Book author George R. R. Martin also reveals that series creators David Benioff and D. B. Weiss know how the story will end.
"Game of Thrones" end date may have been set. Showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss reveal that they plan to end the show after seven seasons. "It feels like this is the midpoint for us," Benioff tells Entertainment Weekly. "If we're going to go seven seasons, which is the plan, season 4 is right down the middle, the pivot point."
He adds, "I would say it's the goal we've had from the beginning. 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."
HBO programming president Michael Lombardo also thinks it would be great to end the show after seven seasons, but notes that nothing has not been set yet. "I'm expecting to be sitting down with Dan and David to talk season 5 and we'll talk about how things are looking," he says.
"We're all very mindful that they're having conversations all the time with [author George R.R. Martin]. I think they do feel bullish enough that there's enough story to deliver through season 7. I hate to sound greedy, but our longest shows have gone 7 or 8 seasons, so seven is a nice long run for us."
In another interview with Vanity Fair, series co-creator Weiss says they may wrap up the story after seven or eight seasons. "It doesn't just keep on going because it can," he explains. "I think the desire to milk more out of it is what would eventually kill it, if we gave in to that."
Benioff and Weiss even have asked author George R. R. Martin how his books will end, because they want to "lay the groundwork for it." Benioff reveals, "Last year we went out to Santa Fe for a week to sit down with him [Martin] and just talk through where things are going, because we don't know if we are going to catch up and where exactly that would be."
"If you know the ending, then you can lay the groundwork for it. And so we want to know how everything ends. We want to be able to set things up. So we just sat down with him and literally went through every character."
Martin adds, "I can give them the broad strokes of what I intend to write, but the details aren't there yet. I'm hopeful that I can not let them catch up with me."
As for rumors that President Obama has watched the fourth season earlier than anybody, Benioff and Weiss confirm that the POTUS indeed received screeners of the show. "One perk of being the most powerful man in the world: yes, you get to see episodes early," they say in an email.
"Game of Thrones" returns with its fourth season Sunday, April 6 at 9:00 P.M. on HBO.