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'Game of Thrones' will likely end after eight seasons

The boys are finally coming ashore -- April

The boys are finally coming ashore -- April 24 is the arrival date for "Game of Thrones," says HBO. Credit: AP / Helen Sloane

"Game of Thrones" is expected to wrap at the end of the eighth season, HBO chief Michael Lombardo told TV writers in Beverly Hills a little while ago.

According to a post on Deadline, corroborated by many tweets, Lombardo said the series' showrunners "David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss]  are feeling there are two more years after Season 6 [and] that's what we're looking at right now. We hope that they would change their mind, but that's how they are feeling now."  

The fifth season just concluded, so nothing is imminent.

Meanwhile, "expected" is one of those words that was made to be reversed (or ridiculed). After all, no one can read the future (and no one "expected" a "Star Wars,"  "Godfather" or, um,  "Dumb and Dumber" sequel either).

Lombardo's phrase --  "that's what we're looking at right now" -- also leaves room for interpretation.  

 Both Benioff and Weiss have said before that eight-and-done seems about right, while HBO has publicly hoped for a couple more beyond that. Nevertheless, Lombardo's statement is significant: He now appears to be affirming that the end is, officially, at eight.

 Unless the end is not. Anything can change, and possibly will.  To quote Petyr Baelish -- who is apparently NOT  at the press tour -- "The past is the past, the future is all that is worth discussing..."

 As an endpoint, "eight" however does feel about right. In fact, many major series end at seven seasons because actors tend to sign contracts that bind them to the series for seven seasons. An eighth season actually sounds like a gift.   

And, in other HBO news ...

-- "The Knick," a good series that has largely been invisible on Cinemax, will get a limited run on HBO platforms starting Aug. 14; this will comprise the first season. (Second season on 'Max begins Oct. 16.)

-- "The Leftovers," returning Oct. 4 with Regina King joining the cast, gets a fairly elaborate makeover for the second season. Here are some details, straight from the HBO release: -- "...Kevin Garvey (Justin Theroux) has retired from his post as chief of police of Mapleton and is moving his new family to Texas. With him is Nora Durst (Carrie Coon), who's discovered new purpose in caring for the baby. ... Equally eager to leave the town she grew up in and the friends she made there is Kevin's daughter, Jill (Margaret Qualley). Upon their arrival in Jarden, Texas, the newly formed Garvey family meet their neighbors, the Murphys: John (Kevin Carroll) and Erika (Regina King) and their teenage twins. ..."

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