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This isn’t going to surprise anybody. Merely days before the season 6 premiere of Game of Thrones, HBO has confirmed that it has renewed Game of Thrones for the seventh season. The confirmation comes at a time when it’s being said that the epic show might end earlier than originally planned. What today’s announcement does is at least confirm that we’re going to get a seventh season even if the showrunners decide to axe the planned season 8 of Game of Thrones.

The showrunners have previously dropped hints that Game of Thrones might not go beyond season 8. It’s already going to go well past the books in the upcoming season and at this rate it’s likely that the show will end before the A Song of Ice and Fire book series is completed.

Previous seasons of Game of Thrones have had ten episodes but there have been reports recently that season 7 and season 8 might be shorter than that, but nothing is set in stone yet, the confirmation tweeted for season 7 from the official Game of Thrones Twitter account didn’t address that. It only says that Game of Thrones has been renewed for 2017.

HBO is already laying the groundwork with a phenomenal premiere. It’s offering the premiere for free and has even released the app for its streaming service on Xbox One to ensure that even more people can tune into the season 6 premiere of Game of Thrones this Sunday.

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