With anticipation as high as ever for the 'Game of Thrones' season 3 premiere on March 31, fans would likely be content if the series never ended, George R.R. Martin or no. And yet, season 3 will mark a turning point for HBO's 'Game of Thrones' as Martin's novels extend beyond the reach of a single season and force a few narrative alterations, so how long might it take for the drama to cover all of Martin's work? Hear the future plans for 'Game of Thrones' seasons inside!

Extending beyond 6 or 7 seasons can prove a tricky prospect for the modern TV series, particularly given the limited means of cable networks. So as 'Game of Thrones' prepares to unleash its third season on March 31, covering approximately half the events of series creator George R.R. Martin's third novel "A Storm of Swords" with a few elements borrowed from the fourth, is there any chance HBO's 'Thrones' will cover the breadth of the "Song of Ice and Fire" series?

George R.R. Martin fans well know that the author often takes his time writing the novels, in the midst of writing sixth book "The Winds of Winter" with plans for a seventh and likely final "A Dream of Spring." And as HBO heads into more difficult territory in adapting the books, series show-runners Dan Weiss and David Benioff hope to cover the entire series on TV, with a tall order of seasons for a cable drama. The pair told Mother Jones:

Yes [we would like eight or nine seasons], if we live that long and HBO keeps wanting to make the show. We have the opportunity here to tell a coherent story that lasts for 80 hours. And while a canvas of that size presents all sorts of storytelling problems, it also allows us to spend more time with these characters we love than we'll ever get again.

Of course, fans of the series would likely watch until the very last episode, but it's not hard to imagine that 9 seasons could prove difficult for a series with such an expansive scope and increasingly in-demand cast. As readers of the book series could corroborate as well, the action doesn't exactly get cheaper to portray, either.

We'll stay mindful of the future as we count down to the March 31 premiere of 'Game of Thrones' season 3, but what say you? Do you think the series could get through George R.R. Martin's story in eight, or nine seasons? Tell us what you want to see from the future of 'Game of Thrones' in the comments!

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