‘Game of Thrones’ Creators Want Series to End in Season 7 or 8

Published 1 year ago by

Game of Thrones Season 4 Logo Game of Thrones Creators Want Series to End in Season 7 or 8

Winter is (still) coming and we’re only a few short weeks away from Game of Thrones season 4. Building buzz for the upcoming premiere, HBO has been releasing a steady stream of marketing materials – reminding viewers of where things stand in Westeros following the shocking events of “The Red Wedding.” Despite the vast scale of Game of Thrones, full length trailers, character posters, and behind-the-scenes featurettes all carry a common theme – danger will be around every corner in season 4.

Even though Game of Thrones has become a cultural phenomenon, already one of the most celebrated series to ever grace TV screens, the show’s future remains unclear – given that writer/creator George R. R. Martin still has two full books to finish in A Song of Ice and Fire (the novel series source material for Game of Thrones). Since HBO has already started plucking elements of the fifth novel, A Dance with Dragons, for use in season 4, there are worries among producers, Martin, and plenty of fans that the show might catch up to the book series and have nowhere to go. However, we’re now getting word that the HBO showrunners have a pretty clear idea of how future events will unfold in Westeros as well as how many seasons they plan to produce as a result.

Speaking with Vanity Fair magazine, D. B. Weiss (co-creator of the HBO series) reveals that the network is hoping to wrap-up the show in season 7 or 8:

“It doesn’t just keep on going because it can. I think the desire to milk more out of it is what would eventually kill it, if we gave in to that.”

Game of Thrones Season 4 Second Trailer Game of Thrones Creators Want Series to End in Season 7 or 8

Fellow co-creator David Benioff also indicated that the HBO team has a relatively keen idea of where the book series (and subsequently the show) will end:

“Last year we went out to Santa Fe for a week to sit down with him [Martin] 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. 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.”

Over the years, Martin’s contributions to A Song of Fire and Ice have, on average, become longer reads with longer waits between installments but now that the show is closing in, the writer is more motivated than ever to complete the novel series. According to the interview, Martin is still hopeful that he can stay ahead of the TV series:

“They are [catching up]. Yes. It’s alarming. I can give them the broad strokes of what I intend to write, but the details aren’t there yet. I’m hopeful that I can not let them catch up with me.”

Joe Dempsie Maise Williams and Ben Hawkey in Game of Thrones Dark Wings Dark Words Game of Thrones Creators Want Series to End in Season 7 or 8

While Martin’s characters never change outside of the book page, the writer recognizes the pressures of television production – specifically addressing the challenge aging cast members like Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark, represent:

“This is a serious concern. Maisie was the same age as Arya when it started, but now Maisie is a young woman and Arya is still 11. Time is passing very slowly in the books and very fast in real life.”

This isn’t the first time that we’ve heard HBO discussing a potential end date for the fan-favorite series – though the amount of actual seasons varies in select reports. Still the eight season plan has been mentioned on multiple occasions by producers, which might mean the network has already plotted out roughly three or four seasons worth of remaining story material (now that season 4 is in the can). Therefore, whether the show will finish in season 7 or 8 likely depends on how much material is actually in those “details” that Martin has yet to write.

That said, considering the speed at which the novelist releases new installments in A Song of Fire and Ice (with a five and six year wait separating books three, four, and five), it’s hard to imagine that Martin will be able to stay ahead of the show – especially since the final two novels are each expected to be the longest entries in the series (each roughly twice as long as the original entry). Martin should put forth a valiant effort but he still has a lot of work ahead of him – and do fans really want the creator to rush his books simply to meet the demands of a TV adaptation?

When Will George R R Martin Finish Game of Thrones Game of Thrones Creators Want Series to End in Season 7 or 8

It’s always possible that the network could elect to put the series on hiatus in a few years, while Martin completes the story; yet, with aging child actors (that are essential to the long term Game of Thrones arc) paired with the pressure of maintaining ratings and viewership, it’s highly unlikely that HBO will actually bench the series when they catch up to Martin.

As a result, with only three or four years from HBO’s purposed finale season, it’s a real possibility that fans will see the end of Martin’s fantasy epic in the Game of Thrones TV series before the final chapters of A Song of Fire and Ice are even available.


MORE: 5 Tips for Watching Game of Thrones


Game of Thrones returns for season 4 April 6th on HBO.

Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for further news and updates on Game of Thrones, as well as movie, TV, and gaming news.

Source: Vanity Fair

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  1. I’m starting to get a bad feeling about all of this.
    I can’t say for sure why but something tells me that come 3 or 4 years from now when the show will be pushing towards its end and the pressure really starts to get to Martin bad blood will start to boil.

