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EW Reveals 7 Season Plan

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Following up the Vanity Fair piece with its remark that the producers are thinking of seven or eight seasons, James Hibberd at EW has a somewhat more definitive quote from the David Benioff:

âIt feels like this is the midpoint for us,â Benioff says. âIf weâre going to go seven seasons, which is the plan, season 4 is right down the middle, the pivot point.â

Of course, it’s not 100%, as HBO executive Michael Lombardo implies a possibility of 8 seasons, which matches Vanity Fair’s earlier quote. But at the moment, 7 seasons appears to be the end goal of the producers.



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Following up the Vanity Fair piece with its remark that the producers are thinking of seven or eight seasons, James Hibberd at EW has a somewhat more definitive quote from the David Benioff:

âIt feels like this is the midpoint for us,â Benioff says. âIf weâre going to go seven seasons, which is the plan, season 4 is right down the middle, the pivot point.â

Of course, it’s not 100%, as HBO executive Michael Lombardo implies a possibility of 8 seasons, which matches Vanity Fair’s earlier quote. But at the moment, 7 seasons appears to be the end goal of the producers.

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7 Seasons sounds a little to compressed, 8 would be more realistic. I remember in one article that D&D were planning 800 hrs of the whole series. So 8 seasons sounds right. s5 will be entirely ADWD and AFFC. While WoW is rmored to be about size of SoS, so WoW will take at least 1 1/2 seasons, thus being s6, and half of 7, with DOS half 7 and s8 bringing it home. 7 just sounds to way to few, unless they make more episodes in the season.

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Season 4 - storm of swords feast and dragons. Season 5- feast and dragons. Season 6- wow season 7- dos that seems to be the plan.

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7 Seasons sounds a little to compressed, 8 would be more realistic. I remember in one article that D&D were planning 800 hrs of the whole series. So 8 seasons sounds right. s5 will be entirely ADWD and AFFC. While WoW is rmored to be about size of SoS, so WoW will take at least 1 1/2 seasons, with DOS bringing it home. 7 just sounds to way to few, unless they make more episodes in the season.

Do you mean that the climax of WoW should happen in a different season than the body of the book? It's not THAT easy to cut books into seasons. If the books are well constructed (as the first three were, with their natural climaxes), it's actually really hard to find a suitable ending point for all the storylines. Season 1 couldn't have ended at any other point but Ned's dead. Season 2 coudln't have ended with anything but Blackwater. Only season 3 got away with a different climax than in the books, and it is a somehow less rounded season.

The same trick may not work again for books 6 and 7 (assuming that both books will have a natural structure).

If you look at the books, there are too many storylines totally separated and nowhere near their endgame to be able to wrap up everything in two books (we could say that 7 books sounds a little too compressed too!). The story has to focus on the really big storylines (1-White Walkers/jon, 2-Dragons/Dany, 3-Lannisters 4-Starks), and all of them can be done in seven seasons.

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7 Seasons sounds a little to compressed, 8 would be more realistic. I remember in one article that D&D were planning 800 hrs of the whole series. So 8 seasons sounds right. s5 will be entirely ADWD and AFFC. While WoW is rmored to be about size of SoS, so WoW will take at least 1 1/2 seasons, thus being s6, and half of 7, with DOS half 7 and s8 bringing it home. 7 just sounds to way to few, unless they make more episodes in the season.

You assume they won't extend the 7th season? This is their most successful show, or at least close to it. They extended Sex and the City and Soprano's final seasons. So I'm guessing they'll extend GoT's S7 to give the writers enough time to bring everything to a satisfying close. Boardwalk isn't getting an extended final season for example since it's not doing too well as an IP, their ratings keep dipping each season and DVD sales aren't impressing anyone to say the least.

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You assume they won't extend the 7th season? This is their most successful show, or at least close to it. They extended Sex and the City and Soprano's final seasons. So I'm guessing they'll extend GoT's S7 to give the writers enough time to bring everything to a satisfying close. Boardwalk isn't getting an extended final season for example since it's not doing too well as an IP, their ratings keep dipping each season and DVD sales aren't impressing anyone to say the least.

If you had read my full post, I said the only way I see them fitting the story into 7 seasons, is if they extend the amount of episodes per season. In regards to Boardwalk Empire that is an entirely different show, GoT is HBO biggest draw card at the moment, and would definitely be able to get 8 seasons. However all of us are just speculating and could either be right or wrong

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They are very clear that this will be seven seasons. And that probably feels long enough as it is for them.


It's a massive effort and you're very lucky to get 7 sesasons of a show like this. They clearly have every intention of finishing this story in 7 seasons and will use whatever info they can get from GRRM.



I don't think Lombardo even leaves an opening for an 8th season btw, if you look at the wording.


