Game of Thrones showrunners planning 'beyond' season 7

Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss have always maintained that the sprawling fantasy series had a definite end in sight after 7 years. At the Television Critics Association press tour on Thursday, HBO programming chief Michael Lombardo told a different story.

“Seven-seasons-and-out has never been the conversation,” Lombardo said. "The question is: How much beyond seven are we going to do? Obviously we’re shooting six now, hopefully discussing seven. [Benioff and Weiss] feel like there’s two more years after six. I would always love for them to change their minds, but that’s what we’re looking at right now.”

It's not difficult to see why HBO would want to push for a longer run. Its first proper foray into genre TV has been a global hit. Problems may arise, however, when it comes to plot. For now, the show is all caught up with George R.R. Martin's novels, which means season six and seven will venture into unknown territory, never mind season 8. Lombardo also says they'd entertain a prequel.

“I would be open to anything that Dan and David wanted to do—about Game of Thrones, or any subject matter. It really would depend fully on what they wanted to do. I think you’re right, there’s enormous storytelling to be mined in a prequel, if George and Dan and David decide they want to tackle that. At this point, all the focus is on the next few years of the show. We haven’t had any conversations about that at this point.”

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