‘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)

Follow Kofi Outlaw on Twitter @ppnkof
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  1. Is it just me or is this show really starting to drag? Like soap opera boring.

    • Just u cause u dumb.

      • To make a charge of someone being dumb
        it is advisable to write in a manner that
        does not make you look to be dumber.

        • LOL! apply water in burnt area

        • Be quiet ya turd

    • I enjoy the show, but it has a very slow pace.

      • Show was always slow paced, the show is a narrative with tons of character development it’s not an epic, with explosions and battles or filled with twists and turned and cheap thrills. That’s not what this show is about.

        • The pace of a story has nothing to do with the action or lack thereof, buddy.

        • Doesn’t make it brilliant.

          • Very few things in life are. Mostly, the word ‘brilliant’ is just empty rhetoric for people with small vocabularies.

      • That is a perfectly valid and fair characterization of the show.
        Particularly season three. Nonetheless the show remains engaging.

    • I agree with you a bit, nothing major really happens till towards 2nd half of a season

    • Just you.

    • It is not just you. The pacing could be improved.
      They seem to be holding a little too much fire
      for the final two episodes this season.

    • Just wait. The first half of book 3 was a little slow. But its about to pick up big time. And next season is going to be amazing.

      • I agree with Mike – Season 3 first half of the book felt very slow when I was reading it. So it is natural that we feel that way watching the show. But just like Mike said, the show will pick up the pace and become very thrilling.

    • You have a valid point that people seem to get upset about because their so invested in the series. The show is slow in quite a few spots, just like the books. I have been bored at times and found myself power reading through chapters featuring characters I cared nothing about. I do enjoy the series, but the pacing should be quicker.

      • Not sure the show’s pacing could be any quicker considering the big things we’ll see in season 4.

        It’ll be like taking the Michael Bay method and disregarding plot and exposition to shoehorn more action in when it’s usually the little things like a nod here or there to a simultaneous plotline or a brief piece of character development that make a show great.

        For example, I never watched 24 for the action, I tuned in for the nice little touches that showed Bauer at the end of his tether and coming close to cracking with a desperate look in his eye that showed a little self doubt.

        • I have to disagree with your Michael Bay example. Look, I’m not insinuating that the series should have more action, I just think that there are rather dull moments in the series. I enjoy the character development, but I found quite a few scenes to be bland.

  2. This season is probably going to end well but the last two episodes have been slow. Book three should have been a single season of 16 episodes split in half for eight episodes per half because it has felt like they needed to stretch the story to reach ten episodes making it drag a little in the last two episodes.

  3. The showrunners have already said they will never do more than 10 episodes per season due to a number of factors, including actor availability, production cost, and the time needed in between seasons to prep the next one.

  4. its just you yes

  5. I love the show so much, why don’t they make books 4 &5 into Two seasons , I haven’t read thr books but i am sure that they could easily make 2 seasons out of the last Two available books, I can watch this series even if it stretchs up to 10 seasons.

  6. Man I am anticipating that these last 2 episodes are gonna be awesome. I read some of the books plot cause i was interested and ill be on the edge of my seat. Its amazing to me how well realized Westeros is in the show I tell everyone who hasnt seen it to check out GOT

  7. LOL. The house Tyrell banner is a vag. Explains Sir Lorus…

    • nevermind… i thought house tyrell was a rose and that was them… upon research… I now see that is house Greyjoy… only for some reason still shaped like a vag.

      • It’s a Kraken

  8. They’ll be lucky if the 6th book is out before they get this far. And I don’t know how they’re going to compress the longer books. I like the show but I do wonder how non-readers follow it (although they seen too).

    Anyway, I’ve decided the books are more like baseball than football. There are more teams, more and longer games, and it really gets into stats and history.

    I got impatient and struggled through the 4th book. Finally started reading the 5th book, and now I’m into it. I’m paying a lot more attention to all the maps and lists of houses and such. I used to think that there is no way he’ll come up with an ending that justifies all of this (and he most likely will not), but now I don’t really care. It’s more about getting caught up in the histories, time, and geography.

    • I agree with you on wondering how people who only watch the show follow it. We’re damn near 8 episodes in, and it’s still not said that the person torturing Theon is Ramsay Bolton. They say you have to watch it from the beginning, but I still feel like you need to read the book to really understand.

  9. My guess is that the screenwriters will do a much better job with the narrative than Martin did with books 4 & 5, most of which can be eliminated altogether to make a better story. I doubt Martin will finish books 6 & 7 in time for the series end, which means that the screen writers, who know how Martin intends to conclude the story, will have to “invent” seasons 6 & 7, as well.

