As Game Of Thrones season 5 edges ever closer to dominating the cultural landscape, talk has turned to the future of the fantasy series. Showrunners, co-creators and lead writers David Benioff and Dan Weiss have both previously addressed the issue already, stating that they are aiming to wrap up the show with seven seasons total. Besides the major issue of where exactly the storyline will venture if George R.R. Martin fails to churn out another tome – the show’s future looks relatively solid. Most of the main actors have signed on until 2017 as well, when that fateful final episode will air.
Except, there’s the chance that HBO might be pushing for more action from the Seven Kingdoms. In a follow-up interview with EW – whose extensive season 5 coverage is saliva-inducing – HBO programming president Michael Lombardo expressed his unease with dropping their most valuable property:
“This is the hard part of what we do. We started this journey with David and Dan. It’s their vision. Would I love the show to go 10 years as both a fan and a network executive? Absolutely.”
In order to smooth over both sides of the argument (the writers are done, the network is not), Lombardo discussed what that compromise will look like:
“We’ll have an honest conversation that explores all possible avenues,” Lombardo says. “If they weren’t comfortable going beyond seven seasons, I trust them implicitly and trust that’s the right decision—as horrifying as that is to me. What I’m not going to do is have a show continue past where the creators believe where they feel they’ve finished with the story.”
His comments are both admirable and refreshing to hear, considering the show will most likely finish with the worldwide legion of fans eager for more seasons. Inevitably, the possibility of a feature-length movie was broached, following up on previous statements by Martin, who is an advocate for the format shift.
“Certainly there have been conversations where it’s been said, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to do that?’ But when you start a series with our subscribers, the promise is that for your HBO fee that we’re going to take you to the end of this. I feel that on some level [a movie would be] changing the rules: Now you have to pay $16 to see how your show ends.”
However it shakes out between Benioff, Weiss and HBO’s head honchos, there is no mistaking the fact that with a property as lucrative as Game Of Thrones, the matter will probably be decided by who owns the rights.