    Everyone is saying all the right things now but there’s no pressure yet. Martin can finish a book and the series can work from that but after that it’s going to get tricky.

    • I wouldn’t freak out just yet- this isn’t exactly news. They’ve been saying this since the show started and it was likely discussed before that. The only component that hasn’t been specifically stated before is a number of seasons, which it seems they are starting to lock down, but they have always said that he discussed his outline with them, in case something happened that he wasn’t able to finish.

      • @ Chance

        I’m not freaking out yet (probably soon though ;)) but its because we’ve heard the same story since season 1 that I’m starting to grow a bit weary.
        Almost 3 seasons later and there’s still nothing new to report. We’ve heard before that the producers of the show have talked about the ending with Martin but I still don’t think we are any closer to another book release.

        My main thought that is come crunch time HBO may have to start flexing its muscles and that may turn out bad for us all.
        I hope it doesn’t get to that point though.

        • I can understand the concern, but I doubt that HBO has any power to flex when it comes to GRRM. They are licensing the property. Were they somehow involved with his publisher is when I would get concerned.

  2. They should have filmed everything back to back, so the “age factor” would have been removed

    • Filming multiple seasons of a tv series back to back is not like filming a trilogy of films back to back. It would be almost impossible to do this.
      I was a fan of the books and of Mr. Martin’s writing in general way before the tv series came out. He is a professional and I think there are plenty of details left for the readers to enjoy, even if they do have to end the tv series before the actual book series ends. As much as I have enjoyed the tv series, the books are always better. In some ways, I almost enjoy seeing a film or tv adaptation before reading a book, because more often than not, I am disappointed by the adaptation. When I see a visual adaptation first, it allows me to enjoy that, and then further enjoy reading it, without the disappointment.

    • Yep they started way too soon! Should have waited till he was 2 years into the last book…

  3. Sounds fine to me..

  4. I don’t see why this is such an issue. The book and the TV show are two separate media. I never read the book and probably never will. I am sure there a lot of stuff in the book that are not in the show. I am sure they have enough ground material to end it well.

  5. Yeah this all kind of feels like a no win scenario. On one hand the show will finish before Martin finishes, leaving out a lot of the details and potentially spoiling the ending for those that read the books. Or Martin really rushes through his writing and produces lower quality books (To be honest for me the books have been decreasing in quality, albiet only slightly, since the first three).

    While I am a huge fan of both the show and the books, it’s too bad that Martin needs to have this looming fact that his books WILL be adapted. That has the potential to change the way any author makes choices while they write, time constraints or not.

    Who knows though, maybe not having all the time in the world could be a good thing for Martins writing.

  6. I’m a fan of both the book series and the television series, even though lines have been drawn between the two. That said, I don’t want to see the ending of the story on the screen before I read it.

    • I completely agree with you.

      As for “(…)and do fans really want the creator to rush his books simply to meet the demands of a TV adaptation.”

  7. How could they end after Season 8 (let alone Season 7) if it goes roughly like that:

    Season 1 = Book 1
    Season 2 = Book 2
    Season 3 = Book 3.1
    Season 4 = Book 3.2
    Season 5 = Book 4
    Season 6 = Book 5.1
    Season 7 = Book 5.2
    Season 8 = Books 6+7 in a nutshell ???

    I don’t see it… it should be a 10-Season-Arc, which would give Martin enough space to publish part 6 and line out the final one in detail… If I was him, I would write the final season myself and adapt it for a novel later (or never)…

    • 10 seasons would be incredible, but I doubt that’s happening.

      Books 4 and 5 cover very little actual story despite their length.
      Much of it is boring descriptions, travelling, and useless stories of unimportant characters. This is why they are said to be not as good as the first three.
      Also there’s very little action, and tons of talking.

      Books 4 and 5 could be adapted into Seasons 5 and 6 with plenty of room for non-canon stories. This is what I assume they are going to do, probably even adapt the beginning of Book 6 into the end of Season 6.

      Which means GRRM has until mid 2016 to finish Book 6, but then only till mid 2018 for book 7 if he doesn’t want the show to overtake the books.
      If he finishes book 6 by 2015, then it 2018 for book 7 shouldn’t be a problem if he stops all tours, writing for television, encyclopedias and sidestories.

      However, due to the length of Books 6 and 7, I think we’ll need more episodes per season towards the end if they want to tell the story properly.

