HBO executives assured Game of Thrones fans that nothing will stop the series from finishing its version of A Song of Ice and Fire.
HBO chairman and CEO Richard Plepler and programming president Michael Lombardo were asked by critics Thursday if there was anything “short of nuclear war” that would prevent Thrones from completing its entire story as planned. “No … we’re committed to it and [showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss] are committed to it,” Lombardo told reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills.
Some fans of George R.R. Martin’s ongoing book series will find the assurance a bit unnerving, as many hope the author will continue trail-blazing the show’s narrative—a goal of all the parties involved in the production that seems less likely with each passing season. “Obviously George is an integral part of the creative team,” Lombardo said. “So next season every move is being choreographed very closely with him. Certainly after next year we’ll have to figure it out with George, but we’re not concerned about it.”
The Thrones showrunners plan to finish the series in seven seasons, with next year’s fifth season drawing heavily from Martin’s fourth and fifth novels in the saga (A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons). So seasons six and seven are expected to be culled from either as-yet-unpublished material—should Martin’s next novels The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring not come out before each season—or pave its own way.
Also, HBO once again shot down speculation about finishing the series with a Thrones movie (or two). “There’s no conversations going on about a movie,” Lombardo said.
Earlier today, Thrones received 19 prime-time Emmy nominations—the most of any series—including best drama and best supporting actor for Peter Dinklage. Showrunners Benioff and Weiss were also nominated for a writing category for the show’s fourth season finale.
HBO also gave a couple hints about upcoming True Detective news, added that another season of Curb Your Enthusiasm is still possible (they’re still waiting for creator and star Larry David to give the nod) and announced that Mike Nichols (The Graduate) will direct icon Meryl Streep in Master Class, HBO Films’ adaptation of the Tony Award-winning play of the same name by Terrence McNally.