  10. The show is following the books very closely…only rambling somewhat with Theon, who should just be dead by now. If they want to keep the series on longer than Martin’s books they will have to take the story lines on a different track altogether, like Alan Ball did with the the True Blood series. Knowing how invested George RR Martin is in this show I don’t think he will allow anyone to bastardize his writing to the extent that it would become unrecognizable as it did in that case.

    • Theon (Reek) isn’t dead in the books either.

      • Although he’s technically not supposed to show up until book 5. It would have been a bit weird to just jump to him at that point with no explanation in the show I guess…

  11. Doelger can be read to imply seven seasons are a reasonable
    projection based upon the completion of novels six and seven.
    Based upon George R.R. Martin’s prolificacy that seems unlikely.

    Perhaps HBO is indeed thinking of stopping after book five and,
    worst case for a number of reasons, producing a prequel/spinoff
    series for a few years whilst waiting for at least book six finished
    with seven being written with some certainty its completion date
    and then return to Game Of Thrones after these prequels/spinoffs.

    • I agree. A mid-series spin-off would be pretty horrid. However, after the main continuity is done, how interesting would it be to have a miniseries or (wishful thinking here) a feature film covering Robert’s Rebellion? I think there’s a self-contained story in that slice of Westerosi history that even non-fans could appreciate.

  12. There is no denying this is easily the worst season of Game of Thrones so far. So hopefully they do fix that book four problem cause that sounds awful. I like that idea that they merge book four and five. I hope season 4 is better than season 3 was so far cause its been pretty dissapointing.

    • I deny it.

    • Really the worst? Season 3 is pretty dam good

    • Then you won’t be excited about Feast for Crows or Dance with Dragons because their even slower.

    • @bob. ok bob your denied.

  13. Books 4 and 5, although running parallel to each other, has more material than one season can handle. There is enough material for 2 seasons. Therefore, after seaon 4, which finishes up book 3, you have seasons 5 and 6 to cover books 4 and 5. By the time season 7 starts production, usually the summer before it is set to air, it’ll already be be 2016. Meaning, season 7, which would cover the yet to be published book 6 would be shot in the summer of 2016 and air 2017. We can have more than enough confidence in the producers to get that done, even if season 7 had to wait for production and not air until fall 2017 instead of the usual spring.

    Everyone seems to say, they can always take a hiatus, a year off between seasons, fill in the gap with prequels or a spinoff. THEY CAN’T. The producers have already said that that is NOT POSSIBLE because the child actors will outgrow their rolls. Bran is already hitting puberty in season 3. If they took a year off between seasons, he’ll be scruffier than Jon Snow by the time he reaches the wall. Production can’t be stalled.

    There’s more than enough story to go around. Let’s have faith in GRRM that he’ll finish the sixth book by 2016 the latest. He works very closely with the producers. At the very worst, he’ll give them a copy before it’s published so they can start adapting it. The sixth and seventh books are also expected to be as long as, if not longer than, the 3rd book. So, expect books 6 and 7 to cover two seasons each. That’s 4 additional seasons. Unless the producers WANT to finish the show in 7 seasons and will condense material to that fact, we can doubt it will happen. HBO would love the show to go longer, given how much revenue it brings in. And I’m sure the fans would want it to go longer too.

    So, if my calculations are correct, we can expect up to 10 seasons (till 2010).

    • If it’s impossible for them to take a one year hiatus because of the aging child actors, how “scruffy” do you suppose they’ll be if, like you calculate, the show goes 10 seasons?

      • Half as scruffy as they’d be if they took hiatuses, which is less than half as pissed as you’d be if they did take hiatuses.

  14. They will need to have 2 seasons for books 4 and 5, they will just shuffle them together and time the story of both in chronological order
    This would be the timeline
    Season 3 book 3 2013
    Season 4 book 3 2014
    Season 5 book 4&5 2015
    Season 6 book 4&5 2016
    Season 7 book 6 2017
    Season 8 book 7 2018

    So GRRM has to have the 6th book (worst case scenario) out by the end of 2016/ beginning of 2017.
    GRRM will only have to give the writers a working draft to start filming the last season and have the book release shortly before the start of the 8th season.
    Now if book 7 is looking like it wont hit before the first episode of Season 8 (2018), I am sure book 6 is going to be @ 1200 pages so as long as GRRM gives them heads up before book 6, they can split that in to 2 seasons and give us a total of 9 seasons (2019)

    • Exactly what I said. Plenty of material to go forth on.

