George R.R. Martin, the author behind the novels that Game of Thrones is based on, apparently hoped that the series would go on for much longer than eight seasons.
Martin attended the 70th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards on Monday, where the show based on his work picked up three new trophies. On the way in, he spoke candidly with reporters from Variety, revealing that he was as disappointed as anyone to see the show come to a close after just eight years.
"We could've gone 11, 12, 13 seasons," Martin proclaimed. "If you've read my novels, you know there was enough material for more seasons."
It is true that Martin's fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire, contain far more than the TV adaptation. Major characters, entire plots and impactful events were left out or changed in the TV show. On top of that, the show could have filled an entire season with just a little of Martin's lengthy descriptions of food from the books. As fans have often noted, each consecutive novel seems to get longer while the last two seasons of the TV show have been shortened.
"They made certain cuts, but that's fine," Martin said. "We have five other shows — five prequels in development."
Martin is referring to the five prequel series to Game of Thrones that HBO has in development, one of which has received a pilot order. The show, titled The Long Night, begins filming in February. Meanwhile, Martin admitted that he has known for a long time that Game of Thrones would not go as long as he wanted it to.
"David and Dan have been saying for like five seasons that seven seasons is all they would go," he said. "We got them to go to eight but not any more than that. There was a period like five years ago when they were saying seven seasons and I was saying 10 seasons and they won, they're the ones actually working on it."
Martin assured the reporters that he is working on "other projects," some of which we already know about. For one thing, there are still two more novels planned in his series— The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring. He also has has a fictional history of House Targaryen coming out this November titled Fire and Blood. Another volume of that history will follow not long after, according to Martin.
To top it all off, Martin is leading the charge to bring more fantasy to TV, and not just his own work. He told reporters that he is officially working as an executive producer on HBO's adaptation of Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor, whom he introduced to the camera. The book came out in 2010, and was just optioned by HBO last year.
Game of Thrones season 8 is expected to air sometime in the first half of 2019.