Ratings behemoth Game Of Thrones has been handed a further two seasons as HBO build upon the success of their popular fantasy drama. Following the first episode of season 4, which garnered 6.6m viewers, seasons 5 and 6 have been confirmed.

Emilia ClarkeEmilia Clarke relaxes with her big dragon

“Game of Thrones is a phenomenon like no other. 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,” Michael Lombardo, president of HBO said in a statement on Tuesday. 

“How far can the hit go seems to be in the hands of the novels” said writer George R.R. Martin, who is currently writing the sixth book in the series. ‘There is breathing room — the current Season four chronicles events that take place toward the end of the third book."

More: "Game of Thrones" Premiere Leads To The Great HBO Go Crash Of 2014

With the first episode of season 4 performing so well, HBO were quick to harness that good feeling with this announcement. And, unlike most multi-series TV dramas with 5 or 6 seasons – The Wire, The Sopranos and Breaking Bad etc – GoT will be polishing things off in seasons 7 or 8. 

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

As we reported yesterday, GoT hasn’t just proved popular with cable subscribers, but the torrent scene has thrived on the show, too. It was the most downloaded show in 2013, and with a staggering amount of people pirating the opening of season 4, it looks like that unwanted mantel will be bestowed upon it once again in 2014.

See Emilia Clarke on the red carpet