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OTRC: 'Game of Thrones' renewed for season 5 and 6

Emilia Clarke appears as Daenerys Targaryen in a scene from season 4 of the HBO series 'Game of Thrones.' (HBO)

"Game of Thrones" has been renewed for a fifth AND sixth season! (Will the dragons get even bigger?)

Cable network HBO announced the news on Tuesday, April 8. The R-rated fantasy-adventure series, based on the "A Song of Ice and Fire" novels by George R. R. Martin, began its fourth season on Sunday. The premiere was watched by 8.2 million people after replays, which is about twice as many as last year's first episode, and the highest ratings for an episode on the channel since the 2007 finale of "The Sopranos." which drew 11.9 million.

"Game of Thrones" is a phenomenon like no other," Michael Lombardo, president of HBO Programming, said in a statement released by the network. "[Showrunners] David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, along with their talented collaborators, continue to surpass themselves, and we look forward to more of their dazzling storytelling."

Benioff and Weiss recently said they plan to end "Game of Thrones" after seven or eight seasons. Martin has published five books in his series and two more are planned.

"Game of Thrones" stars the likes of Peter Dinklage, who has won an Emmy for his role as the cunning Tyrion Lannister, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Lena Headey as his brother and sister -- who are also lovers, Jaime and Cersei Lannister; Jack Gleeson as the evil teenage King Joffrey; Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen, the "mother of dragons"; Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams as sisters Sansa and Arya Stark; Kit Harington as their half-brother and warrior Jon Snow.

(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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