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Game of Thrones showrunners want to finish after seven or eight seasons

03.11.2014

Next month sees the debut of the fourth season of HBO's Game of Thrones, which chronicles the second half of the third (and longest) book of author George R.R. Martin's "Song of Ice and Fire" series, "A Storm of Swords." Two more novels have been published since then "A Feast for Crows" and "A Dance With Dragons," which leaves showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss close on the heels of catching up to the books. Naturally, with the intent to wrap up the series as the author plans to wrap up the books, the pressure is on to lay the foundation for completing the series without rushing through an ending. Speaking to Vanity Fair, Benioff stated that they are doing just that, saying:

“Last year we went out to Santa Fe for a week to sit down with him [Martin] and just talk through where things are going, because we don’t know if we are going to catch up and where exactly that would be. If you know the ending, then you can lay the groundwork for it. And so we want to know how everything ends. We want to be able to set things up. So we just sat down with him and literally went through every character.” Martin tells Windolf, “I can give them the broad strokes of what I intend to write, but the details aren’t there yet. I’m hopeful that I can not let them catch up with me.”

In addition to catching up to the books, the added pressure to complete the series in a timely manner is that the child characters of the show don't stop aging, whereas they can linger at a young age from novel to novel. Author George R.R. Martin is very aware of the issue, saying:

“This is a serious concern. Maisie [Williams] was the same age as Arya when it started, but now Maisie is a young woman and Arya is still 11. Time is passing very slowly in the books and very fast in real life.”

There was always the intent to finish the series and not leave it open ended, with Weiss and Benioff stating they would like to "wrap it up after seven or eight seasons."

“It doesn’t just keep on going because it can,” Weiss says. “I think the desire to milk more out of it is what would eventually kill it, if we gave in to that.”

As someone who has read all of the books up to the most recent, including the preview chapters of the next book (yes, I'm a fiend for the series), I think it's smart that Weiss and Benioff are approaching this with a sense of urgent care, rather than leisurely momentum. Martin has stated that he intends to put out two more books to finish the series with a total of 1,500 manuscript pages (3,000 pages), the next one in the queue being "The Winds of Winter."

For those that love the show and/or the books, there's plenty of time to relax and enjoy the series, but as we get to the mid-point of the proposed 7-8 seasons, then you have to start wondering how they're going to pull it all off in the long run. Personally, I'm onboard to the bitter end and look forward to seeing the final conclusion of the whole bloody affair, regardless of how long it takes.

Game of Thrones season 4 kicks off on April 6, 2014.

Extra Tidbit: Do you think it works best to shoot for an intended amount of seasons or should the showrunners stretch it out for as long as they need to?
Source: Vanity Fair

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