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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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12:25PM on 03/12/2014
They should have waited until there was only one book left before starting production on the show. Instead the first episode aired with 3 books remaining (the 5th was basically done) and everyone knows George RR Martin is a notoriously slow writer. Now even more so that the fame of the show has him doing talk shows, etc. I've read the first 5 books and I'm wondering if I'm going to remember everything by the time the book 6 comes out.
They should have waited until there was only one book left before starting production on the show. Instead the first episode aired with 3 books remaining (the 5th was basically done) and everyone knows George RR Martin is a notoriously slow writer. Now even more so that the fame of the show has him doing talk shows, etc. I've read the first 5 books and I'm wondering if I'm going to remember everything by the time the book 6 comes out.
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4:22AM on 03/12/2014

6 seasons.

I think the series has gotten to a point where it should start heading towards a destination. 9 seasons seems like too much dithering time.
I think the series has gotten to a point where it should start heading towards a destination. 9 seasons seems like too much dithering time.
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4:10AM on 03/12/2014
Martin should be ASHAMED that he's letting them catch up (something he swore he would not let happen). But I am happy that everyone is looking to the future and planning appropriately.
Martin should be ASHAMED that he's letting them catch up (something he swore he would not let happen). But I am happy that everyone is looking to the future and planning appropriately.
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7:54PM on 03/11/2014
The show needs to do what is best to tell the story. I'm guessing 9 seasons, which should be plenty. After this season, that would leave 1 season each for books 4-6, and they'd probably split the last book into 2 seasons since that's the popular thing to do these days. Another possibility is for HBO to maybe extend a couple seasons from 10 episodes to 15. If you do that for 2 seasons, you cover the same amount of material in 2 years as you would have in 3.
The show needs to do what is best to tell the story. I'm guessing 9 seasons, which should be plenty. After this season, that would leave 1 season each for books 4-6, and they'd probably split the last book into 2 seasons since that's the popular thing to do these days. Another possibility is for HBO to maybe extend a couple seasons from 10 episodes to 15. If you do that for 2 seasons, you cover the same amount of material in 2 years as you would have in 3.
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2:28PM on 03/11/2014
WEINER, WEINER, WEINER, WEINER, WEINER, WEINER, WEINER, FLACID WEINER
WEINER, WEINER, WEINER, WEINER, WEINER, WEINER, WEINER, FLACID WEINER
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1:47PM on 03/11/2014
Quality over quantity is always the best aspect when it comes to a television series as good as this one.

And regarding the tidbit; I think it's better to shoot for an intended amount of seasons then to stretch it out. I really wish the The Office (US version) went that route. The two seasons after Carrell left weren't up to par with the previous seasons, but the show finished strong with the last season it had.
Quality over quantity is always the best aspect when it comes to a television series as good as this one.

And regarding the tidbit; I think it's better to shoot for an intended amount of seasons then to stretch it out. I really wish the The Office (US version) went that route. The two seasons after Carrell left weren't up to par with the previous seasons, but the show finished strong with the last season it had.
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1:36PM on 03/11/2014
Just copy the end of 'The Sopranos'.
Just copy the end of 'The Sopranos'.
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2:38PM on 03/11/2014
Oh god I just had the image in my head of Tyrion, Sansa and Jon sitting at a table waiting for Dany to park her dragon while a band play Don't Stop Believing in the corner.

I can't tell if that's brilliant or horrifying.
Oh god I just had the image in my head of Tyrion, Sansa and Jon sitting at a table waiting for Dany to park her dragon while a band play Don't Stop Believing in the corner.

I can't tell if that's brilliant or horrifying.
5:53PM on 03/11/2014
Definitely horrifying.
Definitely horrifying.
1:35PM on 03/11/2014
It's still bullshit Martin can't finish off the books In a reasonable time frame. Someone should take his notes and just finish the story for him, since he probably never will.
It's still bullshit Martin can't finish off the books In a reasonable time frame. Someone should take his notes and just finish the story for him, since he probably never will.
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12:36PM on 03/11/2014

Lets not kid ourselves

They had this conversation with Martin because he's old as fuck, is in terrible physical condition, and is probably going to expire before his books are done. I'm sure they made copious notes.
They had this conversation with Martin because he's old as fuck, is in terrible physical condition, and is probably going to expire before his books are done. I'm sure they made copious notes.
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1:20PM on 03/11/2014
that is so blunt, but so true. They probably kept on asking him if he's ok throughout the meeting, asking him have you been for a doctors check up recently Mr. Martins? Are you laying off the KFC?? ...lol
that is so blunt, but so true. They probably kept on asking him if he's ok throughout the meeting, asking him have you been for a doctors check up recently Mr. Martins? Are you laying off the KFC?? ...lol
12:28PM on 03/12/2014
Is he really in that bad of health? I know he's in his early 70's, but Good Lord..........
If someone finishes his books for him it won't be the same.
Is he really in that bad of health? I know he's in his early 70's, but Good Lord..........
If someone finishes his books for him it won't be the same.
12:09PM on 03/11/2014
I think they should go in with an end-goal in mind, that way they can limit themselves while also making sure they don't waste any time on the more useless elements. 9 seasons is pretty long for a drama series but with the books as a guiding point it makes sense. I'm guessing that season 4 will cover most of book 3, some of book 4 and a little of book 5 (since books 4 and 5 were covering the same timeframe) so 9 seasons for 7 books sounds about right.
I think they should go in with an end-goal in mind, that way they can limit themselves while also making sure they don't waste any time on the more useless elements. 9 seasons is pretty long for a drama series but with the books as a guiding point it makes sense. I'm guessing that season 4 will cover most of book 3, some of book 4 and a little of book 5 (since books 4 and 5 were covering the same timeframe) so 9 seasons for 7 books sounds about right.
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