It’s hard to believe that HBO’s Game of Thrones is already headed into Season 5. More than a year ago, the show’s producers David Benioff and D. B. Weiss said they would like to see the fantasy drama end after Season 7 or Season 8. Now, however, the subscription cable network is pushing back a little, saying HBO would actually like to see the show on the air for quite a bit longer. Here’s what HBO President Michael Lombardo had to say about the show running for longer than its current renewal cycle.
This is the hard part of what we do. We started this journey with David and Dan. It’s their vision. Would I love the show to go 10 years as both a fan and a network executive? Absolutely.
Obviously, Game of Thrones is a cash cow for HBO. While the subscription cable network is known for its creativity and quality programming, Game of Thrones well exceeds the fandom and the eyeballs that have been brought in from past popular properties on the network, including The Sopranos and True Blood. However, in a longer interview, Lombardo also tells EW that he’s not about to try to force David Benioff or D.B. Weiss’ hand if they feel they no longer have good content to produce.
We’ll have an honest conversation that explores all possible avenues. If they weren’t comfortable going beyond seven seasons, I trust them implicitly and trust that’s the right decision—as horrifying as that is to me. 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.
Clearly, Lombardo wants more Game of Thrones. Provided the next three seasons prove to be as stimulating as the first four seasons, fans would likely take more than seven seasons, as well. However, right now Game of Thrones is only renewed for the current season (5), as well as next year’s Season 6.
Honestly, if Benioff and Weiss already have their hearts set on seven or eight seasons, I can see HBO convincing the show to get to Season 8, but am less certain about 10. While the show will be moving past George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire books soon, we do know the two showrunners have already sat down with the author to discuss where The Winds of Winter and the rest of the series is headed. They know more about the twists and turns in Martin’s mind than most people at this point, and they should have a good idea regarding what they need to do to get to the final, pivotal climaxes of the series. If that’s eight seasons, then it’s eight seasons. If it’s 10 seasons, then it’s 10 seasons. If it’s six seasons and a GOT movie, so be it.
The bigger terror would be for HBO to needle Benioff and Weiss until they agreed to produce more episodes with no storyline to match. Right now, Game of Thrones manages to be one of the hottest properties on television because there are no filler episodes. There are 10 action-packed and tightly written episodes that are unrelentingly exciting to watch. I’d rather the team keep up the pace than throw in some filler episodes to keep the story going for longer. Now, if they could get to Season 10 and still continue to crush, that may be a different story, indeed.