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Winter is ending? ‘Game of Thrones’ creators talk end of HBO drama

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(CNN) — For “Game of Thrones” fans, the question now is when will winter end?

As viewers go through withdrawal following Sunday’s season six finale, the series’ creators, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, don’t appear to be backing away from talk that there will be fewer episodes on the way in coming seasons.

The pair talked to Deadline about the popular HBO drama on Monday, and said that for them the show is at the beginning of its end.

“From pretty close to the beginning, we talked about doing this in 70-75 hours, and that’s what we’ll end up with,” Benioff said. “Call it 73 for now.”

The season six finale, “The Winds of Winter,” was the show’s 60th hour of television so that means viewers’ time in Westeros may be down to about 13 episodes.

HBO, however, has not yet confirmed an episode count for Season 7 and there’s been no official announcement regarding seasons after the next one.

And there’s 23 million reasons for HBO to want to keep the drama around as long as they can. That’s how many average viewers the show brought in this season in weekly over telecasts, encores, DVR, and streams on HBO Go and HBO Now.

“Game of Thrones” has had 10 episodes a season so far. If the fantasy drama has 13 hours of story left, it may go the truncated season route that other popular series like “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad” did to wrap up their runs.

This means the show’s final two seasons may have a fewer number of episodes.

As for Benioff and Weiss, the hope is to get out while the getting is good.

“We want to leave while all the people watching this show are really into it,” Weiss told Deadline. “Get out at a high point and not have it be, well thank god that’s over.”