When HBO’s epic series “Game of Thrones” ran its finale for its sixth season last year, “The Winds of Winter” (not to be confused with George R.R. Martin’s still-unfinished book 6 of the source series) clocked as the longest episode of the show yet. But show-runners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss also said that the next season, while shorter in a number of episodes, will also have the longest episode play-times to compensate.

Season 7 started last July and was watched by the most viewers recorded for the show. After three episodes HBO has been proven true in episode length until the show-runners themselves noted that the fourth, “Spoils Of War,” will be the shortest in the entire show.

‘Game of Thrones’ record

The first three episodes of “Game of Thrones” season 7 on HBO ran for about an hour or a few minutes over, each. Such has been expected following assurances by the show’s creators regarding running times. What caught everyone’s attention, however, is the length of episode 4. “Spoils of War” is said to be only 50 minutes long, making it the briefest episode in all seven seasons of “Thrones” thus far. Perhaps the brevity is brought about due to the episode’s plot, which will cover the fallout of significant events, battles, and deaths that took place back in “The Queen’s Justice.”

A preview released for “Spoils of War” shows Queen Cersei Lannister (Lena Heady) pushing for the reunification of Westeros and exerting her dominion on everyone in it.

She has every right to be arrogant, due to the trapping of the Unsullied armies of Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) and the conquest of The Reach, one the other territories actively fighting against Cersei. In a moment of desperation, Daenerys turns again to the King of the North (and her unknown nephew) Jon Snow (Kit Harrington).

And they had the best hurry with a new plan before Cersei manages to bring enough gold to buy the Iron Bank’s support.

Back to being longer

While episode 4 “Spoils of War” has already been pegged for its shortness compared to its predecessors, it will only prove to be a singular exception. HBO has it that the fifth episode will return to at least 59 minutes in length.

Furthermore, the season 7 finale has been guaranteed to trump the length of the season 6 one, with 80 minutes to “The Winds of Winter” and its 69.

Come the final season of “Game of Thrones” in possibly 2018; the episodes are said by D.B. Weiss and David Benioff to reach the length of feature films finally. In the meantime, “Spoils of War” will air Sunday, August 6 on HBO.