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‘Game of Thrones’ To Air For At Least 8 Seasons Now

During the annual Television Critics Association summer press tour, HBO was quick to drop a major bomb concerning Game of Thrones.

HBO programming president Michael Lombardo announced that the show will air for at least eight seasons. This goes against the long-held “seven seasons” plan for showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss.

“Seven-seasons-and-out has never been the [internal] conversation,” said Lombardo. “The question is: How much beyond seven are we going to do? Obviously we’re shooting six now, hopefully discussing seven. [Showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss are] feel like there’s two more years after six. I would always love for them to change their minds, but that’s what we’re looking at right now.”

Naturally, this means HBO would like for the show to go beyond the seven season plan, but nothing is official right now, since no renewal has been granted just yet. Currently, the show is only renewed through season six. Presumably, HBO would have to do a massive restructuring of the cast contracts if they were to go beyond seven seasons, since the contracts in place for the cast right now are only for seven seasons. I imagine the most crucial cast members will be in for huge raises, provided they’re integral to the conclusion George R.R. Martin has in mind (and which Benioff and Weiss are attempting to adapt).

“I would be open to anything that Dan and David wanted to do—about Game of Thrones, or any subject matter,” Lombardo clarified.

But that’s not all, as there is now talk of a possible prequel for Game of Thrones.

“It really would depend fully on what they wanted to do. I think you’re right, there’s enormous storytelling to be mined in a prequel, if George and Dan and David decide they want to tackle that,” Lombardo said, in response to a reporter’s question on a potential prequel. “At this point, all the focus is on the next few years of the show. We haven’t had any conversations about that at this point.”

Lombardo also defended Thrones from criticisms about the show’s violent season 5 content (Sansa Stark’s storyline in particular). “In the pilot episode we see a 7-year-old boy pushed to seemingly his death from a tower,” Lombardo said. “This show has had violence from the first episode. I can’t speak to any single person’s particular taste, but I think the show is phenomenal. It went to 20 million viewers this year, it went up over 1 million viewers from the prior season. The show continues to grow dramatically. There are no two showrunners who are more careful about now overstepping what they think the line is—and everybody has their own line. [What they show] is critical to the storytelling.”

'Game of Thrones' To Air For At Least 8 Seasons Now

Credit: HBO

Ultimately, I think there’s more than enough material in the history of the show’s world to explore in a prequel series. I’d love to get Robert’s Rebellion or Aegon’s Landing, or maybe an original story set at the same time of those historical periods. Either way, it doesn’t look like Game of Thrones is going anywhere anytime soon. Here’s hoping Benioff & Weiss have eight seasons in them, since they’ve been very vocal about how exhausting the job is, and how seven has long been the goal. With season six on the horizon, the finish line is in sight, at the very least.

But what do you think? Is eight seasons for Game of Thrones too many? Too few? And what would you want to see in a prequel series? Sound off in the comments!

And for more on Game of Thrones, check out the major spoiler HBO might have just accidentally leaked through its toy catalog!

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