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HBO close to deal for Seasons 7 and 8 of 'Game of Thrones'

Keep those coats on, because winter is here to stay. 

HBO is nearing a deal to bring "Game of Thrones" back for Seasons 7 and 8, the pay-TV service's president, Michael Lombardo, told reporters Thursday at the Television Critics Assn. media tour in Pasadena.

The network also confirmed that the fantasy series (which won a record-setting 12 Emmys in September, including the prize for drama) will return for its sixth season on April 24. 

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The future of the series -- and just how long it will run -- is on the minds of many fans this week, following the announcement that author George R.R. Martin has missed yet another deadline for "The Winds of Winter," the fifth installment in the book series on which the show is based. 

This means the TV version of the story, which follows rival clans competing for control of the Iron Throne in the mythical Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, will move ahead of what has been published.  

Lombardo has previously indicated that showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss envision eight seasons, while the network would be happy to see the show -- its biggest hit to date -- continue for much longer. 

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