HBO Unsure When ‘Game of Thrones’ Will End

Published 4 years ago by

Game of Thrones Future HBO HBO Unsure When Game of Thrones Will End

It has won over the hearts of fans and critics alike, but HBO remains cautiously optimistic about whether Game of Thrones will be on television long enough to complete George R.R. Martin’s series of books.

As far as the network is concerned, the longevity of the series is in the hands of the writing and producing team of D.B. Weiss and David Benioff.

The trick of producing a television program that’s based on a series of books (which haven’t yet reached a conclusion) is there may come a time when the show simply catches up to the unwritten book material. Given series creator Martin’s extraordinarily long turnover from book-to-book (five years between A Storm of Swords and A Feast for Crows as well as another five for the recently released A Dance with Dragons), Game of Thrones TV fans may have to wait for another decade to finish his seven-book saga – in order to complete the HBO series.

Naturally, despite the ratings success of the series and the recent Emmy nominations, HBO seems a bit reluctant in committing to a potentially decade-long run for the series – especially since filming on season 2 has just now gotten underway. Nevertheless, network president of programming Michael Lombardo said, “We told George we’d go as long as he kept writing.”

That statement may be easier said than done. Lombardo, facing the very real prospect of keeping the show on the air for another 10 years (or more) added the following:

“I don’t know where the show for us ends as opposed to the books… I think the challenge for us is always, how long do the creators want to stay with the show? Dan and David have signed on for a couple of years and we’re going to have those conversations with them every couple years.”

Stark Game of Thrones HBO Unsure When Game of Thrones Will End

Of course, one of the nice problems to have when producing a series like Game of Thrones is that the rabid fanbase will constantly want more. Given what many consider is a scant 10 episodes per season, Thrones comes up short – according to many of its viewers.

In its favor, however, HBO has stated that it will not concede to a season longer than 10 episodes – for fear that any such increase would result in not only frustrating delays, but also a noticeable degradation in the overall quality of episodes and overarching seasons.

Even though production on season 2 is well underway, the series is still in its infancy. While its future (in relation to the source material) may eventually come into question, the fact remains that George R.R. Martin is “linked to everything [Weiss and Benioff] are doing.” – according to HBO co-president Richard Plepler. If that ‘link’ is a two-way street, it could be beneficial (in terms of insider knowledge) should the series get ahead of Martin’s publishing timeline.


Game of Thrones is currently filming its second season and will return to HBO in 2012.

Source: TV Guide

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  1. Not to mention with Storm of Swords being so long, the third season will probably get only halfway through it. That’s one way to stall for time while GRRM keeps writing, I guess.

  2. They already said that Season 3 will break at the Red Wedding. They need to break up book 2 into several seasons. I think there is too much material in book 2 for just 10 episodes.
    Considering it will probably be 4 to 5 years before the next book and I think the show, if it goes for more than 6 or 7 years, will eventually, have to make a choice on whether to go its own course, but we will wait until that time comes.

    • No go now though, they’ve already started the second season and I think they are going to do all of the second book. But I agree.

      At least they are splitting up the third book and likely each book afterwards though, that will help.

  3. I think there is a real chance that the HBO series will continue until Book 6 at least, because they are going to halve each book into separate seasons starting with Book 3. Martin should have the next to last book finished within five years at least. And it’s possible that if they do each season as well as the first, despite having to take a break, they will still go ahead and do the last book too when it comes out. The fans will want it to happen. Or perhaps even a movie to wrap up loose ends, like Serenity did for the Firefly series (though admittedly, I’d prefer a TV season instead.)

    That’s the optimist in me hoping for that to happen.

    If not though, oh well. It’ll still be a fun series.

  4. This is pretty much how I’d like to see it played out

    Game of Thrones (2011)
    Clash of Kings (2012)
    Storm of Swords pt. 1 (2013)
    Storm of Swords pt. 2 (2014)
    Feast of Crows pt. 1 (2015) – release of Winds of Winter
    Feast of Crows pt. 2 (2016)
    Dance with Dragons pt.1 (2017)
    Dance with Dragons pt. 2 (2018)
    Winds of Winter pt. 1 (2019) – release of Dream of Spring
    Winds of Winter pt. 2 (2020)
    Dream of Spring pt.1 (2021)
    Dream of Spring pt. 2 (2022)

    • I’m gonna feel so old when the year is 2022.

