'Game Of Thrones' Might Be Renewed For Season 7 & 8, But How Many Seasons Of The Show Will There Be?

To the surprise of absolutely no one, there could be more Game of Thrones on the way. Although the sixth season of the fantasy show has yet to premiere, and the next book of the origin series has yet to come out and won't be out for a while, Deadline reports that HBO is in talks to renew Game of Thrones for Season 7 and Season 8, which is amazing news for fans and for the cast. The hold that the program has on the public just continues to get tighter, especially since (or despite the fact that) the show is about to spinoff from the source material for a filler season that will bridge the gap from the end of A Dance With Dragons to The Winds Of Winter. But, with two more seasons possibly coming our way, I can't help but wonder when will Game of Thrones actually end?

The show has thus far aired five seasons, which span the events of the five books in the series. Naturally, they couldn't adapt every single event in the sprawling epic with complete faithfulness — some characters and arcs were cut, some characters died who were supposed to live, and some characters lived who were supposed to die — so that leaves them with a lot of material to work with going forward, even if the last two books were finished right now. Proceeding at a rate of roughly one book per season (on a numerical basis, not a true content basis), then you would think that Game of Thrones would end at Season 7 after the completion of the seventh and final novel in A Song of Ice and Fire: A Dream of Spring.

You would think so, but you'd be wrong. After all, as we all know, Season 6 will be premiering on April 24, 2016, and will essentially be full of sanctioned filler to pad out the wait between now and when George R. R. Martin finishes The Winds of Winter. Once that book has been published, the creators can mine that for arcs and characters to fill Season 7 and Season 8 if they want to, especially since the show is proceeding a rate much, much faster that Martin is writing the books for them to adapt. In order to prevent another instance in which the show overtakes the books, while still adhering to their regular airing schedule, Game of Thrones Season 7 might try to adapt or expand as few plot points as possible, so as to ensure that they have plenty of material to carry them to A Dream of Spring, whenever that book comes out.

If that's the way that the show chooses to go, then Game of Thrones won't end after Season 8. Hell, it might not end after Season 10. If people keep watching, we could have perhaps up to 12 seasons of the show — a filler Season 6 to carry us to The Winds of Winter, two to three seasons based on The Winds of Winter, another filler season to carry us between The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring, and up to two seasons based on A Dream of Spring. I can't imagine that the show could continue for longer than 12 seasons, but I also can't imagine that they aren't already planning their writing and adaptation schedule around ensuring that the likelihood that they have to do more than one or two filler seasons remains fairly low. And the long wait for The Winds of Winter probably means an even longer wait for A Dream of Spring since, as the conclusion to his epic series, Martin will need plenty of time to tie up every loose thread and get every word perfect for the fans.

Whether this is all good news or bad news for Game of Thrones fans is up to them to decide for themselves. In the meantime, cross your fingers and toes and hope that the entire cast signs on for all potentially 12 seasons, as their contracts expire after Season 7.

Image: HBO; gameoflaughs/Tumblr (2)