The imminent arrival of Game of Thrones Season 5 will end our yearly national nightmare for new episodes, but with it comes knowledge that the HBO fantasy drama likely has fewer days ahead than behind. We’ve heard plenty of talk suggesting seven seasons, or even a potential movie wrap-up, but HBO brass and Thrones producers have some intriguing new comments on the matter.

Per a wide-ranging piece in Entertainment Weekly, Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss seemingly remain adamant that their adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s as-yet-unfinished novel series should cap out at seven seasons, though HBO president Michael Lombardo makes it clear that the network would prefer more, and may broach the subject down the line.

This is the hard part of what we do. We started this journey with David and Dan. It’s their vision. Would I love the show to go 10 years as both a fan and a network executive? Absolutely. […]

We’ll have an honest conversation that explores all possible avenues. If they weren’t comfortable going beyond seven seasons, I trust them implicitly and trust that’s the right decision—as horrifying as that is to me. What I’m not going to do is have a show continue past where the creators believe where they feel they’ve finished with the story.

Granted, we’ve also heard on a number of occasions (even from Martin himself) that a feature film might prove the best way to wrap-up the story, though Lombardo stressed such a move might alienate HBO subscribers:

Certainly there have been conversations where it’s been said, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to do that?’. But when you start a series with our subscribers, the promise is that for your HBO fee that we’re going to take you to the end of this. I feel that on some level [a movie would be] changing the rules: Now you have to pay $16 to see how your show ends.

Complaints would likely prove minimal against the the piles of money amassed by a Game of Thrones movie (don’t forget, Sex and the City and Entourage apparently had more story to tell), while EW suggests the possibility of Season 7 expanding episodes beyond the usual 10. The final season of The Sopranos ended up divided and bumped to 21 episodes for several reasons, while the Game of Thrones cast has been optioned for seven seasons, which would still fall under the contract’s terms, regardless of episodes.

Elsewhere of Game of Thrones Season 5 (already renewed for 6), we know of multiple returning, confirmed absent, and new characters cast, confirming the show’s trip to Spain. The story will draw heavily from George R.R. Martin’s fourth and fifth novels, A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons, while HBO has also provided a list of directors, episodes synopses, and insight into which literary stories may not make the transition to film.

You can check out new Game of Thrones Season 5 photos and the latest trailer (with our beat-by-beat breakdown), and keep counting down to the April 12 premiere! Would you want to see Benioff and Weiss stick to their seven season guns, or risk diluting the story with additional years?