      • I must admit, the concept of 12 YEARS of Game of Thrones sounds totally AWESOME.

        • Agreed

          • Could we please, think of the kids!!! they dont stay like that for long. I dont know about recasting them

    • I’ve already read the1st 4 books and hope they continue to follow the story line as they did in book 1.

    • This schedule seems like way too much. Splitting A Storm of Swords into two seasons is one thing (though I think they could have covered everything with a 13-episode season), as it’s the best book in the series and has the most going on. But two seasons for A Feast for Crows? Really? Have you read the book? Not only is it by far the weakest in the series, but Martin made the ridiculous decision to split it and A Dance with Dragons geographically instead of chronologically. This means that there are several major, MAJOR characters that were entirely absent. Those characters have the majority of A Dance With Dragons, and there’s a few chapters tacked on at the end after the stories finally converge again.

      So what does all this mean? Well, there’s no way to do A Feast for Crows or A Dance With Dragons as written. Fans of the show will not tolerate a full season or two without some of their favorites, nor will they be reassured that those characters will resurface in later seasons. So the writers will have to combine the two books and split them somewhere else. And there just is not enough material for a whopping four seasons as this schedule would indicate. I feel like they could cover both A Feast for Crows and A Dance With Dragons in two seasons, three at the very most. A Feast for Crows alone could be like five episodes. Seriously, there just isn’t that much going on relative to the first three books. There’s certainly not as much as A Game of Thrones or A Clash of Kings, and they’re doing both of those books in one season.

      Anyway, it should take six seasons, seven at most, to cover the first five books. That leaves the final two books, and we don’t know how much will be in there. Judging by the last two books, not that much. Judging by how much still needs to be done, a lot. I know HBO has said that they will go as long as it takes, but I don’t think they want to commit to double digit seasons. Even The Sopranos, their most popular show, only ran six (really seven) seasons. Granted, that didn’t have preexisting source material, but still.

      I was actually surprised that the writers got HBO to agree (apparently) to split A Storm of Swords into two seasons, but I can’t imagine they’re going to do that on a regular basis. If I had to guess, I’d say the fifth and sixth seasons will cover the combined events of A Feast for Crows and A Dance With Dragons, and the final two books will be spread out over three seasons. That would be nine seasons in all, which would be pushing it, but I think it’s doable. Eight seasons is more likely than 10 or more.

    • really have you read the books because while the narrative split works in book form it would never work in tv form especially like this is setup you cant have 2 seasons without Jon/Dani/Tyrion while doing aFfC. Plus Feast is not as dense of a book, so you will see aFfC and aDwD combined in tv format so as not too lose characters for too long probably 3 seasons between both books would work best…

      Of course by that time the books might get to expansive to stay close to the books narrative because they will be some 20 odd storylines going on that are important and I don’t think that is possible to follow in TV format.

  5. With any luck, the “Mereenese knot” that stymied Martin for so long has been solved, and the schedule of book releases will start to look more like the first three than the last two. If that’s the case, the book series will possibly be finished by the end of the show’s fourth or fifth season.

    Frankly, I expect HBO to be the roadblock in this, not GRRM.

    • I just paid $22.87 for an iPad2-64GB and my girlfriend loves her Panasonic Lumix GF 1 Camera that we got for $38.76 there arriving tomorrow by UPS. I will never pay such expensive retail prices in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LED TV to my boss for $675 which only cost me $62.81 to buy. Here is the website we use to get it all from, CoolCent. com

    • What is the Mereenese Knot?

      • Something Martin referenced a lot on his blog. Apparently he was having trouble choreographing the movement of characters to and from Mereen in A Dance With Dragons, and solved the problem by tweaking a viewpoint or two.

