In a move that should surprise absolutely no one, HBO has officially renewed Game of Thrones for a fifth and sixth season. The season four premiere drew in 6.6 million viewers – the largest audience for an HBO drama since The Sopranos‘ series finale in June 2007 – and crashed streaming service HBO Go on Sunday evening. Last season, the Emmy-winning drama managed to garner an audience of around 15 million viewers per episode, although a majority of that audience came from streaming and recording the series on DVRs.
“Game of Thrones is a phenomenon like no other,” says Michael Lombardo, HBO’s president of programming. “David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, along with their talented collaborators, continue to surpass themselves… we look forward to more of their dazzling storytelling.”
This news is virtually unsurprising, considering how massive the fanbase has grown for the series adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s fantasy novels. Last month, the Game of Thrones creators revealed they wanted to see the show run for seven or eight seasons, tops, after they sat down with Martin to discuss how the book series will end.
The writer is currently working on The Winds of Winter, the sixth of seven books in his Song of Ice and Fire saga. Season four of Game of Thrones, meanwhile, will comprise the second half of the third book in the series, A Storm of Swords. With four lengthy books remaining after that, eight seasons may not be enough to encapsulate the novelist’s vast fantasy universe.
With fervor for the television program and the original novels at an all-time high, it is hard to imagine anything stopping the HBO phenomenon as it moves forward. With awareness at its peak, especially due to the water cooler sensation of last season’s Red Wedding, who knows how big of an audience Game of Thrones may reach in future seasons?
Source: The Playlist