‘Game of Thrones’ to End in Season 7?

Published 2 years ago by , Updated May 21st, 2013 at 3:28 pm,

Game of Thrones Season 7 Series Ending Finale Game of Thrones to End in Season 7?

With its popularity at an all-time high, it may seem strange that we’re talking about the end of HBO’s Game of Thrones.  However, for those who (somehow) don’t know, the show is based on a series of novels by author George R.R. Martin and that series does have a predetermined end. This, of course, means that the Game of Thrones TV show has predetermined end – and now we know that it will be season 7.

But with the books and the show not exactly following the same narrative path, how will Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” saga be split up across seven seasons of TV?

Game of Thrones producer Frank Doelger told Radio Times the following about current plans for the show:

[The number of seasons] is being discussed as we speak. The third season was the first half of book three, season four will be the second part of book three. George R.R. Martin has written books four and five; six and seven are pending… I would hope that, if we all survive, and if the audience stays with us we’ll probably get through to seven seasons.

game of thrones season 31 Game of Thrones to End in Season 7?

As stated by Doelger, Martin’s book series has five of its seven volumes completed, which might make the average person think that the show and books are matched up perfectly – seven seasons of show, one for each volume of the book. Seasons 1 & 2 of Game of Thrones did in fact follow that pacing, but season 3 (currently on air at the time of writing this) will only cover the first half of Martin’s third book, A Storm of Swords. That third book is indeed a dense work with many big plot developments (stay tuned to your TVs, folks), and the final half of the novel has such momentum that it will easily sustain season 4 of the HBO series.

However… fans of the books have long been aware of the “Book 4 conundrum,” and why the TV series stands to gain a significant advantage over the novels. In short (and without spoilers): books 4 & 5 of “A Song of Ice and Fire” are actually one story split across two volumes; the catch is that book 4 abandons nearly all of the (surviving) characters you know and love, in favor of introducing a wide array of new characters and/or exploring the perspectives of characters whose heads we’ve never been in before. Book 5 then returns us to the perspectives of our beloved primary characters, to fill in what they’ve been up to during the events of book 4. It is a big transition, to say the least.

Game of Thrones Feast for Crows House Martin Sigil Game of Thrones to End in Season 7?

Martin’s disconcerting approach to book 4 has courted a lot of criticism (and cost him a fair amount of readers). However, HBO doesn’t have the same problems Martin did in terms of arranging the narrative. With the parallels between books 4 & 5 clearly laid out before them, the showrunners could easily streamline both books into one season, thereby course-correcting themselves after stretching book 3 into two seasons. HBO viewers will almost certainly walk away happier than Martin’s readers did, considering the six-year wait between the disappointment of book 4 and the (semi-)redemption brought by book 5.

Of course, there are still a lot of variables that could disrupt the plan Doelger laid out. For one thing, streamlining books 4&5 into season 5 of the TV show would almost certainly require HBO to up the current 10-episode-per-season count to something more like the 13 episodes other cable shows get. This would allow them to cover all of books 4 & 5 in one season, without sacrificing depth or development.

Joe Dempsie Maise Williams and Ben Hawkey in Game of Thrones Dark Wings Dark Words Game of Thrones to End in Season 7?

HBO could also produce 16 episodes per season with a long break in the middle – something AMC shows like Walking Dead and Breaking Bad have done. This generates more revenue for a show, since the studio can release two DVD/Blu-ray volumes per season – a tactic previously employed by shows like Battlestar Galactica. This would not only allow books 4 & 5 to be streamlined effectively, it would also allow the showrunners to distribute the sure-to-be-dense sixth and seventh volumes of Martin’s saga across single seasons of the show, while still doing the story justice.

Finally, if those other options aren’t viable, with HBO already considering Game of Thrones prequel and/or spinoff shows, there’s an opportunity to detour things in order to stall for time (not recommended).

game of thrones george r r martin peter dinklage Game of Thrones to End in Season 7?

The “midseason break” approach might be the best, since it also allots  Martin more time to write. The author is notoriously slow paced (the first book was released in 1996!), and the worst things that could happen would either be A) Fans of the show having to wait extra YEARS between seasons so Martin could finish his next book(s). B) Martin rushing to finish and the story suffering (even more than it has). C) Martin writes and airs the TV show FIRST, and fans of the books have to know the plot line before getting to fully immersive themselves in the world they’ve invested in for so long.

So again, while seven seasons sounds like a nice goal, don’t be too surprised if the blue print for the show changes somehow, someway, somewhere down the line.

While we’re thinking about the road ahead: would you trust the showrunners to end the saga on their own and completely divulge from Martin’s books (if they’re not written yet)? Or is the show at the mercy of its true creator (Martin)?


Game of Thrones season 3 returns to the airwaves on Sunday June 2, 2013 @ 9pm on HBO.

Source: Radio Times (via TV Guide)

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  1. don’t put much THOUGHT of course … Darn autocorrect

  2. I hear they already know how it ends, in the event that Martin dies first. I wouldn’t put it past D&D to finish it themselves if the old man doesn’t do it in time. As a book fan, I’d be pissed, but Martin could still end it how he wants and call the show fan fiction.

  3. Wow, in 7 seasons? Don’t get me wrong, it could be done but there will be a lot of details that their going to have to cut the way the show plays out. I would rather see it go 10, imo. 3 extra seasons couldn’t hurt right GOT fans?Anyhow, who do women choose to sit on the iron throne? Khaleesi. Find out why: http://giandhi.com/post/51245237560/game-of-thrones-who-should-sit-on-the-iron-throne

  4. They think. speculation, suppose, could, should, maybe.

    Sounds like this Article is a bunch of BS theory. But with enough speculation anyone could be right.

