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Game Of Thrones: Season 8 Will Feel 'Like Six Movies'

It's quality over quantity for the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones

When the beloved fantasy drama series takes its last lap around our television screens sometime this April, it will do so in a much shorter window of time, releasing just six episodes — down from the seven that comprised the seventh season and the 10 that made up each season from the first to the sixth. But before you kick anyone through the Moon Door in frustration or whip out a needle-thin sword and start heading straight for the offices of HBO to give the Thrones team a piece of your mind, know this: the final six installments of Game of Thrones will be bigger and better than anything you've seen before. 

According to HBO CEO Richard Plepler, each upcoming episode of Thrones season 8 feels like a standalone movie. 

Plepler shared this information with Variety following the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday, January 6. He told the outlet that he had already watched rough cuts of the forthcoming Thrones installments, detailing that showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, who also wrote four of the six new episodes and directed the series finale, have made a "spectacle" with season 8. 

"The guys have done six movies. The reaction I had while watching them was, 'I'm watching a movie,'" said Pleper. "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."

This isn't a case of Plepler talking up the final season of Thrones, making it seem grander than it actually is, as fair few people involved with Thrones have actually spoken about the episodes' grandeur in the past. 

Director David Nutter, who helmed the first and second episodes of the upcoming season, revealed in November 2018 that "season 8 episodes will all ... be longer than 60 minutes ... dancing around the bigger numbers." A year and a bit earlier, Game of Thrones sound designer Paula Fairfield stated during the show's fan convention Con of Thrones that the new episodes could be as hefty as feature films, each coming in at around 80 minutes in length. Here, Plepler is more so commenting on the scope of the storytelling as opposed to exclusively discussing how long each episode will run for, but everything checks out all the same. 

Fans have a great deal to look forward to with Game of Thrones season 8, which the cast and crew have been surprisingly open about in the months ahead of its premiere on HBO. 

Nutter once teased that "there's going to be lots of surprises and shocking moments," and that viewers should expect to see twists as jaw-dropping as the Red Wedding. "As far as season 8 compared to the Red Wedding I just have to tell you — hang onto your seat cause it's going to be special," he shared during a past AMA session on Reddit. "I'm completely satisfied with how season 8 ends. I think that David and Dan did a tremendous job, and they took into consideration what the fans want, as well as what is right as far as storytelling is concerned ... it's really very compelling stuff."

Additionally, Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark on the series, promised in July of last year that no one can predict how Game of Thrones will end

"For me — without giving anything away, I guess — I was satisfied with how unpredictable the show's ending really is," she told Digital Spy. "People have come up with so many fan theories about how it's going to end, and who will end up where, and who will end up with who. It really is so unpredictable the way that it ends up. I'm very satisfied with that, and I think that the fans will be satisfied with that, too."

The seventh season of Thrones left a number of plotlines dangling in the Winterfell wind — there's Dany (Emilia Clarke) shacking up with Jon Snow (Kit Harington), who doesn't yet know that he's the rightful heir to the Iron Throne, plus that pack of White Walkers charging ahead past the Wall that leads to the tense meeting between Sansa and Dany — so extended and expanded episodes are exactly what the series needs to explain everything before the apparently incredible climax and shocking conclusion. 

Game of Thrones will return to HBO for its final season in April.