Game of Thrones will have seven seasons in total, according to showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss. Or, at least that’s the plan for now.
When asked by Entertainment Weekly how long Game of Thrones would run for, Benioff said, “It feels like this is the midpoint for us, if we’re going to go seven seasons, which is the plan, season 4 is right down the middle, the pivot point.”
“I would say it’s the goal we’ve had from the beginning,” Benioff continued. “It was our unstated goal, because to start on a show and say your goal is seven seasons is the height of lunacy. Once we got to the point where we felt like we’re going to be able to tell this tale to its conclusion, that became [an even clearer] goal. Seven gods, seven kingdoms, seven seasons. It feels right to us.”
While it makes symbolic sense for Game of Thrones to last for seven season – as Benioff mentioned, seven is kind of a magic number in the world of Westeros – it seems like a logistical challenge. There are a planned seven books in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novel series, which Game of Thrones is based on, and Game of Thrones already needed two seasons to cover the third book, A Storm of Swords. In fairness, A Storm of Swords is the longest book in the series so far, coming in at almost 1000 pages, and Benioff and Weiss do plan to incorporate parts of the fourth book, A Feast for Crows, into Game of Thrones’ fourth season since they occur, chronologically, at the same time as some of the events in A Storm of Swords.
Still, if Game of Thrones will only last seven seasons then that means, at some point, the showrunners will have to work the better parts of two books into one season, a challenge to be sure.
Of course, Game of Thrones already runs the risk of catching up to George R.R. Martin’s writing and the showrunners have at least a broad idea of where Martin plans on taking the series in the end. Perhaps, if the show does end up catching up to its source material, the showrunners will take more leeway to plot the story as they need to fit their seven season plan.
In Game of Thrones Season 4, Encouraged by the Red Wedding slaughter in the Riverlands that wiped out many of their Stark nemeses, the Lannisters’ hold on the Iron Throne remains intact … but can they survive their own egos, as well as new and ongoing threats from the south, north and east? While an unbowed Stannis Baratheon continues to rebuild his army in Dragonstone, a more immediate danger comes from the south, as Oberyn Martell, the Lannister-loathing “Red Viper of Dorne,” arrives at King’s Landing to attend Joffrey’s wedding to Margaery Tyrell, and perhaps act on an ulterior agenda. In the north, a depleted Night’s Watch seems overmatched against the inexorable Wall advances of Mance Rayder’s army of wildlings, which in turn is being trailed by an even more formidable foe: the undead White Walkers. As if that weren’t enough, Daenerys Targaryen, accompanied by her menacing trio of dragons and army of Unsullied, is poised to liberate Meereen, the largest city in Slaver’s Bay, which could ultimately provide her with enough ships to sail to Westeros and reclaim the Iron Throne.
Game of Thrones Season 4 premieres on HBO April 6, 2014.