HBOs “Game of Thrones” kicked off its fourth season on April 6. It attracted more than 6.6 million viewers and became HBO’s most watched program since the 2007 series finale of “The Sopranos.” It is no surprise, therefore, that HBO has renewed the series for two seasons in advance. Unless something horrible happens and people stop watching, both season five and season six are guaranteed to run.
Students at Case Western Reserve University added their voices to the 6.6 million on the night of the premiere as they gathered around their personal televisions, phones, computers and the big screen at the Jolly Scholar to watch (after HBO’s website stopped crashing, that is). Tasha Peverell, a student at CWRU and fan of both the books and the show, said, “I’m pumped as hell that it’s guaranteed for so long.”
The series began on April 17, 2011 and quickly gained popularity due to its mixture of medieval atmosphere and tactics, fantasy qualities of magic and dragons and, not in small part, its abundance of nudity, profanity and sex.
It follows a vast array of characters of both high and low birth, many of whom wish to sit atop the Iron Throne and rule the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. Many deaths have occurred in the past three seasons and there is no question of many more ensuing before the series’ close. No character is safe in the realm of “Game of Thrones” and, as Cersei Lannister pointed out, “When you play the game of thrones; you win or you die.” There is a running joke amongst fans that, if your favorite character has survived an episode (or, by some miracle, a whole season), then it was a good episode.
The series is based on the book series, “A Song of Ice and Fire,” written by George R.R. Martin. The first book, entitled “A Game of Thrones,” was published in 1996. The collection originated as a trilogy, but has since been expanded into a seven book series that is still unfinished with only five of the seven published thus far.
The directors of the television series foresee its end happening in season seven or eight which makes the two season renewal a bittersweet victory, bringing the series ever closer to its imminent end. The end that the directors foresee for the television series, however, will almost certainly occur before the final book is published. This begs the question: Will the television series end by revealing the long-awaited finale to the seven volume book series?
Martin has revealed to the directors and writers how he is planning to end the books. Peverell said of the possibility of the show revealing the ending that, “It wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing…but if it were aired first, and I watched it before I had the chance to absorb it on my own time while reading, it’d be damn weird.”
The big, two season renewal was a happy announcement for fans of the show. Even if their favorite character dies, the strength of the love of the show will endure in the hearts of those who truly love the show. Fans anxiously await the moment when the television series finally and inevitably catches up with the book series.