‘Game of Thrones’ to end after seventh season?
George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire is set to have seven installments. And if Game of Thrones producer Frank Doelger has any say in the matter, so will the TV series.
Though Martin has yet to publish the sixth and seventh books in the bestselling fantasy series that spawned the hit HBO drama, Doelger says that talks are already underway for setting a prospective end date for the show.
“[The number of series] is being discussed as we speak. The third season was the first half of book three, season four will be the second part of book three. . . George R.R. Martin has written books four and five; six and seven are pending,” Doelger told Radio Times at the BAFTA Awards last weekend. “I would hope that, if we all survive and if the audience stays with us, we’ll probably get through to seven seasons.”
Of course, for this to work, at least one of the seasons following next year’s fourth will have to condense two entire books’ worth of material into one ten-episode allotment. And this is only if Martin’s next two installments don’t prove to be the massive, epic tomes that the third book, A Storm of Swords, proved to be. Sure, they could probably fit the fourth and fifth books, A Feast For Crows and A Dance With Dragons, into one and a half seasons (probably even less, if they cut around the prodigious amounts of excess in those novels — SO many needless subplots). But if The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring are full-scale epics that don’t allow for paring down, then they might not have any other choice but to stretch to eight or nine seasons, provided the show is still a hit in five years’ time.
Yet that’s not exactly a proposition that appeals to showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, who told Entertainment Weekly that they would prefer not to run for ten seasons. Given that Benioff and Weiss are the only two people on the planet, other than Martin, who know how the series ends (reportedly revealed as a contingency in the event of Martin’s death), they could implement elements of Martin’s ending to bring the TV series to a close, regardless of whether or not the final book in the series has been released. However, much like the “ten seasons” proposal, this isn’t something that appeals to the duo:
“Ideally, the books come out first,” said Benioff. “We don’t want to become a show that outstays its welcome and tries to turn each book into three seasons. Part of what we love about these books, and this show, is this sense of momentum and building toward something. If we tried to turn this into a 10-season show we’d strangle the golden goose. There is a ticking clock here.”
The only question now is when that clock stops ticking. At seven seasons? Eight? Ten? It’s going to be hard to know for certain as long as the last two books in the series remain unpublished. Then again, as a writer who elevates “procrastination” to a way of living, I have no business telling any author to “get writing, already.”