        There’s more about it in this thread from the forum, but beware, it is THICK with major SPOILERS for ADwD. If you haven’t read it yet, don’t go there.

  6. Guys come on, this is HBO we are talking about after all. The will cancel the series the moment the main stars ask for pay raises. Look at all the other series they killed for the same reason, Deadwood, Rome, etc. Basically they only care about the money and if the can make more money canceling the series and selling it off on DVD the will do it in a heart beat.

    • They do that enough and soon the fans will stop even caring about anything they do at all.

    • This is 100% guaranteed, it’s only a matter of when and why. More likely it will have nothing to do with individual pay raises but rather the entire production costs that will inevitably go up as the books get more detailed. HBO are a bunch of liars and sellouts, they promised a few movies to wrap up Deadwood and never delivered. They will destroy this show as well!

    • They killed Rome because it wasn’t making money. What the fans want doesn’t matter if you can’t make bank.

  7. Did any one think what if George Martin Dies before hand? He is no spring chicken

    • I think about this every single day. Also, from reading DwD, I dont see how there isn’t an 8th book.

    • I think he has shared some of his decisions regarding the last two books with his publishers and the writers of the show, although not everything.

  8. “Dream of Spring” is the finale book. That fits the with wolves that mate for three weeks in April. Dare we hope.

  9. I’m so confused right now am I the only one that will rejoice if the producers at HBO deviate from the series after book 3? AFFC and ADWD were total crap compared to the first 3 books. I for one felt that reading those two books was a total waste of time and I am hoping that HBO can take these awesome actors great base of a story line and make them actually worth the wait!

    • I agree. HBO should not limit itself to the books and wait on them to dictate how their series goes. They have already taken “liberties” from the books and in each case where they deviated from the books, they made an improvement.

      Clearly HBO’s writers know what they are about and even Martin in one interview said that he “wished he had thought of that” when speaking about a change the show had made from his books.

      There is also the simple fact that the longer HBO waits to finish the show, the older the actors get. The child actors WILL age past their counterparts in the books at the current pacing. There is also the risk that any number of the actors (god forbid) could suffer a serious injury or even death and that of course would have an impact on the show.

      HBO’s best choice is to press ahead and use the books as source material but craft the story of their TV series on their own, with their own writers and at their own (faster) pace. That will be best for all involved. HBO’s costs will be kept down, the actors will not age past the point where they can no longer be believed to be the characters they portray,

  10. Though it is a book’s adaptation….the story should not go till 2022… is too too too late…since this is the unfolding story… is hard to keep track of story if it is that long…heh….

  11. Everything is positioned exquisitely by the end of book 5. After 4000 plus pages GRRM delivers one hell of a check-mate. The resolution is brilliant, a masterpiece. I don’t agree that any other books are needed. Let Brian Herbert write books 6 and 7.

  12. Just watched the first episode of series 3 and I’m sorry to be a dissenting voice among the masses but this is just ludicrous. Having slavishly watched the first 2 series and now endured about 20 minutes of drossy adverts with this 60 minute segment I am absolutely certain that this series should never have been made. These books by George Martin should have been made into 2 or at most 3 films by a good director – 10 years of watching will kill off lots and lots of people, literally and figuratively. It is just plain stupid, stupid, stupid. This is profit driven madness – more like a soap than a great adventure series.
    What a shame – chances are we will never see the actual completed series, as viewing numbers drop off, as they will by year 5 or 6 HBO will kill it in favour of something else that is more comercially viable.

  13. I read the books and really regret it. Spoiler Alert!

    This was an interesting story in the 1st 2 or 3 books but the last 2 books are trash.

    The last 2 books go on and on and on and on for ever and yet go no where interesting. WAY too many characters, WAY to many plot lines.
    I think the author is getting old and senile and doesn’t realize that he took something really good, didn’t know when to quit and ended making a MESS of things.

    Game of Thrones is going absolutely no where at a snails pace.

    I hope the HBO writers abandon the storylines of the author.

  14. I’ll be dead before this is over with, I’ll never know how it ends!