Game of Thrones is the most-watched HBO series since the finale of The Sopranos in 2007. The fourth season premiered on April 6 to an average of 6.6 million viewers, HBO noted. Days later, the network committed to a fifth and sixth season.
The next two seasons will bring showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss closer to adapting the entirety of George R.R. Martin's ongoing seven-book series, A Song of Ice and Fire, on which Game of Thrones is based.
Season 4 follows the events of second half of A Storm of Swords, the third book in the series. The show is rapidly catching up with the novels, of which only five of the seven planned volumes have been published to date. Martin reportedly sat down with the show's co-creators to discuss how the books will end, just in case the TV series outruns the novels, Benioff said in the April issue of Vanity Fair. "We just sat down with him and literally went through every character," Benioff said.
The series' renewal doesn't come as much of a surprise, as Benioff and Weiss revealed to Entertainment Weekly last month that they planned on taking Game of Thrones to seven seasons. "Seven gods, seven kingdoms, seven seasons," Benioff told EW. "It feels right to us."
But after seven seasons, our time in Westeros is likely to come to an end. "We know there's an end somewhere in the seven- or eight-season zone," Weiss told Vanity Fair. "I think the desire to milk more out of it is what would eventually kill it, if we gave in to that."
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.
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