Winter is coming for Game of Thrones as HBO reveals final season

Lynsey Barber
Follow Lynsey
The Game Of Thrones Effect On The Northern Irish Economy
Game of Thrones will bow out in 2018 (Source: HBO)

It's time to say goodbye to John Snow for real this time... on the small screen, at least.

The show of the century, Game of Thrones, is officially coming to an end, its maker HBO has said.

There will be just two more seasons of the hit show which has been a cash cow (or should that be dragon?) beyond giving fans an enjoyable watch.

Read more: Why Daenerys beats Cersei as a successful business leader

That includes series seven, which will be a shorter seven episodes (rather than 10) and will be broadcast next year, and the eighth and final season, which is due in 2018.

The Northern Ireland economy has so far benefited to the tune of £110m while around half of last year's annual 10 per cent growth in tourism in Croatia is down to the series, according to its mayor.

At one point, more than 10,000 people had applied to become extras in Spain, where in 2014 the unemployment rate stood at one in four.

The series has helped grow subscribers to HBO, and therefore revenue at parent company Time Warner, while it's also helped boost numbers for British broadcaster Sky. Another business to benefit includes the publisher of the books, Rupert Murdoch owned HarperCollins.

Read more: Forget the licence fee: Why Game of Thrones damns the case for a universal BBC

The show pulls in on average around six million viewers per episode in the US and the first episode of the latest season – number six – pulled in five million viewers in the UK, a record number for Sky.

The good news – for fans, or businesses getting a boost – is that HBO did not rule out a spin-off series.

Related articles