Game of Thrones fans have been waiting forever for Season 8 to premiere and have been speculating about super-sized episodes. HBO has released the official runtimes for the first two episodes of the season airing on April 14th and April 21st, but they're not very long at all. HBO affiliate OCS (a French TV network) promised that the final season is "XXL" and HBO CEO Richard Plepler declared that Season 8 is like watching "six movies," which is where the speculation of longer episodes started.
According to HBO, Game of Thrones Season 8, episode 1 will be 54 minutes long and episode 2 will be 58 minutes long. These are far from the "XXL" episodes that were originally teased. However, it is much better than nothing at all and fans are going to more than likely be happy with whatever they can get. This is actually pretty close to what OCS revealed back in January when they said that the first two episodes will be 60 minutes-long.
The rough time estimates for the remaining Game of Thrones Season 8 episodes are as follows: Episode 3 - 60 minutes, Episode 4 - 78 minutes, Episode 5 - 80 minutes, and Episode 6 - 80 minutes. These runtimes are from HBO, but they may not be the official lengths after everything is said and done. There could be some extra editing to be done, which will affect the final runtimes of the episodes. With that being said, it is believed that the Game of Thrones crew will be working on the edits of the final episodes until the last minute, especially with digital effects.
The last three Game of Thrones Season 8 episodes are definitely on the longer side and could be considered feature-length. It looks like the first half of the final season will be used to set the stage for the larger episodes coming down, which is usually how the hit HBO show has worked in the past. While we don't know what's going to happen in terms of the specific plot points, we do know that this was the longest that the cast and crew ever worked on a single season and there have been whispers that we're going to see a battle that puts the Battle of the Bastards to shame.
When everything is broken down in terms of time, it looks like Game of Thrones Season 8 will be just as long as the previous season, even with less episodes. In terms of only doing six episodes, it is believed that the network did so in an effort to keep costs down since most of the actors now command huge per-episode salaries, which makes sense from a business standpoint. Let's just hope that they deliver the goods with the final season. The Game of Thrones runtimes can be found over at HBO.