Don't freak out, but Game of Thrones is almost over. No, not just the season, which ends on Sunday, June 26, but the whole series. Nooo!
It's not totally official, but it seems like there may be only 13 episodes left in the entire series after season 6 ends, split into a seven-episode season 7 and just six episodes for season 8. And for HBO, that's a really big problem.
Forbes reports that Game of Thrones has only grown over the past six seasons and, in fact, the current one is still gaining viewers. The show started out with 2.5 million viewers on average in season 1, and now it’s over 7 million in season 6. That's almost unheard of in television, where ratings drop-off is pretty much par for the course. For example, American Idol (another watercooler show in its prime) went from 21 million viewers in 2012 to only 7 million in its final season.
And while HBO might want the show to go on forever, the showrunners have openly discussed having an ending in mind for the show.
HBO has to be considering the success AMC had in spinning-off Better Call Saul from Breaking Bad — it became another must-watch show, seemingly overnight, thanks to returning cast members (and the downright magical Bob Odenkirk).
When the network acquired the rights to George R.R. Martin's books, they basically acquired the rights to all of Westeros. Think of all the stories there are to tell there, whether the books are followed or not. There could be a prequel about Ned Stark, his sister Lyanna, and the king who loved her, Robert Baratheon. Or the end of the rule of House Targaryen. Or Arya goes on quests, using her fighting skills to help others. The possibilities really are endless — and we're so on board. Correction: This article originally listed the finale of season 6 of Game of Thrones as June 12. The finale airs on June 26.