For a long while, the head honchos of Game of Thrones – David Benioff and D.B. Weiss – have been stubbornly insisting on seven seasons. Seven books, seven kingdoms, the Faith of the Seven, seven seasons – there’s a lot to do with the number seven in this plot. This has had a mixed response. On one hand, it’s good that the writers understand this thing can’t last forever and the storytelling needs to be tight for a global show-watching audience. However, the books they’re (supposed to be) adapting are massive. Great, big, expansive books that cover tons of plot. If they stuck to the seven seasons thing then they would have 20 hours left to cover material from A Feast for Crows, A Dance With Dragons, The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring. Those last two books are unpublished and will probably be well over 2000 words in total; how could they ever cover all of that in such a short timeframe, especially when you remember it took them two seasons to adapt one book?
Fortunately, it seems as if D&D have realised this is a stupid idea and are now warming up to the idea of eight seasons – and maybe more.
“Seven-seasons-and-out has never been the internal conversation. The question is: How much beyond seven are we going to do? Obviously we’re shooting six now, hopefully discussing seven. David Benioff and Dan Weiss 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.”
These are the words of HBO programming president, Michael Lombardo, speaking at the Television Critics Association (via Entertainment Weekly). It’s strange as seven seasons has been the number thrown around for a long time – that’s how much the main cast were all signed up for. Of course, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t throw in an extra season; to be honest, it could probably go nine or ten with the amount of plot left, but I doubt even the biggest fans would want to see that. Even if Game of Thrones doesn’t go beyond eight seasons, could audiences still get their Westerosi fill with a prequel…?
“I would be open to anything that Dan and David wanted to do—about Game of Thrones, or any subject matter. 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 R.R. Martin and Dan and David decide they want to tackle that. 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.”
I would love a prequel – and this is coming from a guy who actively disliked Season 5. There is so much potential plot to be explored; the obvious choice is Robert’s Rebellion due to character familiarity but they could go even further back. Aegon’s Conquest? The Dance of Dragons? The Andal invasion? The Long Night? Maybe they could even develop a story set on the other side of the world in Yi Ti or Asshai, places we’re never going to get to explore in the books. There’s a wealth of opportunites and I would be very, very surprised if there wasn’t some sort of sequel show produced afterwards. Game of Thrones is the ultimate cash cow and HBO are going to milk it for every penny it’s worth.
But hey – that’s all speculation. For now the official word is that there will definitely be eight seasons, and anything beyond that is still up in the air. Excited? Exhausted? Let us know in the comments!