There’s no arguing that Game of Thrones is a monumental success for HBO. The series is the most watched HBO series ever, averaging over 18 million viewers with each episode, and has already been renewed through its sixth season.
So what could make Game of Thrones even better? More Game of Thrones of course. At least that’s how creator George R.R. Martin feels.
In an interview with The New York Times, the author of the A Song of Ice and Fire novels on which the show is based said he wished the show could have 13 episodes per season instead of 10.
“I wish we had more episodes,” he said. “I’d love to have 13 episodes. With 13 episodes, we could include smaller scenes that we had to cut, scenes that make the story deeper and richer.”
Martin specifically cites the omission of one scene from the first book in the series, A Game of Thrones, which was omitted from the first season of the show. The scene was a conversation that between Sansa and Arya stark, in which the former wanted to them both to take tea with the queen while the latter wanted to go searching for rubies with her friend. It’s a scene that was used when Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams were auditioning for their roles and the way the sisters argue in the scene goes a long way towards defining their relationship in the books.
Of course, Martin has a history of working in television dating back to his days working on The Twilight Zone and Beauty and the Beast for CBS in the 1980s, so he understands the budgetary concerns that influence these kinds of decisions.
Considering how dense the story told in Game of Thrones is, it’s hard to argue that more episodes wouldn’t benefit the narrative, giving it room to breathe and allowing it to highlight more character moments without having to make sure the plot was also being pushed forward at the same time. However, considering how well the series is doing as is, the cost of three additional episodes probably doesn’t seem worthwhile to HBO. Why fix it if it’s not broken?
The Game of Thrones season finale, which has a 66-minute runtime to squeeze in as much story as possible, will air Sunday, June 15 at 9 PM ET on HBO.