game of thrones director postmortem
HBO

Winter is coming, and so too is the inevitable end of “Game of Thrones,” although HBO president Michael Lombardo is still hoping to postpone that eventuality for as long as possible.

“‘Seven seasons and out’ has never been the conversation,” Lombardo told reporters during HBO’s presentation at the Television Critics Assn. summer press tour on Thursday. “The question is, how much beyond the seventh season are we going to do?”

According to Lombardo, “Game of Thrones” showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss are “feeling like there’s probably two more years after [season] six,” noting that he would “love for them to change their minds, but that’s what we’re looking at right now.”

Lombardo has previously gone on record admitting that he wants to see “Game of Thrones” run for a decade: “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. We’ll have an honest conversation that explores all possible avenues … 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,” he said earlier this year.

When asked about the possibility of a prequel or spinoff of some kind at TCA, Lombardo admitted, “I would be open to anything David and Dan want to do … there’s enormous storytelling to be mined in a prequel.” He added that there have been no conversations about an offshoot for “Thrones” yet, since “the focus is on figuring out the next few years of this show.”

When asked the inevitable question about Jon Snow’s fate following the season five finale, Lombardo insisted, “Dead is dead is dead. He be dead… Everything I’ve seen, heard and read, Jon Snow is indeed dead,” echoing sentiments from Kit Harington and the producers.

Still, as Emilia Clarke recently pointed out, death isn’t necessarily permanent on “Game of Thrones,” since, “there’s some helpful people there who could bring him on back to life.” We’re looking at you, Melisandre.

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