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OTRC: 'Game Of Thrones' to end after 7 or 8 seasons?

Emilia Clarke appears as Daenerys Targaryen in a scene from season 4 of 'Game of Thrones,' which premieres on April 6, 2014. (HBO)

"Game Of Thrones" showrunners say they plan to end the hit HBO fantasy series after seven or eight seasons.

David Benioff and Dan Weiss made their comments in recent interviews with EW and Vanity Fair that were published just ahead of the show's season 4 premiere on April 6.

"It feels like this is the midpoint for us," Benioff told EW. "If we're going to go seven seasons, which is the plan, season 4 is right down the middle, the pivot point."

He added that ending "Game Of Thrones" after seven seasons was always his and Weiss' "unstated goal," adding: "Seven gods, seven kingdoms, seven seasons. It feels right to us."

"We know there's an end somewhere in the seven- or eight-season zone," Weiss told Vanity Fair. "It's not something that goes 10, 11 -- it doesn't just keep on going because it can. I think the desire to milk more out of it is what would eventually kill it, if we gave in to that."

He cited the success of the hit AMC show "Breaking Bad," which ended after five seasons in September. Its finale was watched by about 10.3 million people and spurred more than 1.24 million tweets.

"Would I have watched another season of 'Breaking Bad'? Of course. Would I have watched another two seasons of Breaking Bad? Of course," Weiss told Vanity Fair. "The fact that I would easily have watched much, much more than I got made the ending so much more poignant and stronger and better for me."

HBO has not made a formal announcement regarding the future of "Game Of Thrones." The cable network's programming president, Michael Lombardo, told EW that he plans to talk to the showrunners about the issue, adding: "I think they do feel bullish enough that there's enough story to deliver through season 7. I hate to sound greedy, but our longest shows have gone 7 or 8 seasons, so seven is a nice long run for us."

"Game Of Thrones" is based on George R. R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" book series. Five novels have been released and two more are planned. Book No. 7 is due in 2019.

Watch a trailer for season 4 of "Game Of Thrones," which stars the likes of Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen -- and her dragons!), Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister) and Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), below.

(Pictured above: Emilia Clarke appears as Daenerys Targaryen in a scene from season 4 of "Game of Thrones." Credit: HBO. "Game Of Thrones" is listed on OTRC's list of 13 Best TV Shows - find out why.)

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