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Game of Thrones Season 8: HBO CEO describes final season as 'spectacle' akin to 'six movies'

By Josh Weiss
Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage.

For months now, hints have been dropped about the runtime of the six episodes that make up the eighth and final season of HBO's Game of Thrones. With a lot more story left to tell and not many chances to tell it, speculation is high that each episode will be the length of a theatrically-released feature film.

During a recent interview with Variety, HBO CEO, Richard Plepler, basically confirmed this when he said the following:

“It’s a spectacle. The guys have done six movies. The reaction I had while watching them was, ‘I’m watching a movie. They knew the bar was high. They’ve exceeded the bar. I’ve watched them twice without any CGI and I’m in awe. Everybody’s in for an extraordinary treat of storytelling and of magical, magical production.”

Plepler's comments are corroborated by an AMA held by one of the final season's directors, David Nutter, back in November. When asked about the runtimes of each episode, he said:

"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."

Fans got a big tease of the upcoming season this past Sunday during an HBO megatrailer released during the 76th Golden Globes. In a small, yet major moment, Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) welcomes Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) to Winterfell and hands over the Stark family home to the Dragon Queen.

Game of Thrones returns to HBO sometime in April. Four out of the six episodes were penned by showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff, who also co-directed the series finale.