Shortly after the explosive finale of the season six of Game of Thrones, showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss announced that there will be only 13 more episodes of the show, confirming suspicions of a seven-episode Season 7 and a six-episode Season 8.
This differs slightly from the usual 10-episode arc the series follows. Stating that they have a ''cohesive story'' in mind, Benioff said he has known how the series will end for a while now and added that despite pressure from HBO to extend the series, it will be concluded the way he planned it.
For George R.R Martin, the author of the books the series is inspired by, the news may not be so pleasant. Martin started the series in 1996 and is slated to release two more books in the series: The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring.
In an interview in 2014, Martin had said he wished seasons were longer, so that there could be more time to include smaller scenes that complement the story and characters. In fact, ending the series this early would mean the show ends before the books do. This would mean the viewers can expect a departure from the literary plot.
Fans have already begun speculating about the fate of their beloved characters in the show, many even flaunting complex theories about the show's expansive universe. Popular fan theories include the much-awaited invasion by the White Walkers, the end of the Night Watch and a possible confrontation between Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen.
Interviews and pictures of the actors preparing for shooting add fuel to the fire. It was reported that Liam Cunningham, who plays Ser Davos, has been seen training with UFC star Conor McGregor's coach John Kavanagh, giving fans ample reason to believe that Davos will have plenty of action in store as the next season unfolds.
Perhaps, all the theorising will help fans ease the wait for the next season.