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They are very clear that this will be seven seasons. And that probably feels long enough as it is for them.

It's a massive effort and you're very lucky to get 7 sesasons of a show like this. They clearly have every intention of finishing this story in 7 seasons and will use whatever info they can get from GRRM.

I don't think Lombardo even leaves an opening for an 8th season btw, if you look at the wording.

I agree. The way they worded it... "Our longest shows have gone on for 7 or 8 seasons. We may be a bit greedy wanting 7 but we think 7 is a good run." paraphrasing here but that makes me think it won't be more. The only shows of theirs that have ever gone 8 seasons long were sitcoms.

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Its just scary because it doesn't look like we will get ADOS before Season 6/7 (depending on overlap). Hoping that we're wrong, but our confidence level on the timing of ADOS will depend entirely on the completion of TWOW.. which doesn't seem to be happening this year.



Having said that, I would be surprised if Winds & DOS can be done in 1 season each, considering all that needs to happen and the size of the volumes. I'm expecting them (or atleast one of the two) to be as monstrous as ASOS which they needed more than 1 season to fully flesh out.. I guess we'll know more depending on how they expand out the Dornish story this season


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It should be noted, as I have many times in the past, that there is a world of difference between seven and eight seasons because of the De Havilland Law. Every original cast member would need to have their personal service contract renegotiated after the seventh season. On that basis alone, an eighth season of the show would probably cost a third or more than any previous season. And that is assuming they could convince all the original players to come back. Emilia Clarke and Kit Harington, as evidenced by their recent work, clearly have greater aspirations and might be unwilling to return, especially if they find greater success outside the show in the coming years.


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I mean looking at the trailer I don't even see what some characters (e.g. Bran) will be doing in Season 5. So this makes perfect sense.


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I think it's clear that 8 seasons are out of the question, in terms of seasons in the sense that is usually used. However, HBO can bypass the restriction by making the final season longer. The Sopranos is widely agreed to be a seven-season show, even though officially it's a six-season one (the last season was double-length and then split in half and shown separately, to prevent them having to do contract renegotiations). BSG is sold on DVD as a five-season show, even though it's a four season show with the final season split in half and shown a year apart. There's also the situation with Breaking Bad, and HBO previously did something similar with Oz (though, oddly, halfway through its run rather than at the end).



The problem is that production lead-time for GoT is pretty intense and they probably don't have the time to do a significantly longer-than-normal season if they are sticking to their normal timetable (filming July-December, transmitting April-June). So the only way it'd be doable is if they also moved GoT to say Boardwalk Empire's slot in September (though we should remember that there'll be another show in that slot by that point) for the last season and then maybe broke it in two. That way they could get anything from 5 to 10 extra episodes.



However, I the problems involved in moving timeslots and the extra cost of a double-length final season mean that I don't think it's likely that HBO will do this. If they do, that would at least square that circle (7 seasons = 80 episodes, so both HBO and D&D are right).


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I was thinking of that possibility as well but it seems they are already at breaking point in trying to make ten episodes every year. And in order to actually make ten more episodes during the seven year lifespan of production, they would have to start reconfiguring the schedule several years out. I don't imagine that is even possible without severely cutting the press tour and making other similar sacrifices. I think five extra episodes is a greater possibility. That way, they can air eight during the seventh season, and then come back a year later to air the remaining seven.


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I do think AFFC and ADWD should be trimmed and condensed a little, but it seems obvious that the last two books will be among the most eventful and would probably benefit from being stretched out to 3 seasons between the two of them. Why would they limit the show to 7 seasons if (1) the demand/profitablity is there and (2) the story demands more time to be told?


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The demand and profitability being there is mere speculation at this point. Moreover, the show is not episodic obviously. They have to plan it out years in advance.



Imagine for a moment this scenario: The show-runners plan out four more seasons only for the popularity of the show to wane in the following years. After the seventh season, with all the original actors up for new contracts, and facing a tremendous increase in the production budget for an eighth season, HBO decides to cancel the show. We never get to see A Dream of Spring on screen.



In other words, even plotting out the show for eight seasons is quite a risk, unless HBO takes the unprecedented step of locking up everybody for four more seasons right now, which makes no business sense for a variety of reasons.


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The obvious way to go is:

- make a longer sixth or/and seventh season (not necessarily double length), and/or

- make longer season finales/series finale, if necessary. It's also been done before. Oz episodes varied in length and the series finale was something like an hour and a half IIRC.

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My own guess is that they will severely trim the Dornish, Ironborn and Aegon storylines. I've even floated the possibility before that they might simply do away with Aegon and the Golden Company.


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My own guess is that they will severely trim the Dornish, Ironborn and Aegon storylines. I've even floated the possibility before that they might simply do away with Aegon and the Golden Company.

I would not be surprised if Aegon was cut entirely.

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