George R.R. Martin, author of A Game of Thrones and the other books in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, has offered up a response to the recent reports of HBO looking to extend the shelf life of Game of Thrones beyond seven seasons.
Writing on his LiveJournal blog, Martin says that this is a question posed to him all of the time and that, while its true HBO would like to see Game of Thrones run for more than seven seasons, nobody really knows how things are going to pan out.
This is Hollywood, friends. As William Goldman wrote in ADVENTURES IN THE SCREEN TRADE, in Hollywood "nobody knows anything."
I do know that [showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff] have stated in interviews that they see the show winding up in seven seasons. People send me emails about that every time I say "I don't know" in response to the question, as if I were somehow unaware of what D&D have said. I'm not.
I also know that HBO wants the series to run longer than that. I have known that since the very beginning... well, actually, since the day after the second episode of season one aired, when I had lunch with one of HBO's top execs, who told me, "We want this to run ten years." I allowed that ten years sounded fine to me. I continue to hear similar sentiments from HBO every time I have meeting with them, be it in LA or New York.
And it should be pointed out that neither ten seasons or even seven is locked in. Right now, GAME OF THRONES is guaranteed only six seasons. That's all HBO has officially committed to, by contract. We can speculate about additional seasons beyond that, but that's all it is, speculation.”
Considering what a huge success its been, Game of Thrones would like have to see a serious dip in ratings for it to not receive a seventh season order.
There's also the question of whether the series will receive an extended, two part order for its seventh season - like HBO gave to The Sopranos, and like AMC has done with Mad Men and Breaking Bad – in order to get more episodes out of the actors under their most recently negotiated contract.
Game of Thrones Season 5 premiers April 12.