Game Of Thrones fans won’t be happy to hear the latest news: the end of the saga is closer than you think.

HBO programming chief Michael Lombardo says the drama series’ producers are leaning towards three more seasons after the just-finished series five.

“I’m always hoping they’re going to change their minds, but I think that’s what we’re looking at right now,” Lombardo said at the Television Critics Association meeting.

Kit Harington



Kit Harington (HBO/BSKYSB)

 

Asked about the possibility of a prequel series, he said he believed there was ‘enormous story material’ to be mined for such a project.

But the focus now of showrunners David Benioff and DB Weiss was season six of Game Of Thrones, he said, which is aimed for broadcast in 2016.

The series came under fire this year for a rape scene involving a bride’s assault by her husband on their wedding night.

 

Lombardo, noting that the drama has included violence as a thread since it started, said the producers were careful about not overstepping boundaries while remaining true to the storytelling.

“I support them fully artistically,” he said.

Game of Thrones star Natalie Dormer at the Emmys



Game Of Thrones star Natalie Dormer (Jordan Strauss/Invision)

 

Voters in the TV academy were not swayed by the controversy, making Game Of Thrones the most-nominated series last month. It received 24 nods for the September awards, including best drama series.

Lombardo was asked if the popular character of Jon Snow, who appeared to die last season, was actually a goner.

“Dead is dead is dead,” he said, adding, ‘everything I’ve seen, heard and read’ indicates that Snow is dead.