Jessica Ellis
January 09, 2016 9:07 am

Keep your plush dragon toys and your shame-nun outfits handy, because it looks like Game of Thrones is definitely staying around for at least eight seasons! While the news has yet to be officially confirmed, The Hollywood Reporter brings us the scoop that HBO programming president Michael Lombardo recently mentioned that the network is close to a deal for two more years of the record-breaking fantasy series.

This positive news comes as a huge sigh of relief for many Westeros superfans, as the main cast has only signed deals taking them through the upcoming season 6. While the cast has mostly agreed to new deals for the 7th season, the surprise is the double-season order for season 8 as well, which should keep us all flush with medieval fantasy through at least 2018.

The story also comes as something of a surprise, given recent news from book author George R. R. Martin. The famously cantankerous bard admitted that he’s perilously behind schedule on the next book of the Game of Thrones series, titled The Winds of Winter. Writing on his LiveJournal blog, the author bluntly stated that he had missed his due date, adding “Believe me, it gave me no pleasure to type those words. You’re disappointed, and you’re not alone. My editors and publishers are disappointed, HBO is disappointed, my agents and foreign publishers and translators are disappointed… but no one could possibly be more disappointed than me. For months now I have wanted nothing so much as to be able to say, ‘I have completed and delivered THE WINDS OF WINTER’ on or before the last day of 2015.”

While it’s important to keep in mind that writers write on their own schedules and fans aren’t “owed” a book on any particular schedule, Martin’s missed deadlines continues to put the television adaptation of his work in a difficult position; in order to keep storylines moving without abandoning characters for a season or more (remember how Bran has been in a big tree for a year?) the shows are now having to get ahead of the books.

But for HBO, the book/TV timeline is probably less important than securing further rights to their flagship show. For fans, news that we’ll have our fill of Jon Snow (OR WILL WE?) through 2017 can only be a positive. And just as awesome: GOT season 6 returns April 24th!

Check out HBO’s teaser for season 6 here.

(Images Via Twitter, HBO.)

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