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GAME OF THRONES’ 7th Season to Feature Much Longer Episodes

GAME OF THRONES’ 7th Season to Feature Much Longer Episodes

Though we’re still not okay with the fact that we’re only getting seven episodes from the next season of Game of Thrones (instead of the normal 10), it turns out that there may be a reason to feel better after all. Despite the reduced episode count, the season will still clock in at eight hours worth of run time.

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Thanks to the folks at Watcher’s on the Wall (and to EW for bringing it to our attention), we now know that, despite earlier reports that the seven episodes of the seventh season would all mainly follow the normal episode length of about 54-56 minutes, most of them will actually run longer. Especially noteworthy in this regard are the sixth and seventh episodes, which will each top the current longest episode holder, the season six finale “The Winds of Winter,” which was 68 minutes.

Here’s the rundown for each episode:

E1: 59 minutes
E2: 59 minutes
E3: 63 minutes
E4: 50 minutes
E5: 59 minutes
E6: 71 minutes
E7: 81 minutes

These details could change by airtime, but, with the July 16th season premiere about a month away, we would imagine any differences would be minor at this point.

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If you add them all up the total run time is closer to eight episodes worth of Game of Thrones, even with the especially short fourth episode. However, it’s the last two that really stand out, and have us most excited for just how insane this season’s biggest spectacles and moments could be.

The longest episode thus far, “The Winds of Winter,” had a very different feel than any other episode of the show, with the haunting opening (prior to the trials in the Sept of Baelor) setting the mood for what followed. That sequence was much more deliberate and slower paced than we normally see from the show, and the results speak for themselves, as that episode stands as one of the show’s best ever.

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In prior seasons, the penultimate episode has been the biggest spot for giant action sequences (“Blackwater,” “Battles of the Bastards,”) or game-changing events (“The Red Wedding”), which would indicate the show’s biggest scene yet could take place in the 71-minute long sixth episode.

But at 81 minutes, the season finale is practically a feature film, and it’s hard to imagine them needing all that time just for a cool down from the previous week. What kind of monumental event(s)–and character reactions thereto–could take place that would require such a grand outing? Might we see the last gasp of House Lannister as it is besieged from all sides? Could Baelish make his big move in the North, or finally have his scheming catch up with him? Might the full wrath of Daenerys dragons lay waste to Westeros? We know there’s a lot of burning humans to come.

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The possibilities are endless, but I am still a full believer in the theory that The Wall is coming down, truly setting off the Great War with the White Walkers. It would be the single biggest thing that could happen on the show, and it would require time to not only show it physically happen, but to also see the Seven Kingdoms react to it.

The 81-minute run time might also tell us something about season eight, the show’s last, which will also be a shorter season. Season seven might need to close out by putting the many players in place for where they need to be when season eight starts, rather than leaving the final stretch to use up its time doing so. More groundwork now might mean quicker action when the last season starts.

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Whatever the reasons might be for the longer episode length, there is one thing we definitely know: we can’t wait. And if we’re only getting seven episodes, at least they’re going to give us more of them.

What do you think this episode length’s mean? Send a raven with your thoughts in the comments below.

Images: HBO

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