Anyone following Game of Thrones well knows that showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss believe the George R.R. Martin-adapted series will run for seven seasons, hoping to tell the complete, unpadded story. HBO execs have long been vocal in their desire for a longer run, but according to the man at the top, Game of Thrones may now run through Season 8.

Speaking at the ongoing TCA press tour panel, HBO boss Michael Lombardo claimed that Game of Thrones might be looking at two additional seasons after the coming sixth, if not more. Asked about the showrunners’ past insistence on seven seasons, Lombardo claimed:

Seven seasons and out has never been the conversation. The question is how much beyond seven are we going to do. [Showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss are] feeling like there’s two more years after six. I would always love for them to change their minds. That’s what we’re looking at right now.

Lombardo also addressed the possibility of prequels, though no official conversations have taken place.

Elsewhere of Game of Thrones Season 6, we know that casting on a number of other new roles suggests we’ll follow Samwell Tarly on his departure from the Night’s Watch, while others seemingly confirm we’ll pick up with George R.R. Martin’s discarded Iron Islands subplots, and additional locations point to a number of flashbacks. Apart from a list of directors, debate continually rages as to whether Kit Harington’s Jon Snow will participate in Season 6, even as Harington can clearly be seen in Belfast, and story logistics seemingly confirm scenes set at The Wall in Season 6.

We’ve yet to hear the showrunners weigh in, but what could have changed, that Game of Thrones seemingly blossomed an additional season?

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