Liam Cunningham, who plays Ser Davos Seaworth on the HBO drama, tells TV Guide that the eighth and final season will take longer than any other season to shoot, despite being the shortest season yet with only six episodes. The reason for that, the actor explains, is that each episode will likely be longer than the standard hour.
"[The episodes are] definitely going to be bigger and what I hear is longer," says Cunningham, who begins work on the Emmy-winning series on Sunday with a table read in Belfast. "We're filming right up until the summer. When you think about it, up until last season we'd have six months to do ten episodes, so we're [doing] way more than that for six episodes. So that obviously will translate into longer episodes."
This isn't too surprising given that Thrones' penultimate season featured two extended episodes, including the show's longest episode yet. The Season 7 finale, "The Dragon and the Wolf" had a running time of 80 minutes.
However, Cunningham, who can next be seen in Amazon's Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams, clarifies that none of the episode lengths are set in stone for Season 8 because even creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss won't know how long each of the final episodes will be until they're in the editing room. Because of that (and potentially the ever-present danger of being killed off part-way through the season) Cunningham reveals he doesn't even know when he'll wrap on Game of Thrones' final episodes.
"Game of Thrones is not like any other show. It's nuts. You basically put your life on hold when you start shooting. Yeah, HBO owns your a--," says Cunningham. Not that the actor has any complaints.
"It's a dream job," he adds. "I mean, you people don't want this to end, imagine how I feel. My accountant is crapping himself at the moment!"
Game of Thrones will return to HBO... eventually.
Additional reporting by Liam Mathews.