All good things must come to an end, as much as we hate to admit it! And unfortunately, that old statement rings true for Game of Thrones.
HBO's hit fantasy series based on George R. R. Martin's bestselling A Song of Ice and Fire novels is about to return for season five, but the people in charge of both the show and the network are already looking ahead a few seasons to the predicted end point...and it's going to come a lot sooner than you think!
Executive producers David Benioff and Dan Weiss have been very outspoken recently about how they want to end the show after seven seasons, aka just three more than what's already aired.
"I would say it's the goal we've had from the beginning," Benioff told EW. "It was our unstated goal, because to start on a show and say your goal is seven seasons is the height of lunacy. Once we got to the point where we felt like we're going to be able to tell this tale to its conclusion, that became [an even clearer] goal. Seven gods, seven kingdoms, seven seasons. It feels right to us."
But the executives at HBO don't want their biggest hit series to end that soon, and would rather it continue on for just a little while longer.
"Would I love the show to go 10 years as both a fan and a network executive?" HBO President Michael Lombardo tells the magazine. "Absolutely."
But the network knows the creative decision ultimately lies with the showrunners themselves.
"If [Benioff and Weiss] weren't comfortable going beyond seven seasons, I...trust that's the right decision—as horrifying as that is to me," Lombardo says. "What I'm not going to do is have a show continue past where the creators believe where they feel they've finished with the story."
But the Martin, the creator of the source material, has other ideas.
"Do we run for seven years? Do we run for eight? Do we run for 10? The books get bigger and bigger," Martin previously told The Hollywood Reporter. "It might need a feature to tie things up, something with a feature budget, like $100 million for two hours. Those dragons get real big, you know."
According to Lombardo, however, a Game of Thrones movie is not in the cards.
"When you start a series with our subscribers, the promise is that for your HBO fee that we're going to take you to the end of this," Lombardo says. "I feel that on some level [a movie would be] changing the rules: Now you have to pay $16 to see how your show ends."
Do you want to see the show run for more than seven seasons? How about a movie? Hit the comments section below to weigh in!
Game of Thrones season five premieres Sunday, April 12 at 9 p.m. on HBO.