Long time HBO subscribers may remember a series called "Deadwood," which was a highly acclaimed show set in the old west that was abruptly stopped after three seasons despite continuously strong fan interest. And more damningly, it finished without a proper ending for the story it was telling.
However, at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour, HBO executives seemed eager to move past the sting of "Deadwood" and assure fans that "Game of Thrones" won't be coming to a premature end as well.
According to AOL TV, HBO's Richard Piepler stated that "We told George [R.R. Martin] we would go as long as he kept writing;" referring to the fact that Martin has just released the fifth novel in the series "A Song of Ice and Fire" upon which "Game of Thrones" is based. Two more novels are expected to wrap up Martin's story, with no firm publication dates set for either one.
HBO executive Michael Lombardo also specifically addressed a comparison between "Game of Thrones" and "Deadwood" by saying "The good news is, as long as [the showrunners] want to keep doing it, and as long as they're achieving what they did this season in terms of [being] happy with the result, there's a lot of storytelling to tell."
The executives also stated that the series will continue at ten episodes per season to maintain the quality of the show and ensure that "Game of Thrones" will be able to launch a new season every year.
During an excerpt from a separate interview with AOL TV, Martin briefly spoke about writing the ninth episode for the second season, which will depict the epic Battle of Blackwater from "A Clash of Kings."
"I've written the Blackwater episode and it's now in David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss'] hands and they're trying to figure out how to film it, how much of it will be filmed," stated Martin. "I've already made some cuts from the battle as portrayed in the book and probably more cuts will have to be made. But hopefully, we'll still get some sort of an exciting battle there. But it's very difficult. The Blackwater in particular contains every element designed to make it a nightmare, you know. There are thousands of characters. There are gigantic trebuchets. There is a river. There's partly a naval battle. There are horses, a huge numbers of horses. A lot of characters involved. There's fire."
The second season of "Game of Thrones" began filming last month and it is expected to premiere in the spring of 2012.