    • So it’ll be like this:

      2011 – Season 1 = Book 1
      2012 – Season 2 = Book 2
      2013 – Season 3 = Book 3.1
      2014 – Season 4 = Book 3.2 + beginning of Book 4
      2015 – Season 5 = first half of Books 4 & 5 (4 & 5 are chronologically concurrent)
      2016 – Season 6 = second half of Books 4 & 5 + beginning of Book 6
      2017 – Season 7 = Book 6 (more episodes)
      2018 – Season 8 = Book 7 (more episodes)

      This is assuming GRRM finishes book 6 by latest mid 2015, and book 7 by mid 2018 (to coincide with Season 8).

      • No.

        2011 – Season 1 = Book 1
        2012 – Season 2 = Book 2
        2013 – Season 3 = Book 3.1
        2014 – Season 4 = Book 3.2 + Book 4 + Book 5
        2015 – Season 5 = Book 3 + Book 4 + Book 5
        2016 – Season 6 = Book 6
        2017 – Season 7 = Book 7

  8. Well, at least we know one thing.

    Martin’s wife has forbidden him from killing off Arya Stark.

    • If we’ve learned anything from GRRM, it’s that he will do exactly that and reveal it to his wife as a valentine’s day present. 😀

  9. I think George is writing the last two books at once, with a really good edit on the first one. That’s why it will take awhile. I’m guessing that THE WINDS OF WINTER will publish in 2016, and A DREAM OF SPRING to coincide with the final TV season in 2018.

    He has until 2016 for this plan, almost two whole years to finish WINTER, it’s managable and expected, that will be five years since A DANCE WITH DRAGONS. It gives HBO three seasons to wrap up the remaining material (2nd half of book 3, book 4 & 5) for seasons 4, 5 & 6. leaving Winter/season 7 & DreamofSpring/season 8. George will have two years to finish and tighten Dream of Spring.

  10. I think someone should address the elephant in the room, that being that George is an old and overweight man who could easily croak any day. Of course HBO knows how he intended to end the series and they have their own plan to do so with or without him. There’s a very good chance that the only closure fans will get to A Song of Fire and Ice will be via the television show and not through his books. Book 6 may make it but book 7 isn’t promised and if we do get the last book, it will be written by someone else using George’s notes and outline. That being said, this is one of my favorite shows ever!

  11. since I havent read the books I would love it if the tv show came out first. I hate that shows based on books get spoiled by fans who have read them.

    Thats why shows like SOpranos, Wire, Breaking Bad, everyone experiences them at the same time without anything being spoiled.

    I didnt read the books, didnt go online looking for spoilers and still while standing on line for a ride at Six Flags Great Adventure i overheard a group of kids talking about the Red Wedding which spoiled it for me.

    so I’m cool with the show ending the series before the books, nobody would know what was gonna happen.

    • “everyone experiences them at the same time without anything being spoiled.”

      Depends on when a country airs a show.

      We only just had episode 3 of True Detective but the show’s done now in the US. We get The Following tonight, the US had it last night. We’re 5 episodes behind the US with Revolution and 3 behind with Arrow.

      We also had Bates Motel and Orphan Black months after they finished airing in the US.

      • You are only “behind” by choice. You have a computer? Use it! No reason someone can’t find tv shows online. None.

        • *sigh*

          What is it about people being impatient these days?

          I’m only watching Helix online because they stopped showing it after episode 6 in the UK and announced that the rest will air later in the year on another channel and it’s a show that isn’t good enough for me to wait that long to see how it ends.

          You have a computer, yes? Use it! By not being such a tool.

  12. Oh deadlines and writers make for a deadly cocktail.

  13. If they get to the end of the show before he finishes the books they better come up with a different ending for the show…I don’t want a tv show ruining a series I starting reading in freakin’ 2002.

  14. The only way I can see this working is if the TV show creators go into more detail therefore making more seasons. That way 2 seasons would take a book and there would be more years for GRRM to finish the last book. That way everyone wins. The show fans get more screen time in Westeros. GRRM won’t have to rush the last 2 books and therefore the book fans will be happy as well. Seriously TV creators do it! Here’s my plan. So A Storm of Swords takes Season 4. So now A Dance with Dragons and A Feast for Crows would take 3 seasons together because they’re parallel. The Winds of Winter would take 2 seasons and then A Dream of Spring would take 2 seasons. In total 11 seasons. And by the time AFFC and ADWD are finished it will be 2016 and The Winds of Winter will have already come out by then. So then that will be 2 more years for TWOW and then by 2018 GRRM would have already completed A Dream of Spring by then. So then the TV Show can happily finish by 2021 leaving show fans happy and really its a win win situation.

