Game of Thrones series finale date, episode lengths confirmed

Game of ThronesGame of Thrones season 8 is almost here and finally, we know all of the episode lengths. Why does this matter? More than anything else, the whole “it’s going to be like watching a ton of movies!” commentary that’s been circling around for months now finally means something.

When we first saw the episode lengths for the first two episodes,we wondered why we’d gotten so much hype about it since it was nothing special. They weren’t any longer than some of the other episodes we’ve seen over time! Well, our thoughts are a little bit different now that we’ve seen the length for the rest of the batch. All four episodes are clocking at least an hour and eighteen minutes, with April 28’s episode 3 airing for an hour and 22 minutes. Meanwhile, the series finale on May 19 will be an hour and twenty minutes.

What’s obviously getting lost in all of the discussion about episode lengths is knowing that Game of Thrones has a specific end date. May 19 is something that you can circle on your calendar as arguably the biggest pop-culture event of the past several years. There will be millions watching it, discussing, tweeting about it and YouTubing it (and you can include us in the mix!). It’s been a good year and a half since season 7 aired and because of that, it’s hard to gauge just how big this has become! We know that there are more viewers out there than before, but that’s about it. As television critics this is something that really excites us since pretty much everything is spoiled these days and there’s something really fun about going into a season of a show and not knowing much.

Knowing the series finale date does also allow for a greater understanding of just how deliberate the premiere date selection was. If HBO is angling for having one of the most-watched series finales in recent memory, they desperately wanted to avoid airing a new episode on May 26. This would have put it right smack in the middle of Memorial Day Weekend, where a Sunday is basically Saturday given how many people have the next day off. We’re predicting big things for it on the 19th.

Let’s put this in perspective for a minute

The season 7 finale posted the series best total live viewership to date with over 12 million people checking it out. Is it possible that the Game of Thrones series finale could top 15 million? That’s where we are setting the bar right now because this is more than just a finale — it’s a major television event! Just think that there are probably some sad people out there who are probably going to see the show for the first time on the very last episode since there will likely be huge viewing parties where maybe not everyone has seen the show but are coming along as a guest of someone. This just feels like that event you have to watch live, just for the sake of keeping up with the conversations at work the next day. Everyone will be talking about it.

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What do you want to see across the bulk of Game of Thrones season 8 and, in turn, what do you think about some of these episode titles? Be sure to share right now in the comments. (Photo: HBO.)

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