Game of Thrones season 7 to be shortened; Robert Kirkman comments on changes

If you're like me, then Game of Thrones always goes by too fast. It's like you blink and you're already on episode 5 and then you blink again and the season finale has arrived. However, with a budget of $10 million per episode in season 6 (up $4 million from it's previous seasons) it's not that hard to see why the next season, Season 7, will see a shortened amount of episodes. When asked if he'd return to direct future episodes of the series in a recent interview with Vanity Fair, frequent director Jack Bender verified that the next season of HBO's premiere show will be shortened to just 7 episodes, saying "I don’t know the answer to that. They’re only doing seven [episodes], and they’ve got their regulars who have done it forever."

Showrunners Dan Weiss and David Benioff have said that the main reason for shortening episodes is because they feel they're down to the last 13 Episodes after Season 6. While those of us who can't get enough of the series and already feel hunger pangs with our "measly" usual 10-episode serving, this may sound like torture. However, seeing as the story is wrapping up and already surpassing the novels by George R.R. Martin, this is more of an inevitability than anything. I'm actually thankful that they're working towards a finale rather than trying to milk every last drop they can get, which has commonly plagued long-running shows.

Speaking of surpassing George R.R. Martin's novels, The Walking Dead's Robert Kirkman recently commented on the showrunners of Game of Thrones carrying on the show without books to reference, instead having Martin feed them the broad strokes of the final arc of his story. Fans of the books have expressed their irritation with having Martin's storyline spoiled, while Weiss, Benioff, and Martin have all assured that there will still be big differences between the books and the show. Kirkman, who serves as executive producer on The Walking Dead and also as the creator/writer of the comic book, said that he was "disappointed" in Martin's decision to share his finale before the books were finished.

Kirkman, who says he knows what his endgame will be for The Walking Dead comics (which are way far ahead than the TV series), says that he would "never" give away his finale to the showrunners before the comic is done.

"I would never do that. That's the one thing I'm disappointed in George R.R. Martin for doing.  He should have just been like, Fuck you. You make it up now, I'll get to mine when I'm ready."

I don't take that as a challenge to Martin, but a respectful difference between the two powerhouse writers in terms of how they choose to balance the adaptations of their work. It's a trickly balance and both authors have had their work go in very different directions in their TV forms, although I'd argue that Game of Thrones has remained the most faithful of the two. There's still no release date set for Martin's next chapter in The Song of Ice and Fire series "The Winds of Winter", let alone the final book "A Dream of Spring" so it will likely be a good while before we're able to make the comparison between the books and TV show. As someone who has read the books and love the show, I'll be reading the books regardless (if I'm still alive, of course).

What do you guys think? Should Martin have told the showrunners to make up their own ending and kept his finale for the books only? Will you suffer through withdrawls with only 7 episodes of the show next year? Will you rise up and cheer when that son of a bitch Ramsay Bolton finally dies?

Game of Thrones, Season 6 is currently running on HBO.



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