As the promotional campaign for “Game of Thrones” season five ramps up ahead of its April 12 premiere, author George R.R. Martin has taken to his blog to address speculation about the show’s future — specifically, reports that HBO is hoping that the show will run 10 seasons, while showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss are aiming for seven.
“This discussion is nothing new, of course. I get asked similar questions every time I make a public appearance, do an interview, or walk a red carpet. My usual answer is a variant on, ‘I don’t know how many seasons the show will run.’ I don’t know. No one knows,” Martin wrote on his official LiveJournal.
“I do know that David & Dan have stated in interviews that they see the show winding up in seven seasons … I also know that HBO wants the series to run longer than that. I have known that since the very beginning… well, actually, since the day after the second episode of season one aired, when I had lunch with one of HBO’s top execs, who told me, ‘We want this to run ten years.’ I allowed that ten years sounded fine to me. I continue to hear similar sentiments from HBO every time I have meeting with them, be it in L.A. or New York,” Martin added.
The rumor mill began churning anew when EW posted an interview with HBO boss Michael Lombardo, who admitted that the possibility of ending the show at seven seasons was “horrifying” to him. “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,” he admitted. “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.”
Martin also discussed the possibility of a “Game of Thrones” movie, which Lombardo seemed to nix during his EW interview. “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. 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,” Lombardo said.
The author, naturally, had a slightly different view. “I see that this new crop of stories also raises, once again, the notion of concluding the series with one or more feature films. And in some of these stories, once again, this idea is wrongly attributed to me. Let me state, yet again, that while I love this idea, it did NOT originate with me. It was a notion suggested to me, which I have enthusiastically endorsed,” Martin clarified. “Sure, I love the idea. Why not? What fantasist would not love the idea of going out with an epic hundred million feature film? And the recent success of the Imax experience shows that the audience is there for such a movie. If we build it, they will come. But will we build it? I have no bloody idea.”
“Game of Thrones” season five premieres Sunday, April 12, at 9 p.m. on HBO.