  15. Wait a second so is this their plan?
    Season 1: Book 1
    Season 2: Book 2
    Season 3: Book 3.1
    Season 4: Book 3.2
    Season 5: Book 4 + 5.1
    Season 6: Book 4 + 5.2
    Season 7: Book 6 + 7?

    They just can’t do that. I even think that just 2 seasons for books 4 + 5 isn’t enough.

    Here’s what I think they should do:
    Season 1: Book 1
    Season 2: Book 2
    Season 3: Book 3.1
    Season 4: Book 3.2
    Season 5: Book 4 + 5.1
    Season 6: Book 4 + 5.2
    Season 7: Book 4 + 5.3
    Season 8: Book 6.1
    Season 9: Book 6.2 + 7.1
    Season 10: Book 7.2

    I think 10 seasons at least. If they were to go into more depth for Book 6 + 7 and 4 + 5 then they could even do 12 seasons. That would be an absolute dream come true. Here’s what that would look like:
    Season 1: Book 1
    Season 2: Book 2
    Season 3: Book 3.1
    Season 4: Book 3.2
    Season 5: Book 4 + 5.1
    Season 6: Book 4 + 5.2
    Season 7: Book 4 + 5.3
    Season 8: Book 4 + 5.4
    Season 9: Book 6.1
    Season 10: Book 6.2
    Season 11: Book 7.1
    Season 12: Book 7.2

  16. You actually mentioned that fantastically!

  17. So I first discovered this world after the first season aired and started reading last year and I am done with the books as of last week. Over the years I have become obsessed with everything ASOIF. All the youtube videos, all the history, all the interviews. Yes its pathetic but what can I say haha. I think GRRM fans have a right to be worried. This is how it has played out so far
    S1=Book 1
    S2=Book 2
    S3=Book 3 1st Half
    The problem now arises. If you hold your copy of A Storm of Swords, and find the Red Wedding (Roughly where the 3rd season ended) it is about 3/4 of the way through. So its not like theres a whole half book to adapt. Also because HBO has made so many changes and deleted several characters, theres less to adapt because the characters and events involving deleted characters dont occur in the show and cant be used to pad the season. Because Fan Favorites Jon, Dany and Tyrion do not appear in Book 4, doing a straight book to screen adaptation poses problems in regards to actors contracts. Anyway the point is, they are pulling from the 1st half of book 4 for Jaime and Brienne’s story this season and the first half of book 5 for Theon, Dany and Bran’s story. So really theres only gonna be half of 4 and 5 for the above characters left of written material. Plus, what happens when Dany and Bran and Theon are so far ahead from other characters in terms of story because theres still the Greyjoy uncles and the Dorne storyline in book 4. Jesus. I wouldnt want D&D’s job. What I am saying is there isnt a super large amount of stuff left to use because what happens when characters run out of written material and other characters need to catch up? I would prefer not to have to watch totally invented material but thats just me. I hope it all turns out ok. I really want the last half of the series to be as awesome as the first. Go George Go!

  18. I discovered the show first. (Love the HBO series. Love it!) I started reading the series last month. I’m nearly done with book 3. ( Love, love, love the books.) There’s just so much more depth and detail in the novels.

    By the time season 7 rolls around I’m sure HBO will be able to wrap the show up based on a story synopsis by Martin. The TV series closely follows the books, but the books are different.

    As AMC’s The Walking Dead, I think HBO has lots of viewers who don’t read the books so it’ll all work out…

  19. I feel like they should hash everything out, film all the episodes as best they can, then put it in haitus until all the books come out. Otherwise it will just ruin the books and also the relationship between Martin and the shows producers. The fans will also be disappointed because Martin will feel that he has to rush which will ruin the material and in turn ruin the show.

    I wouldn’t mind if they put it in haitus right now then maybe used digital technology to make the characters look younger when the show does come back on.

  20. Ummmmm…… the book series is called ” A Song of Ice and Fire.” A reporter probably should know the name of the book series he is reporting about.

  21. Isn’t George’s series called “A Song of Ice and Fire”? Not “A Song of Fire and Ice”.

    • Wow, the furiously masturbating nitpickers strike again!

  22. I wish people who make TV shows would stop deciding how many more episodes to make so early. Just tell that story you want to tell! Jeez! If that means the final season is an extra episode long, so be it; if it means it’s half the length, so be it. Having a planned schedule this early means they will inevitably be forced to rush more than they’d like, or stretch things out more than they’d like.
    The show will be entering its 7th season before GRRM is even a fraction of the way into the 7th book. There’s plenty of time to tell parts of the story that have been left out, or to expand on characters that work well in the show. To have the last book and the last ever episode both released on the same day would be a huge event and each would drive the other.