With the show currently well into its sixth season, every now and again the dark clouds gather as we remember it only has two seasons left after this one ends. However, a massive bombshell has just been dropped regarding Game of Thrones season 7 which sees a pretty massive change to the show’s format.

Vanity Fair interviewed Jack Bender – who directed Blood of my Blood and The Door in this season’s Game of Thrones. He was asked whether or not he would be returning for season seven, but instead he dropped a rather unexpected twist:

“I don’t know the answer to that. They’re only doing seven [episodes], and they’ve got their regulars who have done it forever… I had a great experience doing the show. If available and they wanted me to, I would love to do that.”

Is Game of Thrones season 7 being cut short?

Hold on a second… only seven episodes?! Every year since the show began back in 2011, we’ve had 10 episodes per season. Why are they changing it up now?

That being said, there’s been no official word from HBO but we have to admit that we kind of saw this coming. Well, before season 6 got underway we reported that Dan Weiss and David Benioff would wrap up the show with “just 13 more episodes once this sixth season is over: seven episodes for season 7; six for the eighth and potential final season.”

We weren’t exactly sold on the idea at the time but that being said, it could have its positives. What it could mean is that the action for the final two seasons will be even more exhilarating than before!

Fingers crossed.

However, 13 episodes in two seasons means that we’ll miss out on seven whole episodes – 7 hours less of Game of Thrones means that a lot of storylines and action could be cut from the series, and we’re not exactly thrilled about that!

This did get us thinking though, maybe the reason for cutting the final seasons short is that the episodes, especially the finale, could be longer than the usual one hour episode; maybe a special two hour long first episode and/or finale are the future?

The Independent commented that we could be in for a mid-season split in season seven:

“To us, this feels like next year’s batch of episodes could be the first part of season seven that will be concluded the following year. This would be in a similar vein to the final seasons of former HBO series The Sopranos as well as AMC’s Breaking Bad and Mad Men.”

We don’t think we’d be able to cope with having to wait for the season to start and then just as we get into it having it cruelly torn away from us to add to the hype even more than usual. If this is the case, it would mean that season eight (the final season) would probably air sometime in 2018.

When you think about it in terms of episode numbers, there really isn’t long to go until the end of Game of Thrones. We’re going to assume that there’s going to be plenty of twists and turns along the way (obviously) but we’re not sure we’re emotionally ready for the ending given the shocking moments that we’ve witnessed so far on our way to the grand finale!

Game of Thrones is back on screens on Sky Atlantic at 9pm on Monday night.