  5. The HBO writers should move ahead with or without Martin finishing his books. They have already shown they can do more with Martin’s story than he can do with it, and what makes for a great book obviously does not make for great TV.

    • I’d disagree about the show being better….nothing beats a good book.

    • If HBO take the show off Martin, it’ll turn out horrible. Things won’t be the same. Have a little faith that Martin will get the books done.

  6. I’m really not a fan of this article. It seems a bit out of touch with reality.

    J.R.R. Martin has actually commented multiple times (most recently on Conan O’Brian) that the plan is to split books 4 & 5 up into 2 or 3 seasons. They haven’t decided which of the two yet. We don’t even know what books 6 & 7 will look like and it is very reasonable they could be as dense as 3,4, & 5. This could lead to them being split into 2 seasons each. This suggests Game of Thrones could run from 8 to 11 seasons. (More if they do a prequel season to give JRRM time to write book 7).

    I think the author must have misunderstood the show-runners. When they were talking about 7 seasons it is much more likely they were talking about how they would split books 1-5 or 1-6.

    • Martin said he’d like to see books 4 and 5 made into 2 or 3 seasons, he didn’t say that what what was actually planned. I think he’s kidding himself. The narrative in those books isn’t strong enough to warrant more than 1-1.5 seasons. The TV show needs to keep a tighter focus and cut out the endless sub plots and new characters or it will become unwatchable. Season 3 incorporated some of book 4 already and Season 4 will continue this pattern while finishing off book 3. 7 seasons, possibly 8, sounds right.

  7. The way I see it, the only way it can really work is if they do 8 seasons (going until 2018) and break the combined Feast and Dragons books into 2 seasons.This will all work if Martin meets his proposed (and hypothetical) deadline of 2014 for his release of Winds of Winter. Then if he takes an estimated 3 more years to complete Dream of Spring then they can get through Seasons 5 and 6 and season 7 which will be Winter and then hopefully if all goes well Dream will come out in 2017 and they can make it into a season. But this could also work if dream came out in 2018 and then the writers made the season simultaneously and released it a few months after the book released.

    2011 – Season 1 – A Game of Thrones
    2012 – Season 2 – A Clash of Kings
    2013 – Season 3 – A Storm of Swords Pt. 1
    2014 – Season 4 – A Storm of Swords Pt. 2
    2015 – Season 5 – A Feast for Crows / A Dance with Dragons Pt. 1
    2016 – Season 6 – A Feast for Crows / A Dance with Dragons Pt. 2
    2017 – Season 7 – The Winds of Winter
    2018 – Season 8 – A Dream of Spring

    • It might be better if they do Feast / Dragons as three seasons which would bring us up to 9. Also if they do the prequel season (or seasons) this could buy us time to 2020… George RR Martin really should take his time on the last novel. I just hope that the writers of the show don’t try and wrap it up prematurely before the last book comes out.

  8. People assume that Martin won’t finish book 6 and 7 in time but he published books 1-3 from 96-2000…I’m pretty sure he lost a little bit of interest after that and it lead to him taking a pretty long break most likely. It’s hard to write when you aren’t feeling it. It wouldn’t surprise me if he did manage to have book six published sometime around 2014 or 2015 and 7 maybe around 2016-2017.

  9. You’re all kidding yourselves on if you think books six and seven will be only a season each, and are completely retarded (as the author of this article is) for thinking they will make a combined single season.

    George R.R. Martin has stated that book six will be his biggest book yet. Book Three is going to be two seasons.. use your brain, book six will also be two seasons.

    He has a LOT to achieve if he wants to finish it in just two more books (for non book readers, it’s no where near the end in terms of the narrative) so you can bloody well bet that book seven will also be a massive epic, another two season job.

  10. I just started watching. Never read the books. From what I can tell this should have been called Game of Porn. For goodness sake. I am assuming this isn’t for younger people, but yet there are children on the show. A show that has porn, nudity and language everywhere. Not a fan at all and I’m a grown man. I think it distracts the viewers from what should be a terrific show with terrific acting.

    • This is on HBO wtf are you expecting? I have no idea why you are complaining about language on a mature show. Season 1 may have been gratuitous with the sex etc but HBO loves that kind of stuff and it will bring more viewers; its perfectly fine for the rest of the seasons as you notice it tapers off. This isn’t a hollywood movie where kids cant be apart of a serious plot. There are going to be kids and they will be raped, die and deal with adult issues, etc

      My advise is quit being sensitive.

      • This is a TV serie for adults, that’s what it makes so fantastic. Absolutely worth watching, everything is made so incredible great and made me watched already all the three seasons two times!! Its so rich on details on every way, you just enjoy it to watch it for the second time. Never had such ever experienced from a TV show. Masterly done.

  11. Divulge? Did you mean diverge?

  12. It won’t be 7 seasons, the comment about 7 seasons was a conservative bet based on the fact that if there are 4 more seasons it only gives him 2-3 years for the last book and it usually takes him 3-5 to write them. BUT remember, Martin has had the END planned out for a long time, its filling the gaps on the way to the end that is the hard part so he could easily write the last book in 2-3 years. The biggest issue is if he dies first, he loves to drink and is 65 at the moment. If he makes it to 70+ we will get our books if not then we may have to deal with an alternative writer finishing the story like what happened with the Wheel of Time.