s kind of bad.)
Last year’s Game of Thrones season finale was 68 minutes long, and in that time, a ridiculous number of things happened, including but not limited to:
- A church blew up.
- Half of the named characters in King’s Landing died.
- The writers explored sexism in library sciences for a full 10 minutes.
- Some people indulged in a heated discussion of child murder.
- Sansa decided she might want to fight her brother for all the marbles.
- Daenerys started sailing to Westeros with some dragons. (They weren’t in the boat, they flew above it.)
- Bran did something not-boring for once by witnessing the E! True Hollywood Story of Jon Snow’s birth.
- Arya baked an old man’s children into a pie and made him eat it.
- Cersei sat down on the Iron Throne in a heavy-metal interpretation of “casual throne attire,” complete with her dead son’s haircut.
Imagine what could happen if that episode had just been 13 minutes longer! I’m guessing there will be a lot of story events in the finale, many of them dramatic, exhilarating, and probably violent. And then we’ll have to stay up extra-late discussing them. You should consider requesting the following Monday off from work right now, if you know you don’t operate well on a funky sleep schedule.
Only 37 more days until this show is back! And then only seven weeks until the season is over again! And then maybe no more Game of Thrones until 2019! Maybe you could make the final episode last a full two years by watching only seven seconds per day.