HBO demonstrated its love for Game of Thrones early, even before the show became a certified water-cooler phenomenon. The cable net ordered a second season of the show a mere two days after the series premiered last April. The show received critical praise and solid ratings, not to mention earning a pretty die-hard fan base. Now, with the second season set to return in April 2012, rumors are swirling that HBO is considering making an even more serious commitment to the show. The Game of Thrones fansite Winter-Is-Coming.net is reporting that HBO may be thinking about ordering not one, but two more seasons of the show, and that they would shoot back-to-back.

The site claims to have heard the news from multiple sources, and says that the film crew in Northern Ireland has been told to expect to shoot for nine months next year. Based on the best-selling A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy series by George R.R. Martin, Game of Thrones plans to adapt one novel per season. The first season covered the events of the book of the same name, and season two will theoretically move on to A Clash of Kings. If the rumor is true, this order from HBO would take the show up through season 4, but the events of the third book, A Storm of Swords, would be split over seasons three and four. That part, at least, has been confirmed by writer/producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, who told The Daily Beast last August that Storm of Swords would not be covered in a single season.

If the rumor proves to be true, it’s great news for fans and shows that HBO is in the Game of Thrones business for the long haul. In the mean time, however, we should take all of this with a heaping helping of salt until HBO confirms or denies it.
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