The fourth season of HBO’s smash hit fantasy series Game of Thrones may have just concluded, but that doesn’t mean that fans aren’t already looking ahead for what’s in store. And as the series reaches its halfway point, breaking all sorts of records along the way, showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss sat down with Entertainment Weekly to discuss some important questions about where the series goes from here.
“For season 5, again, the fear started to dissipate when we outlined it and realized how much story we had to tell,” Benioff and Weiss explained. “Now that we’re nearly finished with the first drafts of each episode, we see no reason why the coming season shouldn’t be the strongest yet.”
Entertainment Weekly also brought up the recent topic of concern about how quickly Game of Thrones is catching up to Martin’s books. The interviewer speculated that the fifth season would likely conclude the major storylines of Martin’s fifth book, A Dance with Dragons, and asked what that means when it comes to setting up the sixth season when The Winds of Winter still remains without a release date.
“We have talked to George extensively about where he’s going with the books, and will continue to do so. His books are the blueprint for the world we’re building,” they explained. “Ultimately the show needs to work on its own terms, and keep on moving. Our job is to square that necessity with George’s work to the best of our ability.” So while the race is certainly on, Martin, Benioff, and Weiss appear to be in constant dialogue about where the story will go, and even the series’ conclusion which Weiss described as “100 percent” satisfying. But the current state of affairs also makes it seem less and less feasible to fit Game of Thrones into the proposed seven seasons — and onlookers were already concerned that it was simply not enough screen time to fit the story in. However, Benioff and Weiss confirmed that seven seasons is indeed still the plan.
One thing viewers can definitely expect in season five according to the showrunners is a trip to Dorne, the home of season four favorite Oberyn. It has already been known for some time now that the fifth season would be adding production in Spain, leading to specularation that a trip to Dorne was in store, and a recent leaked casting breakdown confirmed that Dorne characters would be heavily involved. “There will be Dorne, and we’re excited about it,” Benioff and Weiss said. “Who wouldn’t want to hang out in Dorne? They have admirable values and priorities.”
But of all the things to expect from season five, the best bet is that Game of Thrones will continue its explosive growth as one of the most popular television series of all-time. This season, Game of Thrones became the most popular HBO series of all-time, ousting The Sopranos from the top spot and there’s reason to believe the show isn’t even at the height of its popularity yet.