Like it or not, Game of Thrones is coming to an end – sure, there are still two more seasons to go, but even those seasons are expected to contain fewer episodes than fans have grown accustomed to. While HBO would almost certainly love for its flagship series to continue indefinitely, showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss want to ensure they’re not diluting the show’s legacy by inflating the episode count beyond what the narrative can realistically support.
Earlier this week, we brought you some comments from series star Kit Harington, where he briefly discussed what fans can expect as Game of Thrones marches toward its finale. And now fan favorite Maisie Williams has weighed in about the decision to close up show after eight seasons, telling Variety:
“It sucks for the audience because they love the episodes, but what we’ll never do on this show is drag it out, and I’m so thrilled about that. Too many shows start out about making a great show, and by Season 6 it’s about making money and all they want to do is write more episodes and make more money. This show makes a lot of money, and it would be easy for HBO to be like ‘we’re gonna do four more seasons and we’re gonna extend them to 12 episodes.’ I really respect David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] for holding their ground and for HBO to be like ‘no… we’re gonna tell this story and we’re gonna end it and that’ll be final.’
“Good things must come to an end or they’re not good anymore. It doesn’t last forever and we’ve done what we came to do, it’s time to wrap this up, and it will have the ending it was always supposed to have, and that’s very special. David and Dan started writing this show knowing the end, not knowing that it might actually come around and we might be allowed to make that many [seasons] — at the beginning we were just willing to make one [season]. They started this with an end in sight, and so it’s exciting to be closing it… I’m just excited to see everyone again – we start a lot later this year because winter has arrived, so that can’t happen in sunny Belfast.”
I’m with Maisie and the showrunners on this one. While I love the world of Westeros and dread the thought of bidding farewell to one of my favorite shows, I’d also much rather see the series come to its natural conclusion, instead of being extended to the point of diminishing returns – which happens far too often. Dexter and Californication are two shining examples of this: both series started off incredibly strong, and both reached a point where the book could have been closed and it would’ve made perfect sense – instead, the decision was made to keep going, which caused both shows to wear out their welcome long before they finally, mercifully ended.
On the other hand, you’ve got examples like Breaking Bad and Justified – the showrunners for both series had a vision, a narrative with a finite conclusion. In fact, the series finale of Justified is one of my all-time favorites, a perfect bookend that circles back to the major themes established in the pilot, and neatly ties up any narrative loose ends. Fingers crossed that Benioff and Weiss can accomplish the same thing.
Game of Thrones is scheduled to return for its seventh season in Summer 2017.
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