Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss took the stage at SXSW to speak about their hit HBO series. Of the biggest news to come out of the panel was that the eighth and final season is slated to only have six episodes, one less than the upcoming seven-episode Season 7. While no specific plot details were revealed about what’s to come, there was talk on the future of Thrones.
For the characters that survive “there is always going to be an urge… to keep doing it,” Benioff told the crowd gathered in Austin Convention Center’s Ballroom D. “I think HBO might well do [a spinoff] and I’m looking forward to watching it.” But don’t count on Benioff or Weiss’ involvement. “I think its better for them to get new blood in with new visions.”
“Zombie Stark sister,” was one suggestion from Weiss, which was subsequently shut down by stars Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams, who served as moderators.
Most of the discussion focused on reminiscing about past moments, such as favorite deaths, best pranks, and the time a 250 pound Jason Momoa “squashed” Benioff’s hand while playing the slap game.
Another big detail that was divulged during the talk: Singer Ed Sheeran would be guest starring this season, which came about as a gift for Williams.
“We knew that Maisie was a big fan of Ed Sheeran and for years we’ve been trying to get him on the show so we can surprise Maisie,” Benioff confirmed. “This year we finally did it.”
The new season of Game Of Thrones returns July 16 on HBO.