      • Plus it makes sense to split one of the last two books into 2 separate seasons just have more time with Dany in Westeros vs stuck in Meeren.

  15. Well, I know D+D wanted 8, so I would take this information with a grain of salt. All we really have right now are 4 confirmed. If next years ratings are as good as this years, or better, we’ll have 5 for sure.

    If they do only 7, I’m sure most of the Dorne stuff from book 4 will be cut, as it’s really not all that important, by itself anyway.


    • I’d be hurt if Dorne was cut. I thought it was great exposition, even if it didn’t seem to impact much of what was going on outside of the story.

      • *Outside of Dorne, sorry.

  16. The show’s not entirely at Martin’s mercy cause he has not the power to change facts of the hbo plot, he’s just part of the ”council”.

  17. Seven seasons is far too short. They should be talking that many for the first five books, that would make more sense.

  18. A) “Fans of the show having to wait extra YEARS between seasons so Martin could finish his next book(s)”…. Unlikely. Do they really want to put that much pressure on GRRM?
    B) “Martin rushing to finish and the story suffering (even more than it has).”… Please no.
    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.”… Can I just hope that this report isn’t fixed in stone?

  19. George has already told the ending to the two writers of the TV show. So if they went ahead of the books, they wouldn’t be making it up as they went. They work very closely with George too, so I don’t believe that would be an issue at all. It would feel a little un-natural watching the show before the books, but I would still do it.
    And it’s odd to hear people calling the third season slow paced. After reading the book and then watching it I feel like the story is going a million miles an hour! Plus so much is cut out too, but I agree with the cuts the TV show writers have made.

  20. The reason the third season is “slow paced” is because GRRM is very adept with character development and taking the connection you develop with a character, and severing it by killing them off. He creates emotional connections by showing characters strengths and weaknesses.. as he puts it.. he creates gray characters that aren’t completely good or bad. Basically its like the calm before the storm.

  21. Finishing in Season 7?

    Then for the love of god confirm it now so I can quit watching. 7 Seasons isn’t long enough for the story and anything else is a waste of time.

    I guess I’m stopping watching it then.

    • Why would you stop watching such an awesome show?

  22. I trust the show runners more than Martin. I have read the books and watched the show. The show is actually better.

  23. This series has to run at least 8 seasons for it to make any sense and prevent a fan backlash. They’ll have to dig into their pockets a bit deeper.

    There is no way Feast for crows and dance with dragons can be one season. Too much to do in too little time. It’d be a feat just to do it in two seasons.

  24. I think option (C) is most likely, Kofi. Assuming it’s true that Martin has already told the showrunners how the series will end, it’s likely that they finish the show with Martin’s help and Martin releases the books years later.

    Although not ideal, it’s crucial that the show doesn’t lose audience or momentum.

  25. I love GoT, just wanted to add my love to the mix. However, I keep thinking how cool it would have been if HBO backed the awesome series ROME starring Ray Stevenson and let it continue past the two seasons. The last season was rushed, combining several into one. It was wildly popular, but was cut due to extreme production costs, or so they said.

  26. This is completely wrong. The third book is being split in two seasons, therefore it will already be more than 7 seasons if they do the entire series, which they will. The fifth book is even longer than the third and so would also merit two seasons worth of storylines. Therefore, It is likely that Game Of Thrones will continue for at least 10 seasons.

  27. PLUS! If the series went only to season 7, which would air in 2017, the seventh book wont even be finished by then, considering the 6th book isn’t due out for at least another year or two.

  28. Lol, smaller – Nicely put – But I guess most common viewers don’t put that much fault in these mistakes/plot holes anyway. As it’s the same with other successful shows, like the Walking Dead, having some major and minor logical mistakes itself but is still very successful (eg. a Zombie hitting against a glass with a brick to make it break faster – Pretty impressive for an Undead with nearly no brain functions to know something like that. Still, most people don’t seem to either notice things like that or are willing to overlook them).

    But speaking of Samwell Tarly – What I’d like to know, who’s right, him or Gilly: Is or isn’t there a difference between a wink and a blink? :)

    • Isn’t a blink basically done with both eyes all the time, an a wink with just one? Unless you have something stuck in one eye that is….

      • Guess you’re right, thanx for the clarification. English isn’t my native language and the dictionary translated both expressions with the same word (of course, now when I think about it, in German you use the same work for wink and blink. Got me a little confused)

        But considering English actually is Samwell Tarlys native Language + the allegedly huge amount of books he has read, it’s probably more embarrassing for him than for me that Gilly, who literally lived in the woods her whole life, outsmarted him on this. Wink: ;)