On the eve of launching the highly anticipated fourth season of the HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones, series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have been talking about the end. The series is a mad success for the network, and everyone even remotely associated with it, but the series, and its source material, A Song of Ice and Fire series by author George R.R. Martin, are building towards an end. When will that end be? In a new interview, Benioff and Weiss reveal that they have a semi-specific idea.
In a Q&A with Vanity Fair, which put Game of Thrones on their April issue’s cover, the producers say that they expect GOT to run “seven or eight” seasons. “It doesn’t just keep on going because it can,” Weiss said. “I think the desire to milk more out of it is what would eventually kill it, if we gave in to that.”
Seven or eight seasons would mean that the show could wrap in about three or four years, but there’s a more pressing deadline to keep in mind. Season four of the show will adapt the second half of book three, and maybe start into book four, but to date only five Fire and Ice books have been published, and Martin says he has at least two more in mind. “Hopeful that [he] can not let [the show] catch up,” the author said to Vanity Fair.
In any event, the showrunners have already pondered the possibility that they may catch up to Martin plotting-wise and have discussed the endgame with Martin personally.
“Last year we went out to Santa Fe for a week to sit down with him and just talk through where things are going, because we don’t know if we are going to catch up and where exactly that would be,” said Benioff. “If you know the ending, then you can lay the groundwork for it. And so we want to know how everything ends. We want to be able to set things up. So we just sat down with him and literally went through every character.”
Wish you could have been a fly on the wall at the meeting, huh? Wouldn’t want to be Martin now considering the size of his books and the pressure of not just ending your fantasy book series in a satisfying way, but laying the ground work for the ending of a popular TV series too. No pressure. On the bright side, there is president that popular cable shows have taken a year off, so Martin may have some breathing room, but he’s still got to be feeling that pressure…
In case you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the cover image from Vanity Fair featuring Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke, Lena Headey, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and Peter Dinklage.
Game of Thrones premieres April 6 on HBO.