Showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss have made it clear they envision "Game of Thrones" ending with its seventh season. However, it probably comes as no surprise that HBO would rather the hit fantasy drama stick around a while longer.
“This is the hard part of what we do,” Michael Lombardo, HBO's programming president, tells Entertainment Weekly. “We started this journey with David and Dan. It’s their vision. Would I love the show to go 10 years as both a fan and a network executive? Absolutely. [...] We’ll have an honest conversation that explores all possible avenues. If they weren’t comfortable going beyond seven seasons, I trust them implicitly and trust that’s the right decision — as horrifying as that is to me. What I’m not going to do is have a show continue past where the creators believe where they feel they’ve finished with the story.”
Lombard also reveals that, contrary to persistent rumors, the cable channel isn't interested in a "Game of Thrones" movie, as it could be viewed as a poke in the eye of subscribers who have been loyal to the series. "I feel that on some level [a movie would be] changing the rules," he explains. "Now you have to pay $16 to see how your show ends.”
For his part, author George R.R. Martin still endorses the idea of a feature film. "Sure, I love the idea. Why not?" he writes on his blog. "What fantasist would not love the idea of going out with an epic hundred million feature film? And the recent success of the IMAX experience shows that the audience is there for such a movie. If we build it, they will come. But will we build it? I have no bloody idea."
He also stresses that although he's long known that HBO would like "Game of Thrones" to run for 10 years, ultimately "no one knows" how long the series will air: "This is Hollywood, friends. As William Goldman wrote in 'Adventures in the Screen Trade,' in Hollywood 'nobody knows anything.'"
"Game of Thrones" returns for its fifth season April 12 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.