HBO's smash hit, Game of Thrones, is set to return for its fifth season in just a few weeks with anticipation from audiences and fans growing as the premiere gets closer. The series - based on the A Song of Ice and Fire novels by George R. R. Martin - has quickly become one of the most popular TV shows of all time and continues to be a constant source of speculation and fan theories for all kinds of audiences.
With the show appearing to be catching up with the novels this season and the showrunners having differing opinions on how long the show can go, fans have been left wondering what the future of Game of Thrones might entail moving forward.
In his most recent journal entry, Martin shared his thoughts on how long he sees the series continuing. He was quick to point out that right now, the series only has an order for six seasons from HBO, and while that could - and most likely will - be extended, all talk of how the series will end after season 6 is mere speculation at this point. However, it is well known that Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have envisioned the show ending with season 7 from the beginning.
Martin went on to reveal that since the second episode of the first season premiered, HBO has been telling him they want the show to run for ten years. There has even been speculation and discussions of the series concluding with a feature film, and with the box office numbers from the IMAX screenings of the show earlier this year, it certainly seems like a plausible idea - and one Martin has been behind since it first came into discussion.While HBO doesn't seem all too keen idea, nothing has officially been decided on that front.
But what does this mean? When will the series actually end? Martin answered this question by simply saying, "No one knows." He then concluded his journal entry with the following:
"As we go forward, I expect I will have a voice in all these decisions. But mine will only be one voice among many, and there are all sorts of other factors that can come into play. I will say, I am incredibly fortunate in having partners like HBO, and David Benioff and Dan Weiss. Seven seasons, ten seasons, with or without one or two feature films... in the end, all that matters is that we tell a great story, with a great end."
Now, with the series entering its fifth season in just a few weeks and looking to be just as successful as the past four seasons - and with season 5 taking potentially taking characters even further than the books - it's only natural for fans to begin to wonder how much longer the series can air. Especially considering that Weiss and Benioff's ideal seven seasons has been known by fans since the beginning, meaning they may only have two more years with the Starks and the Lannisters after this upcoming season.
It looks like the future of Game of Thrones is still very much in the same state of flux as most of the characters. Every theory is plausible in some respect, although with HBO renewing for two more seasons directly after the second episode of season 4 aired last year - and expectations of the same thing happening after season 5 -it might not be long before fans get some kind of confirmation as to the show's ultimate fate.
Are you looking forward to season 5, Screen Rant readers? Let us know in the comments.
Game of Thrones is set to return to HBO on Sunday April 12th.