So earlier this week, the folks over at winteriscoming.net revealed what were possibly the runtimes for the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones. According to their research, the first two episodes of the already abbreviated six-episode season, are slated to be 60 minutes each, with the remaining four episodes running at 80 minutes.
Now, I’m a bit confused and kind of concerned to say the least. These runtimes, if true, are far from the “movie-like” episodes we all kept hearing about during the show’s hiatus. If you’re a fan like me, you were already disappointed to learn back in 2016 that instead of the standard 10-episode season they typically deliver, the final two seasons would be truncated. I was cool with that IF the episodes were longer and the storytelling wouldn’t lose anything.
Welp, let’s just say the first installation of the new setup finished with mixed reviews. Like, upon reflecting I ended up being okay with Season 7 except for that terrible-ass “let’s kidnap a wight” scheme. Part of the frustration behind Season 7’s mixed reviews was that people just felt the pacing was off. Everything felt rushed to just essentially get people and pieces in place whether it logically flowed within the story or not.
So when Richard Plepler said recently after finishing the new season it was like he was watching “six movies” I was excited. Because in my head “movie” means I’m getting something at least along the lines of 90 minutes. Which, while we’re still rushing to tell this massive story, gives you a nice cushion across six episodes to deliver a righteous, satisfying end.
But now… I don’t know. Now I’m nervous. After looking at this alleged runtime list, “feels like I’m watching six movies” means to me that it was the action, CGI and fight sequences that are a true reflection of what Plepler meant. And that’s ok I suppose. No one in television and even in many cases movie production can give you the quality and scale of action and fights as HBO has done with Game of Thrones. That’s just a fact. But that’s no replacement for good storytelling, which has been what’s made Game of Thrones so special for all of these years. I’m scared they’ve sacrificed that element to give us dragons, naked
I hope I’m worrying over nothing and that this final season will deliver. But considering the uncharacteristic ease with which everyone cosigned that “yeah we just gon’ cop a dead real quick and be back by like 3″ plan, while wheelchair Jayden Smith just rode around high on his own “three-eyed raven” supply… I don’t even know.