Game of Thrones has officially been renewed for a seventh season. No surprises there…
HBO, the US network responsible for bringing George RR Martin’s stories to the small screen, announced the news last night, with Michael Lombardo, president of HBO Programming, revealing the drama would return “for 2017” alongside Silicon Valley and Veep.
What is a surprise is that HBO have ordered a single season of the long-running fantasy series. Rumour had it the show was gearing up for two shorter seasons to finish off the drama, with showrunner David Benioff telling Variety last week that, “I think we’re down to our final 13 episodes after this season. We’re heading into the final lap.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, “the premium cable network [was] near a deal for another two-season renewal” earlier this year.
— Game of Thrones (@GameOfThrones) April 21, 2016
There is no confirmation from HBO on the length of the new series, or if it is the final one. But, really, if season seven is indeed the last, it shouldn’t come as a huge shock. Showrunners Dan Weiss and Benioff have said before that season seven is where they see the show ending, even if HBO boss Michael Lombardo admits that he’d “absolutely” love the hit fantasy drama to run for longer.
Benioff told Variety last year that trying to “stretch [the story] out by an extra couple of years… would be a betrayal.”
“We’ve got a very definitive idea of how much longer it is, and we’re getting there,” he said. “We could go another four years – and we could come up with good stories – but the one thing that really got us excited when we pitched this to HBO was that this isn’t just a regular series. It’s a real story with a beginning, a middle and an end.
“We know what the end is, and we’re barreling toward it. So the idea that we’re going to try and stretch it out by an extra couple years just because we’re all having a good time doing it and people are making money off it just feels like it would be a betrayal.”
Game of Thrones season six starts on Monday at 2am and 9pm on Sky Atlantic