The creators of Game of Thrones have confirmed the final season of the show will have only six episodes.

David Benioff and DB Weiss confirmed season seven will air in July, and that 2018's season eight will be the show's final outing, according to NME.

Season seven will have seven episodes, while season eight will have six.

Speaking at a SXSW panel in Austin, Texas, Benioff said: "From the beginning we've wanted to tell a 70-hour movie. It will turn out to be a 73-hour movie, but it's stayed relatively the same of having the beginning, middle and now we're coming to the end.

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"It would have been really tough if we lost any core cast members along the way, I'm very happy we've kept everyone and we get to finish it the way we want to."

Benioff also told the panel that a spin-off series was likely, but that they would not be involved.

"There's always going be an urge - the characters who maybe will survive - there's always going to be this temptation to keep doing it; to do the spin-off show or do the sequel show and everything. And I think HBO might well do one and I'm looking forward to watching it.

"I think it's better for them to get new blood in with new visions."

HBO programming president previously told Entertainment Weekly that a prequel series is more likely than a spin-off.

"A prequel feels like it has less pressure on it [than a spin-off] ... It's such a big property we would be foolish not to explore it, but it's a pretty high bar. We'll take some shots at it. I'm not going to do it just to do it. It has to feel very special. I would rather have no sequel and leave it as-is then have something we rushed out."

Game of Thrones Season 7 will premiere in New Zealand on July 17.

Ed Sheeran will make a cameo in the upcoming season.