Exactly one month from today, Season 5 of Game of Thrones will debut on HBO, but beyond this upcoming 10-episode run, there are still several questions regarding the future of this series. While an official Season 7 order hasn't been issued yet, HBO renewed contracts for cast members through Season 7 back in October. And fans are still waiting for George R.R. Martin to finish the last two books in his A Song of Fire and Ice series. At this time, series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are planning their endgame for the series, which would come to an end with Season 7 in 2017, if all goes according to plan. But, given the massive popularity of the show, HBO programming president Michael Lombardo told Entertainment Weekly that he would love to see the show go 10 seasons, if that is something David Benioff and D.B. Weiss would agree to. Here's what Michael Lombardo had to say below.

"This is the hard part of what we do. We started this journey with David and Dan. It's their vision. Would I love the show to go 10 years as both a fan and a network executive? Absolutely. We'll have an honest conversation that explores all possible avenues. If they weren't comfortable going beyond seven seasons, I trust them implicitly and trust that's the right decision-as horrifying as that is to me. What I'm not going to do is have a show continue past where the creators believe where they feel they've finished with the story."
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While it's possible that Game of Thrones could go beyond Season 7, one possibility that HBO does not even want to explore is ending the series with a major theatrical movie. Last year, George R.R. Martin expressed his desire for the series to end on the big screen, but Michael Lombardo feels that a movie would 'change the rules' for HBO subscribers who were promised to see the whole series on their network.

"Certainly there have been conversations where it's been said, 'Wouldn't it be cool to do that?' But when you start a series with our subscribers, the promise is that for your HBO fee that we're going to take you to the end of this. I feel that on some level [a movie would be] changing the rules: Now you have to pay $16 to see how your show ends."

There is also the possibility of Game of Thrones spinoff series. While there have been no specific conversations about possible spinoffs, George R.R. Martin does have a development deal in place with HBO, although he is currently focused on finishing the last two novels. We reported earlier this year that there is no publication date set for both novels, meaning the series will most likely catch up with the books. However, both David Benioff and D.B. Weiss know George R.R. Martin's "master plan" for both books, and are planning to delve into brand new "unpublished narrative territory" in Season 6.

It's also possible that HBO could extend Game of Thrones' run by ordering a split final season, giving fans more episodes than the typical 10-episode season, although the first half would air one year, with the second and final half airing the next year. This tactic was employed by AMC for its final seasons of Breaking Bad and Mad Men, and also by HBO with the final season of The Sopranos. While the end remains unclear, David Benioff briefly spoke about their endgame.

"We know basically how many hours are left in this story. We don't want to add 10 hours to that. It's about finding that sweet spot so it works for us and for HBO and, most of all, it works for the audience."

D.B. Weiss added that he wants the show to go out on top

"We want to go out on our absolute highest note. We don't want people to finally see the end and say, 'Thank god that's over."/qutoe